Below, you’ll find links to theatre shows that you can enjoy from home. There’s an eclectic mix, from stage classics, to brand new, independently produced works – and thanks to the Edinburgh Festival and its various associated events, there’s no shortage to choose from. Many of the shows are free to watch but if you have any cash to spare, please consider donating to a theatre venue or company.

Edinburgh International Festival | Until Fri 28 Aug

The Edinburgh International Festival is presenting works both archival and new. Ghost Light is a poetic tribute to the art of theatre-making, performed on an empty stage. There’s also The Telephone, a comic piece from Scottish Opera, and a compendium of short films from Scottish Ballet. Available until Friday.

Shedinburgh Fringe Festival | Until Sat 5 Sep

Artists were asked to reimagine their shows with minimal staging. The results are broadcast from sheds in Edinburgh and the Soho Theatre, or from people’s own homes. Performances are streamed only once, so be sure to book your tickets (£4+) in good time. Running until Sat 5 Sep.

Online@theSpaceUK | Ongoing

A free alternative to the above, this festival features original pieces all written and produced during lockdown. There’s a plethora of monologues filmed at home and plays made collaboratively over Zoom. Most shows are available to watch anytime, but there are also some special live events.

Traverse Festival | Ongoing

The Traverse Theatre, a major venue for Edinburgh shows, has just launched its own permanent ‘digital stage’. From today, a wide variety of theatrical works will be available. They were created for – or reimagined in – a number of formats, including films, podcasts, and audio plays.

Fringe of Colour | Various dates/times

A brand-new online arts event, Fringe of Colour presents videos made exclusively by creatives from ethnic minority backgrounds. Films are released as collections, each available for only seven days. This week’s offerings are a varied bunch of monologues, poetry films, and video artworks. Passes are £10 (£5 conc.).

Godspell | Hope Mill Theatre | Thu 27 - Sat 30 Aug | £15

The hit musical’s 50th anniversary revival stars Ruthie Henshall and Darren Day, who reprise their roles from a 1993 cast recording. The entire ensemble will be filmed separately at the cast’s homes and digitally edited together. It’s streaming on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Tickets are £15.

Shelter | Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater | Until 27 Aug

The Director of this company is the acclaimed choreographer and dancer Robert Battle. The latest in the group’s All Access programme is a statement about the physical and emotional deprivation of homeless people. It’s all set to poetry and a percussion-heavy score. Available until Thursday.

The Fairy Queen and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg | Glyndebourne | Ongoing

You have until Sunday to enjoy Henry Purcell’s Restoration-era play which is derived from A Midsummer Night’s Dream – a ‘semi opera’, it combines spoken word performance with song. Then it’s a rather atypical work from Wagner: a comedy that centres on everyday people’s lives and loves.

Arrival Festival | University of Salford | Thu 3 & Fri 4 Sep | Various times

The graduating students of Salford Uni’s MA in Contemporary Performance Practice are showing their final projects online. Expect innovative experiments in recital and digital presentation, shown using a variety of media. Streaming at various times on Thursday 3 and Friday 4 Sep, including some exclusively live events.

Under A Cardboard Sea | Bristol Old Vic | Ongoing

Performed by the theatre’s Young Company, Under a Cardboard Sea is aimed squarely at younger viewers. Amidst the Victorian smog, hundreds of children vanish from the streets. Eventually they reappear on a theatre stage with smiles painted on their faces. And behind the curtain, nothing is as it seems.

Jury | Park Theatre Company | Ongoing

This comedy-drama imagines the justice system using Zoom to tackle their backlog of cases. The jury for one high-profile trial discuss the details of a complex, polarising case… once they manage to turn their webcams on – and they have just 45 minutes to reach a verdict.

Good Dog | Tiata Fahodzi | Ongoing

Britain’s leading African theatre company present a short film adaptation of a full-length play. It follows a young man observing and revisiting events in his life – narrating the past from the present. He chronicles growing up in a multicultural community and the everyday injustices it involved.

A Manual of Fantastical Zoology | Tin Can/HOME | Ongoing | Pay What You Can

Part of HOME’s Homemakers series, this is an adaptation of Jorge Luis Borges’ The Book of Imaginary Beings. Exploring the psychology of isolation, it looks at how our fragile connection to reality can become strained and how our fancies can run amok. Tickets are Pay What You Can.

Rose | Hope Mill Theatre | Thu 10 - Sat 12 Sep | £9.50

Here’s an early heads-up about another offering from the beloved local venue. Via monologue, Rose (Maureen Lipman) gives an intimate account of her long life, including her childhood in Russia and her time in the Warsaw ghetto. Streaming 10, 11, and 12 Sep. Tickets are £9.50.

Mon 24 Aug - Sun 6 Sep
A. James Simpkin
Published on:
Tue 25 Aug 2020