Where to Watch Theatre for Free

Earlier this month, every single theatre in the UK was ordered to close as part of the government’s measures to help fight the spread of COVID-19. It’s a challenging time for all of us who work in the industry and we encourage everyone to look out for one another and stay in contact wherever possible and safe to do so.

We also realise that, whilst theatre is a lot of our jobs, it’s also our passion and by having the venues closed, this means we’re unable to engage with a world that we all love. With that in mind, we have put together a list of venues/online platforms that are currently streaming their shows online. Unlike other lists currently out there, all of these shows are entirely free to watch and do not require you to sign up to any sort of subscription.

We hope you enjoy the below. In the meantime, stay safe and we look forward to seeing you all and working with you again hopefully in the not so distant future.

Hampstead Theatre

Hampstead Theatre has announced that, in collaboration with the Guardian, it will re-release the live-stream recordings of three past productions, including Mike Bartlett’s Wild and Beth Steel’s Wonderland, for free.

As part of the #HampsteadTheatreAtHome series, these productions will be released over three consecutive weeks. The first production will be Wild, Bartlett’s play inspired by the case of whistleblower Edward Snowden, which was staged at the theatre in 2016 in a production directed by James Macdonald. This will be available from 10am on March 30 to 10pm on April 5.

The following week will see the release of Wonderland, Steel’s play about the miners’ strike, staged in 2014 in a production directed by the theatre’s previous artistic director, Edward Hall. It will be available from April 6-12.

The third production will be Howard Brenton’s 2013 play Drawing the Line, directed by Howard Davies. It will be available from April 13-19.

Click here to find out more.

National Theatre

From Thursday 2 April, a number of productions previously screened in cinemas globally as a part of National Theatre Live will be made available to watch for free.

The first will be Richard Bean’s One Man Two Guvnors featuring a Tony Award-winning performance from James Corden. All the productions will be free and screened live every Thursday at 7.00pm UK time and will then be available on demand for seven days on the NT’s YouTube channel.

On 9 April there will be a streamed performance of Sally Cookson’s Jane Eyre, Bryony Lavery’s Treasure Island adaptation starring Arthur Darvill on 16 April and Twelfth Night with Tamsin Greig on 23 April. Further tiles are to be announced.

Click here to find out more.

Royal Court Theatre

The award-winning play Cyprus Avenue will be available to watch online for a month from 27 March, it was announced today.

David Ireland’s show will be available for free from 12.00 on 27 March via the Royal Court’s and The Space’s website, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages. This will be the first time the film can be seen internationally.

Cyprus Avenue tells the story of a father who experiences a psychotic episode and believes his five week-old granddaughter is the reincarnation of Gerry Adams. It was awarded Best New Play at the Irish Times Theatre Awards and the James Tait Black Prize for Drama in 2017, with Rea taking the prize for Best Actor at the Irish Times Theatre Awards in the same year.

Click here to find out more.

CURVE Theatre, Leicester

An archive recording of Curve Leicester’s critically acclaimed Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual is now available to watch on the theatre’s website.

Directed by the venue’s artistic director Nikolai Foster, the show is adapted from Riaz Khan’s 2012 book about growing up in a strict Pakistani family in Leicester in the 1980s, and about the hybrid youth culture of the time and its relationship with the world of football.

Click here to find out more.

Globe Theatre

The Globe has announced that six of its previous productions will be available to watch for free on its on-demand service Globe Player over the next few weeks.

The six productions, Hamlet (2018), Romeo & Juliet (2009), The Winter’s Tale (2018), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2013), The Two Noble Kinsmen (2018) and The Merry Wives of Windsor (2019) will be streaming on a rotating basis, with each of them available for two weeks. This will be from from 6th April onwards.

In addition, the platform will also be making its selection of ‘Complete Walk’ films available at no cost — a series of 37 10-minute films that were released in 2016 to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

Click here to find out more.

Pentabus Theatre Company

Pentabus Theatre has announced it will release recordings of past shows on its website and social media channels for free, in response to the coronavirus crisis.

The first production to be released in this way will be Here I Belong by Matt Hartley. Other shows will follow including Crossings by Deirdre Kinahan and Each Slow Dusk by Rory Mullarkey. The recordings will be accompanied by social media Q&As with cast and creative teams from the productions.

Click here to find out more.

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