Stage shows, musicals and opera you can watch online now for free
We're updating this list daily with all the latest shows you can stream!
Theatres may be closed, but you can always get a stagey fix online. We round-up a series of shows you can watch right now – operas, musicals and more! If you can – please do try and help out theatres across the UK – we've got some tips here.
Last update: 28 May
Lincoln Center musicals
The venue will be streaming a variety of free productions over the coming months including the Kelli O'Hara-led Carousel. Find out more.
Bristol Old Vic
Three Bristol Old Vic shows are free to watch online across June, including the hit musical The Grinning Man which went on to transfer to the West End. Find out more here.
The Winter's Tale
Under the Umbrella
Amy Ng's insightful and pertinent play, which debuted at the Belgrade Theatre last year in association with Yellow Earth Theatre and Tamasha, will be presented on the venue's YouTube channel from 22 to 29 May.
A Streetcar Named Desire with Gillian Anderson
Reasons to be Cheerful
The tearjerker musical created by Graeae (trust us, it's absolutely cracking) will be available from June to August. Find out more.
The Old Vic
From June, the venue will be streaming archived shows online! They're kicking off with Sally Cookson's brilliant A Monster Calls. Find out more here.
The Andrew Scott-led solo show is being streamed for free.
Shakespeare's Globe's 90-minute Macbeth
The venue's 2020 one-act version of Macbeth has been streamed on YouTube. Check it out above.
The venue has just announced more free shows taking us into June – including Hiddleston's Coriolanus and This House. Find out more here.
The west London venue has put two of its critically acclaimed archived shows online until 30 June. If you want to watch some of the best Off-West End theatre in recent years, these are the shows for you. Find out more here.
Manchester International Festival
The festival is putting full shows, musical performances, talks, Q&As and more online for free. Check out the YouTube channel here.
Leonard Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti
Opera North is streaming its production of the hit Bernstein opera for a full month on its YouTube channel.
Shakespeare's Globe's Richard II
Adjoa Andoh and Lynette Linton's stellar production of Shakespeare's history play marked the first all-women of colour Shakespeare production on a UK stage. You can watch it above.
Alan Seymour's The One Day of the Year
Australian and New Zealand actors including Mark Little, Kerry Fox, Daniel Monks, Paul Haley and Celeste Dodwell bring the hit play to life, all via remote performance. It's available until 31 May.
Cirque du Soleil
Though live circus might be unavailable, the iconic troupe Cirque du Soleil is regularly putting hour-long free shows on its YouTube channel to keep audiences sated.
Everything Is Possible: The York Suffragettes
York Theatre Royal and Pilot Theatre's 2017 production about the history of the suffragette movement in the north will premiere on 6 May 2020.
BBC's Performance Live
Featuring Hofesth Shechter, Tourreshero, Akala, Kate Tempest and more, the BBC is offering a raft of free theatre for UK users.
Royal Opera House
The iconic company is putting archived shows online for free, and you can see more here.
Chichester Festival Theatre
The venue has begun streaming archived shows including the musical version of David Walliams' The Midnight Gang. These shows will be available for a month.
The Mischief gang may have had to pack up their live shows but the online merriment and mishaps continue! You can watch the full The Goes Wrong series on iPlayer.
The hit-making south London theatre has released three archived productions on its site, including the rock musical Wasted which is very much worth a watch. Find out more.
The venue will release 40 (yep, you read that right, 40) free titles over the next month, with six mainstage shows accompanied by 34 that were created as part of the venue's epic "Globe to Globe" series of international performances. A proper treat! Find out more here. The theatre has also released two shows on BBC iPlayer.
RSC on the BBC
The BBC has announced further shows it'll be broadcasting – six RSC shows (which will then be on iPlayer) as well as BAC's five-star Frankenstein – which might well be one of our favourite shows in recent memory. Find out more. Update: The series of shows will be on BBC iPlayer from 23 April.
The famed music maker is going live every day from his very own shed! Each day has a different theme – Mondays it's Musicals, Wednesday is mash-ups and Friday is children's requests. You can watch along here.
Now this is a bit of a biggy – Mind the Gap, Walk the Plank and Emergency Exit Arts' epic 2019 show is heading online from Sunday 19 April at 8pm. Featuring 100 performers and a giant baby bigger than a double-decker bus, the piece is available here.
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.
Mushy: Lyrically Speaking
The hit production about living with a speech impediment is available online! Watch it here.
What the Butler Saw
Curve Leicester and Theatre Royal Bath's 2017 production of Joe Orton's hit play will be streamed online from 19 April. The cast features Rufus Hound, Dakota Blue Richards, Catherine Russell, Jack Holden, Jasper Britton and Ravi Aujla. It is lewd, bloody and brilliant. The venue's productions of The Importance of Being Earnest and Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual are also available.
Emma Rice's smash-hit show will be available on BBC iPlayer for three months from Easter weekend. That's something worth celebrating!
Battersea Arts Centre and BBC Arts
To coincide with releasing a whole wad of "Performance Live" shows for free on iPlayer (including the National production of Love), BBC Arts and Battersea Arts Centre have partnered to present The Way Out, a single-take film featuring Omid Djalili. Find out more here.
Only the Brave
Only the Brave, the hit musical starring Caroline Sheen and David Thaxton, is available for free online. The show, filmed by AdVision TV in 2016, tells the story of a group of soldiers in the run-up to the D-Day landings. It had its first run at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2008, before a full production premiered in 2016 at the Millenium Centre in Cardiff.
Getting Better Slowly
The hit show has been made available online to raise money for the GAIN charity, which helps those affected by GBS, CIDP and the associated inflammatory neuropathies. Find out more here.
