The Best Virtual Theatre Shows to Watch Now
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The Best Virtual Theatre Shows to Watch Now

The show must go on

Though theatres remain closed for another few months, play lovers need not despair – there is a plethora of world-class shows streaming online for your entertainment and virtual viewing pleasure.

Where to Watch the Best Virtual Theatre Online

Grange Park Opera

Grange Park Opera

Since being founded in 1998, Grange Park Opera has established itself as an integral part of the British summer season. And while we sadly weren’t able to enjoy in-person shows last year, its online offering has been brilliant. Up next: a reboot of Maurice Ravel’s ‘opera comique’ L’heure espagnole, which tells the story of an unwitting clockmaker whose wife cavorts with other lovers while he’s out. Available to view online from 20 March.

National Theatre At Home

National Theatre Phèdre

National Theatre

Tom Hiddleston, Olivia Colman, Michaela Coel, Helen Mirren and Dominic Cooper are just some of the stars featuring in the National Theatre’s pay-for-play streaming service. The new platform follows the success of the theatre streaming filmed plays last summer – yet while those were free to watch, there’s a fee this time round, which can be paid monthly or annually. Three new productions have been added to the platform recently, including Tony Kushner’s multi-award-winning Angels in America: Parts One and Two, a two-part play set in America in the mid-1980s in the midst of the AIDS crisis. Also launching is Antigone starring Christopher Eccleston and Jodie Whittaker, and Behind the Beautiful Forevers with Meera Syal. Titles available to watch include Coriolanus, Dara, Phèdre and Yerma.


Dream, Royal Shakespeare Company

Shakespeare gets a modern spin in Dream, a new online play from The Royal Shakespeare Company which will use virtual reality to breathe new life into A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Led by Puck (played by EM Williams), actors will connect to a live audience through real-time animation, allowing them to directly influence the performance from wherever they are in the world. 12 – 20 March 2021.

Northern Ballet’s Digital Season

Northern Ballet, Victoria

Emma Kauldhar

Northern Ballet has launched its new digital season of dance performances, with a new film being released every two weeks until 19 March. Kicking off the series is Northern Lights, the second collaboration of Kenneth Tindall and filmmaker Dan Lowenstein, followed by Cathy Marston’s Victoria and What Used To, No Longer Is, by Olivier award-winning ballet artist Mthuthuzeli November. 5 Feb ­– 19 March 2021.

Good Grief

Good Grief

Platform Presents was founded by actress Gala Gordon and producer Isabella Macpherson to showcase new talent in theatre with staged plays and performances across London. But then Covid hit, and, like so many companies, the platform had to shift its business online. Its first production of Tom Stoppard’s A Separate Piece was a big success, and no doubt the second one will be a hit too. Written by Lorien Hayes and starring Fleabag’s Sian Clifford, Good Grief tells the story of two friends navigating their way through after the tragic loss of a woman they loved. 15 February – 15 April 2021.

#OurHouseToYourHouse, Royal Opera House

La Fille mal gardée, Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House continues its virtual streaming programme this year with a range of live streamed and on demand performances to get stuck into. Next up in the live streamed series is Kenneth MacMillan’s showstopping Ragtime ensemble-piece Elite Syncopations on Friday 12 March at 7pm. In the on demand archive, meanwhile, find titles such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Royal Ballet (2017) and Andrea Chénier, The Royal Opera (2015).

Swan Lake Bath Ballet

Swan Lake Bath Ballet

Ryan Capstick, Courtesy of the BBC

While stages are off limits, ballet dancers have taken to performing elsewhere – including in the bath. Corey Baker Dance’s new short film entitled Swan Lake Bath Ballet sees 27 world-class ballet dancers from around the world performing a modern-day Swan Lake from their own home filled bathtubs. Baker – a choreographer in residence at the Royal New Zealand Ballet – put the whole thing together remotely, with dancers filming their performances on their phones. The film was created as part of BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine programme, a virtual outlet created during lockdown. Watch on BBC iPlayer

Soho Theatre on Demand

From a vibrant concert courtesy of Grammy nominated trio The Tiger Lillies to an uproarious comedy show from Irish drag queen Panti, the Soho Theatre’s expansive collection of virtual shows guaranteed hours of enthralling entertainment.

Featured image: The Royal Opera House


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