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Musicals and plays you can rent or buy for less than a fiver

Theatres might be closed – but there's still a chance of having a stagey night in!

Jon Jon Briones as The Engineer
© Matthew Murphy

Theatres might be closed, but while we wait for their exciting return there are other ways to get a theatre fix. Here we round-up 20 epic stage shows or musicals you can rent for a fiver. While nothing beats the chance to watch shows live, a professionally shot, high-quality film is a fantastic way to fill a quiet evening! Furthermore, spending a small amount can help support the industry, even while everything is locked down.

Miss Saigon

Eva Noblezada in Miss Saigon
© Matthew Murphy

The cinema screening of Miss Saigon's 25th anniversary performance broke UK cinema box office records when it was first released – it's a pretty epic production with some rising stars. Watch it here.

Shrek the Musical

Anyone would be a be believer after a dose of Shrek goodness, and if you want the Broadway production rather than the film, then it's all available online with a cast including Sutton Foster. Watch it here.

National Theatre's 50th anniversary special

The gala performance from the National saw some of the best actors of a generation come together to celebrate all things NT. The recording also features a documentary about the incredible building. Watch it here.


Imelda Staunton in Gypsy
© Johan Persson

Imelda Staunton is about to play The Queen in The Crown, but she's been reigning supreme over theatreland for years. The Chichester production of hit musical Gypsy, which then transferred to the West End, has been immortalised in this movie. Watch it here.


One of the most emotionally charged and pertinent musicals of the last 50 years, you can see where Jonathan Larson's piece began by buying the recording of the Broadway production. Watch it here.


© Really Useful Group

While the reception to the film was less peachy than the stage show, the West End production was captured in glorious technicolour in 1998 with Elaine Paige taking on the role of Grizabella. Watch it here.


Stephen Schwartz and Roger Hirson's musical can spread a little sunshine – following a troupe of travelling players that is inspired somehow by European kings from the middle ages. It's got a brilliant score – watch it here.

Billy Elliot

Ruthie Henshall gives a towering performance in this production of the iconic musical, recorded on-stage at the Victoria Palace Theatre. Watch it here.

The Phantom of the Opera

The cast of The Phantom of the Opera
© Really Useful Group

The grand 25th-anniversary production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical stars Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess, and sees the Royal Albert Hall transformed with magnificent splendour. Watch it here.

Jesus Christ Superstar

Tim Minchin, Ben Forster and Mel C star in this arena-sized epic version of the show, which is based on the life and demise of the Messiah. You rarely see theatre on this scale. Watch it here.

Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake

The award-winning director and choreographer's version of Swan Lake has wowed audiences over the years, and now it can repeat the trick in your own home. Watch it here.

Shakespeare's Globe

The Globe has been an absolute treasure trove of novel, gripping and fantastic productions of Shakespeare's plays, and its in-house Globe Player is a great way to step back in time. Some shows can be rented for less than a fiver – check them out here.

Love Never Dies

The updated Australian production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel to The Phantom of the Opera is lavishly presented on screens, with Anna O'Byrne and Ben Lewis leading the cast. Watch it here.


Before The Greatest Showman the life of P T Barnum was already the subject of smash-hit musical Barnum. You'll be humming this one all week long. Watch it here.

The Railway Children

There was always something satisfying about seeing Edith Nesbit's classic book brought to life next to King's Cross station, so if you want a wholesome treat for the family, this is a great choice. Watch it here.


Maxine Peake as Hamlet
© Jonathan Keenan

Maxine Peake is a brilliant performer and her collaborations with the Royal Exchange in Manchester have created some of the most seminal productions of the last two decades. We're so thankful that it has been preserved. Watch it here.