Due to the ongoing Covid situation, a number of organisations have placed theatre work online so that audiences may still enjoy a variety of entertainment while supporting an industry hit hard by the pandemic. These services include:
- The National Theatre – Currently closed to the public, throughout the lockdown, The National Theatre have shared past live-streamed performances for all to watch, with the request that viewers voluntarily donate to aid their recovery from the impact of the pandemic. At the moment, I can’t see that any productions are being posted, as they are focusing on carrying out socially distanced performances from late October. However, it’s definitely worth keeping up with this hub of creativity on their social media for any updates. You can find them on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook if you type in ‘National Theatre’.
- Disney Plus – During lockdown, Disney Plus has been a popular streaming service among families, but also students! It has a musicals section, which, unsurprisingly, includes the Disney classics like Hercules and Mulan. However, it also has Hamilton! I think everyone knows the name of this broadway production, and now everyone can watch it from the comfort of their own home. You can stream on Disney Plus for £5.99 a month.
- BBC iPlayer – BBC iPlayer is a great resource for both entertainment and education. It has a great arts section with documentaries and dramas. They have previously shown Albion, a recent play starring Victoria Hamilton. The plays are often only available for a limited time, so it’s worth checking monthly.
- Netflix – Along with binge-worthy TV series, Netflix has several adaptations and transformations of plays and well-known texts, which could be helpful to watch if you’re studying English Literature or something similar. Ophelia is a good place to start – it’s a retelling of Hamlet!
- The Original Theatre Company – During this time of uncertainty, this theatre company has set up Original Theatre Online, a place where theatre work is shared in a new way for audiences to enjoy and to raise money for those in an industry suffering because of the pandemic. You can find some great work here, including a short piece called Watching Rosie with Miriam Margolyes as the protagonist: https://originaltheatreonline.com/
- The National Theatre of Scotland – Scotland’s National Theatre is a theatre that creates entertainment for all, with a website brimming with stuff to watch! They’ve got Scenes for Survival, Makar to Makar, Ghost Light and much more. Head to their website to delve deeper: https://www.nationaltheatrescotland.com/
I have given some examples of the kind of thing you can find on these services, but they are always changing with new performances added frequently, so it’s worth checking up on in your own time! If you know of any more platforms that are streaming performances, please let me know so I can share them with our Seren readers! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.