Over the course of the pandemic there have been some fantastic shows and creative projects aimed at streaming theatre directly into your home. Here are our hot picks for November 2020.
During this second lockdown, there are even more options available to theatre lovers who are experiencing live theatre withdrawal. BritishTheatre.com has compiled a shortlist of streaming theatre that has us excited. By supporting these great shows you will be helping creatives, actors and theatres survive these bleak times.
RENT – Hope Mill Theatre (27 November – 20th December)
Lockdown has meant that the live season of Jonathan Larson’s Rent at Hope Mill Theatre Manchester was cut painfully short. Fear not though as the show is headed online. This is not live-streamed but pre-recorded and is playing at advertised times not on-demand and can only be accessed in the UK. Directed by Luke Sheppard this production features an amazing young cast of UK talent. Set in a period where another pandemic was ravaging the world, Rent has never been more pertinent in its messages of hope and love.
RENT ONLINE – BOOK HERE
LITTLE WARS – Union Theatre (until 3 December)
This incredible reading of Steven Karl McCasland’s play features Linda Bassett, Debbie Chazen, Natasha Karp, Catherine Russell, Sarah Solemani, Juliet Stevenson and Sophie Thompson. Directed by Hannah Chiswick, critics and audiences have raved about this play and its premise of bringing together some of the greatest female authors of the 20th Century including Agatha Christie, Gertrude Stein, Muriel Gardiner, Dorothy Parker, Alice B Toklas and Lillian Helman for an amazing what-if dinner party. Read our review.
LITTLE WARS ONLINE – BOOK HERE
MARRY ME A LITTLE – Barn Theatre, Cirencester (19 – 22 November)
Two single strangers left alone in their studio apartments on a Saturday night, pass their time with sweetly secret, unshared fantasies, never knowing that they’re just a floor away from each other and the end of their lonely dreams. A charming and bittersweet musical revue that features songs by Stephen Sondheim, the undisputed master of the contemporary Broadway musical. Two urban singles share a Saturday night of sweet fantasies and deep yearning while never leaving the confines of their solitary apartments. Together, they breathe new theatrical life and meaning into a collection of trunk songs that were culled from the final productions of Anyone Can Whistle, Follies, Company, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and A Little Night Music. Marry Me A Little stars Rob Houchen (Les Miserables, Titanic) and Celinde Schoenmaker (Rocketman, The Phantom Of The Opera) and is directed by Kirk Jameson.
MARRY ME A LITTLE ONLINE – BOOK HERE
APOLLO 13: DARK SIDE OF THE MOON – Original Theatre Company ( Until 31 December 2020)
Stranded 205,000 miles from Earth in a crippled spacecraft, astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert fight a desperate battle to survive. 77 hours into their mission they lose all communications with Earth as they pass around the dark side of the Moon. Further from home than mankind has ever been, in total darkness and facing impossible odds of survival the Astronauts confront themselves and each other. Marking 50 years since the launch of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission, and based, in part, on actual transcripts, this brand-new online play is a captivating re-telling of one of the greatest space stories of all time. Starring Tom Chambers (Father Brown), Christopher Harper (Coronation Street), Michael Salami (Hollyoaks) with Jenna Augen (Episodes), Geoff Aymer (The Importance of Being Earnest), Philip Franks (Darling Buds of May) and Poppy Roe (Royal Matchmaker) and directed by Alastair Whatley and Charlotte Peters. Read our review.
APOLLO 13: DARK SIDE OF THE MOON – BOOK HERE
EMILIA – Streamed Online ( Until 2 December 2020)
400 years ago Emilia Bassano wanted her voice to be heard. It wasn’t. Could she have been the “Dark Lady” of Shakespeare’s sonnets? What of her own poems? Why was her story erased from history? Emilia and her sisters reach out to us across the centuries with passion, fury, laughter and song. Listen to them. Let them inspire and unite us. Celebrate women’s voices through the story of this trailblazing, forgotten woman. Stand up and be counted. We want you to be able to enjoy this recording of Emilia, regardless of your financial circumstances. So we are inviting you to pay what you can, from as little as £1. Read our review.
EMILIA! – BOOK HERE
ROSE STARRING DAME MAUREEN LIPMAN – Hope Mill Theatre – Encore Season until 13 December
Taking on the role made famous by Olympia Dukakis, Lipman is Rose, a woman shaped by her history. She offers an intimate and, at times, humorous account of the 20th century, and the ultimate triumph of humanity. This thought-provoking production acts as a caution, highlighting the importance of unity in the face of adversity, and the need to recognise and empathise with the suffering of others. In collaboration with the Hope Mill Theatre, the production was filmed on-stage to an empty auditorium and is available to download and stream until 13 December 2020. Directed by Scott Le Crass (Country Music, Omnibus Theatre; Elmer, UK and International Tour), in close collaboration with Sherman, Rose is a moving reminder of some of the harrowing events that shaped the century. It remains sadly relevant today as racial tensions escalate, and allegations of antisemitism are rife.
