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Shakespeare plays to watch online to mark his birthday

How to mark Shakespeare's birthday from home!

Oliver Chris
© Marc Brenner

Happy birthday Shakespeare! Here's how you can watch his work and celebrate from home.



National Theatre's Twelfth Night

The gender-switching production of Shakespeare's classic farce, starring Tamsin Greig, Phoebe Fox and Oliver Chris, is the kind of comedic caper we all need as a pick-me-up. An audio described version is also available.

Where can you find it? On YouTube, or above from 7pm.


Globe's Romeo and Juliet

The Globe has been dropping new shows on YouTube every other week – this time around it's Shakespeare's iconic Romeo and Juliet starring two up-and-coming stars, Ellie Kendrick and Adetomiwa Edun.

Where can you find it? On YouTube, or above.


RSC and Shakespeare's Globe on BBC iPlayer

Well iPlayer is any Shakespeare lover's best friend. EIGHT productions have dropped on the site today – six from the RSC and two star-studded productions from the Globe. All are worth checking out.

Where can you find it? On BBC iPlayer


RSC on Marquee TV

David Tennant and the cast of Richard II
© RSC, photo by Keith Pattison

The RSC have released a whole load of shows on Marquee.TV including the David Tennant-led Richard II and Twelfth Night with Kara Tointon.

Where can you find it? Head to the Marquee TV website.


Ian McKellen and Judi Dench in Macbeth

The RSC production was safely captured and saved for future generations, and it might well be the definitive performance of the Scottish play. McKellen and Dench provide an intimate, sweaty, messy vision of the two tormented regicidal plotters.

Where can you find it? BroadwayHD, which is offering week-long free trials.


The King

Netflix's cinematic reimaging of the Henry IVs and Henry V may be a bit divisive, but Timothée Chalamet playing Hal is worth a look anyway.

Where can you find it? On Netflix.


10 Things I Hate About You

Fine fine, it isn't Shakespeare, but it is based on The Taming of the Shrew. Plus Heath Ledger is brilliant in it.

Where can you find it? Disney Plus


Amazon Prime – Macbeth, King Lear, Richard II, Much Ado About Nothing and more

We did a round-up of all the Amazon Prime Video shows available already, featuring vintage productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Richard II with Fiona Shaw and more. Take a look.

Where can you find it? Amazon Prime


Deafinitely Theatre's Love Labour's Lost

The award-winning company plans to release three shows over the next three months. Presented in both British Sign Language and Spoken English, the productions will be available on the company's YouTube channel here. Find out more here.

Where can you find it? On YouTube, or above.


Cheek By Jowl's The Winter's Tale

No one does Shakespeare like Cheek By Jowl, so this production is extra special.

Where can you find it? On YouTube, or above.


Henry V

The Barn's hit production with Aaron Sidwell and Lauren Samuels went live at 6pm on Friday 27 March, and is a modern twist on the wartime play.

Where can you find it? On The Barn's website here


RSC's First Encounter

Want to entertain the young'uns? Try this version of Shakespeare, making it accessible for audiences of all ages.

Where can you find it? On YouTube, or above.


The Lion King

Sigh. We sort of had to didn't we. It's got so many great tunes and wholesome fun. Plus there're now two versions of it.

Where can you find it? Disney Plus


Donmar's Shakespeare Trilogy

Perhaps one of the most seismic stagings of Shakespeare's work in recent memory, the Donmar's trilogy has an ensemble cast of brilliant performers including Sheila Atim, Jade Anouka and Harriet Walter. It really is excellent.

Where can you find it? BroadwayHD and Marquee.TV , which are offering week-long free trials.


Orlando Bloom in Romeo and Juliet

Orlando Bloom gets his Bard on in this production of the romantic tragedy, which was staged on Broadway in 2013.

Where can you find it? BroadwayHD, which is offering week-long free trials.


A Midsummer Night's Dream on iPlayer

We thought we'd return to BBC iPlayer because it has even more Shakespeare goodness. The first is Russell T Davies' version of Shakespeare's magical classic with all manners of stars involved. The comedy film Bill, created by the Horrible Histories team, is fantastic. You can also try all episodes of the David Mitchell-led Upstart Crow, which had its stage adaptation run cut short by the coronavirus.

Where can you find it? BBC iPlayer

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