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15 stage shows, musicals and more to watch on BBC iPlayer

There's a whole world of streaming choices!

The Tempest
© Marc Brenner

BBC iPlayer is a valuable resource during the lockdown and things are no different for theatre enthusiasts! Here is a range of shows worth catching, and we'll update these as the weeks go on.

You can also read our list of movie musicals to watch online here

...Sings Musicals

The BBC has released an archive of performances with famous stars singing musicals, including Ella Fitzgerald singing Mack the Knife, Captain Sensible performing a classic from South Pacific and Jay Z taking on Annie.


Victoria Hamilton in Albion
© Marc Brenner

Mike Bartlett's brilliant drama was captured during its London return run this year, with a cast including Victoria Hamilton and Daisy Edgar-Jones.


The series, led by Michael Sheen and David Tennant, follows two actors who are out of work and determined to carry on rehearsals. Their home lives and families have other ideas.

Talking Heads

Jodie Comer in "Her Big Chance"
© BBC / London Theatre Company / Zac Nicholson

A brand new filmed version of the iconic Alan Bennett series has been released in full online for your viewing pleasure! Featuring Jodie Comer, Lucian Msamati and more, there really is something for everyone in here.

Performance Live

The "Performance Live" series on BBC iPlayer may be the richest and most varied channel for boundary-pushing performance art available right now. From Hofesh Shechter to Touretteshero or Akala, if you want a creative fix this is a great place to start. It also includes Alexander Zerdin's LOVE, a rich and harrowing portrait of austerity Britain, or The Way Out, a whirligig one-shot tour around Battersea Arts Centre.

RSC productions

Paapa Essiedu as Hamlet
© RSC, photo by Manuel Harlan

A solid half-dozen star-studded RSC productions have been added to iPlayer as part of the theatre's "Culture in Quarantine" programme. Where else will you get to see the likes of Paapa Essiedu, Christopher Ecclestone, Patsy Ferran and more?

Shakespeare's Globe productions

The Globe has put two of its shows online – The Tempest with Roger Allam, Jessie Buckley and Colin Morgan, as well as Emma Rice's anarchic and joyous A Midsummer Night's Dream. Speaking of...

Top Hat (1935)

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are the go-to for musical movies and Top Hat, featuring music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, may be one of their finest.

The Sky's the Limit (1943)

Joan Leslie and Astaire star in the 1943 film which has music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by Johnny Mercer.

The Gay Divorcee (1934)

Based on Dwight Taylor's 1932 musical of the same name (but controversially leaving out a lot of Cole Porter's original tunes) this was another of the ten movies Astaire and Ginger Rogers did together.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Russel T Davies' TV version of the Bard's fantasy romance has an all-star cast bringing extra magic to the classic tale. Quite honestly we couldn't imagine anyone better to take on the play than this magical director.

Fosse / Verdon

Want to know all about the making of some of the greatest musical movies of all time? Don't miss this award-winning series starring Michelle Williams and Sam Rockwell. It might change the way you look at the stage!

Carefree (1938)

The perfect pairing of Astaire and Rogers continues with this comedy, which also features the work of Berlin. The film controversially (at the time) featured a "long on-screen kiss", which shocked audiences in their droves.

Upstart Crow

The stage version's West End run was cut short by the lockdown, but there's more than enough fun to be had on BBC iPlayer in this David Mitchell-led sitcom about Shakespeare. Think Blackadder meets Horrible Histories with extra Ben Elton fun!


The completely original series of filmed shows was recorded in lockdown by actors, directors and more, in direct response to the pandemic.


Bram Stoker's gothic romance is brought to life in this piece, recorded at Leeds Playhouse in 2019 and choreographed by David Nixon.

All the stage shows you can watch online