Online streaming services are breathing life into the theatre community during lockdown.
The beginning of March marked the closure of all Broadway theatres, with the West End following suit four days later under government advice. For the safety of patrons and performers alike, theatres remain closed until at least June, but there are still ways to stay in touch with the stage thanks to the internet.
Here are seven ways to get your theatre fix during lockdown, because no one should be devoid of the joy of actors dancing and singing on stage without a care in the world!
National Theatre at Home
National Theatre have offered their services to audiences with the release of a new play each week. They started two weeks ago with One Man, Two Guvnors starring James Corden. The next week, they released Bristol Old Vic’s production of Jane Eyre, with the treasure that is Treasure Island following on 16 March. Finally, on the 30th night of the UK’s lockdown – 23 April – we’ll be throwing back to Twelfth Night with William Shakespeare’s classic romantic comedy.
Sir Patrick Stewart’s Shakespeare Sonnets
— Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew) April 12, 2020
Head over to Sir Patrick Stewart’s Twitter page, where he’s releasing a sonnet a day from Shakespeare’s book of Sonnets and Poems. What more could you need?
We thank him for his service during this trying time.
The Shows Must Go On
Theatres may have closed every door (to us), but everything’s alright. Yes, everything’s fine, as Andrew Lloyd Webber has our weeks sorted with his new YouTube channel, The Shows Must Go On. Weekly shows are premiered on Fridays and are available to stream for up to 48 hours. Previous weeks have shown Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and Jesus Christ Superstar. The next show will be the 25th Anniversary of Phantom of the Opera.
The full line-up is yet to be confirmed.
Royal Opera House
#OurHouseToYourHouse is a series of weekly performances hosted by The Royal Opera House, available to stream on their Facebook page and YouTube channel. First to be released was Handel’s Acis and Galatea, followed by Mozart’s Così Fan Tutte, with the next performance of Metamorphosis from The Royal Ballet premiering 17 April.
Are you an avid ghost hunter stuck at home with no supernatural goings on? Well, Shakespeare’s Globe have got you covered with their 2018 production of Hamlet with Michelle Terry available to stream on their YouTube channel now.
You best be prepared for a spooky time!
Acting For a Cause
Acting for a Cause are bringing together professional actors for readings of famous plays hosted by Brando Crawford. Moana‘s Auli’i Cravalho, Little Women‘s Florence Pugh and Detective Pikachu‘s Justice Smith are a few of the professionals who’ve starred in The Importance of Being Earnest and This is Our Youth, which are now available to stream on YouTube.
Money raised will be used to sponsor children from low-income families in theatre, music, language and art programs once the programs reopen.
Leave A Light On
Week 5 #LeaveALightOn announcement 👇
— Lambert Jackson Productions (@LJProds) April 14, 2020
Produced by Lambert Jackson and The Theatre Cafe, Leave A Light On is a live streaming service, which “aims not only to provide financial support for the performers involved, but also to provide entertainment for people in self-isolation”. The schedules of performers are released weekly, and tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite for £7.50 per performance.
The future of the theatre is currently unknown, but the feeling of hope in the community is more present each day. Broadway have announced their shows will be suspended through 7 June, with the West End yet to set a date for reopening. Until then, even from home, the show must go on.
So there you have it…
Seven ways for theatre fans to get their fix whilst in self-isolation. We know it’s not the same as actually being sat in a theatre, watching the actors perform their hearts out, but we’ll take what we can get, given the current circumstances. We thank these companies and everyone involved for coming together to ensure our tight-knit community still get to share and watch in the magic of musical theatre!
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