This encore season sees Rose return By Popular Demand. Read our review of Rose.
BOOK NOW FOR ROSE
VOILA! EUROPE 2020 – Cockpit Theatre (9 – 22 November)
Voila! Europe is a community as much as it is a theatre festival, and we are so excited to open our arms to European Theatre lovers all over the world. Everything in our online programme is LIVE, a shared experience in real time. This year’s festival offers one-on-one performances, a bingo game/show, an absurdist concert, puppetry with ‘insubordinate costumes’, gonzo journalism, watch parties and meet-ups with theatre makers. Without crossing any borders, artists are joining us from Germany, Denmark, France, Colombia, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, the USA, and Hungary (in partnership with the Hungarian Cultural Centre, London). And of course the festival also includes the many European artists living in the UK. The international possibilities of online theatre are endless – and we’ll especially need those connections in the years to come when Brexit makes travel even more difficult. But if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that artists are ready to rise to the challenge.
VOILA! EUROPE 2020 – VIEW THE FULL PROGRAMME HERE
THE SETH CONCERT SERIES – Ongoing
What do you do when the theatre industry is crippled by lockdown, you create a series of amazing ‘in-house’ online chat sessions with your partner raising tens of thousands for theatre support charities and then on Sundays you round up some of the greatest Broadway talent there is for the most incredible series of online cabaret concerts (made all the more challenging by distance and technology). But that’s Seth Rudetsky and the resulting series of online events including talents such as Keala Settle, Judy Kuhn, Jeremy Jordan and Stephanie J Bloch amongst others have been quite superb.
THE SETH CONCERT SERIES – BOOK HERE
THE LAST FIVE YEARS – Southwark Playhouse (Until 29 November)
It’s been called the ‘definitive productions’ and now Jason Robert Brown’s Drama Desk Award winning musical, The Last Five Years, recorded live at the Southwark Playhouse will be streamed for the first time. This intimate musical follows two New Yorkers and their five year relationship using a unique form of storytelling. On stage this acclaimed production was put on hold twice by lockdowns so this marks your chance to see it – so don’t miss it. Directorn Jonathan O’Boyle, MD/Orchestrations George Dyer, Choreographer Sam Spencer-Lane, Designer Lee Newby, Lighting Designer Jamie Platt, Sound Designer Adam Fisher Casting Director Jane Deitch Produced by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment in association with Edward Prophet and People Entertainment Group.
BOOK FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS
THE THEATRE CHANNEL – Ongoing
Performed by the cream of British and international musical theatre talent, each episode is staged and filmed with high production values on location at The Theatre Café in the heart of the West End, making full use of the whole space – from the bar seating area all the way up to the roof – and feature a mix of 5-6 standalone performances, ordinarily set in a café, bar or restaurant. Many of the performances will be supported by the Café Four, a reoccurring background ensemble made up of other West End talents.
VISIT THE THEATRE CHANNEL
THE STRANGE CASE OF DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE – The Black Eyed Theatre Company – (Until 31 January 2021)
Doctor Henry Jekyll is a good man. Successful within his field and respected by his peers, he’s close to a neurological discovery that will change the face of medical science forever. However, his methods are less than ethical, and when a close friend and colleague threatens to expose and destroy his work, Jekyll is forced to experiment on himself, whereupon something goes very wrong…or very right. And suddenly Jekyll has a new friend, the brutal Edward Hyde. A thrilling adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s dark psychological fantasy, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde immerses you in the myth and mystery of 19th century London’s fog-bound streets where love, betrayal and murder lurk at every chilling twist and turn. Gripping, stylish and thought-provoking, this is unmissable theatre. Go on. Treat your dark side!
BOOK FOR THE STREANGE CASE OF DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE
WATCHING ROSIE – Original Theatre Company – (Until 26 November)
Alice and her granddaughter Rosie were a team. Until Lockdown forced them apart. Starring BAFTA winning actress Miriam Margolyes this heartbreaking and hilarious online short play highlights the incredible bond between Alice and Rosie as they face change, confusion and an unexpected arrival from Tesco. Adapted from Louise Coulthard’s award-winning debut play and directed by Michael Fentiman, Watching Rosie is a tender portrayal of experiencing dementia in lockdown and the power of love to overcome it. Produced by the Original Theatre Company with a cast including Amit Shah and Louise Coulthard, donations are encouraged in support of Dementia UK and the Original Theatre Company.
FREE ACCESS TO WATCHING ROSIE HERE