Cheek By Jowl
The iconic theatre company has brought back the archive recording of its hit version of Shakespeare's problem play, which was captured live at the Barbican in 2017. It's around for a month!
The Barn's hit production with Aaron Sidwell and Lauren Samuels went live at 6pm on Friday 27 March, and will be available from the Barn's website after that.
Cyprus Avenue online
[Content Warning: Cyprus Avenue is recommended for anyone 18 . It contains strong language, discussion of sectarian themes and scenes of extreme violence that some viewers may find disturbing].
21 Chump Street
Long before Hamilton there was the speedy 21 Chump Street, starring Anthony Ramos and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Ramos himself is about to take on the leading role in the In the Heights movie, scheduled to be released this summer. The BAM performance is available to watch in its entirety above. A small nugget of gold.
Sadler's Wells has unveiled a raft of brilliant content it will be providing throughout the coming months for audiences locked down in their own homes. You can find out more here.
Missed the award-winning revival of Ghost Quartet when it ran in London last year? Well Dave Malloy has posted the full musical on YouTube – featuring himself, performed in 2015.
The Show Must Go Online
This is a cool scheme – live readings of Shakespeare's works provided by top-notch actors who would otherwise be twiddling their thumbs.
Rehearsed on Skype and filmed via Facebook, Theatre Uncut's newest show is a perfect fit for the coronavirus outbreak. Kieran Hurley's brand new play will be premiering on 23 March at 8pm and will also be released as a playtext to download, with performing rights free until 23 April. Find out more about it in the trailer above.
Free opera! Now that's a nice sentiment - the European Commission-supported OperaVision will be supplying free opportunities to watch top-tier performances filmed at the highest quality level, with new shows released weekly on top of a massive back catalogue. Find out more.
First encounter King Lear
Another lovely RSC show geared towards introducing theatre to young'uns, this time taking the tragic story of King Lear and making it more accessible and fleet. The perfect way to kick off a love of theatre.
Physical theatre pros Gecko have put a wad of their shows on YouTube for free, including The Time of Your Life, a collaboration with the BBC.
Tim Crouch is a legend at the best of times, so seeing his solo show hosted by the RSC is a great chance to watch theatre at its best. You can also watch his production of I, Malvolio here.
Girls Like That
Evan Placey's hit 2014 play heads to the virtual world. It follows a group of schoolgirls reacting as one of their peers has naked photos of themselves leaked online – a pertinent issue for the present day, and a good way to get into a knotty play during the quiet hours.
Have you got a library card or a university login? Did you know about this amazing streaming service that can be accessed through your local institution to watch films, TV shows and live theatre performances? Did you know that it's totally free? Well you do now! Open to members participating libraries, colleges and universities, this is a great to way to catch up on some amazing shows from years gone by. Check out Kanopy and discover the participating venues here.
The critically acclaimed five-star production is a collaboration between British choreographer Rosie Kay and the British army, and gave an insight into the psychology and welfare of soldiers fighting on the front lines. It's now available to watch online above.
The Met Opera
The Met are providing dynamic, fresh content every night at the moment, diving into their back-catalogue of incredible productions to provide a new show on their website every day. You can find out more here (watch out, it's been quite oversubscribed as you might expect!).
Musical theatre pro Adam Lenson has given every musical fan their heart's desire with The Signal, a raft of shows and performances all available online for free.
Associate artists of the New Diorama and Pegasus Theatre, Clown Funeral has made three shows available online for free (head to YouTube for the others) so that's a whole wad of whimsy while you wait for the virus to subside!
Timpson the Musical
The hit Fringe production has put its best foot forward and released a full recording online! Watch it above.
Albion through the BBC
This is what we want to to brighten up our days, the BBC getting involved with "Culture in Quarantine", a new scheme to provide arts offerings in the midst of the current crisis. As soon as we have dates on all these, we'll let you know!
The theatre company has put one of its earlier works, Five Encounters on a Site Called Craigslist, online for free! The show was one of the smash hits at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017. And more than that, the company are sending the cast of its latest show The Accident Did Not Take Place to record at the Bunker Theatre. Stream it live online here on 21 March at 7.25pm.
The best advice we've heard so far comes from this Belgian theatre company, "Let's keep dancing during this coronavirus crisis!" And to help us do that, they company have put their first trilogy – the film of Le Jardin and live performances of Le Salon and Le Sous Sol – online for free until the end of the outbreak. Check them out here!
Playwright Emily Jenkins was commissioned to write this show about cyber bullying by the Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass charity. It was first performed live in 2017 and then live recorded for Anti-Bullying Week. A great show about the negative experiences young people can face online – and it's available for free!
We are more than a little bit excited that the London production of this musical will stream online to raise money for Acting for Others. A full archive-footage recording of the show was released on Friday 20 March on Facebook.
This award-winning group of female comedy musical improvisers are going online and live! The Notflix team will perform three shows on Facebook Live, with the first scheduled for 29 March at 7pm. The show will take audience suggestions of a favourite film from Facebook comments or on Twitter and will create a brand new show based on the best suggestion, together with a live band and entirely new songs.
The Space have teamed up with VR storytelling studio Relative Motion to bring the world's first made-for VR opera online! Don't believe us? Check out the Youtube clip above, showing 15 minutes of Tosca VR.
Theatre company Third Angel has been going since 1995, with work that spans theatre, filom, video and documentary. So it's no surprise that they a whole webpage full of free work to watch and enjoy! We chose their 2012 production of What I Heard About The World, a co-production with mala voadora, Sheffield Theatres and Teatro Maria Matos.
This apocalyptic comedy came to the Old Vic Tunnels in 2013 and the theatre company has made it available to watch for free on YouTube in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Depraved Appetite of Tarrare the Freak
The Bristol-based puppetry and theatre company have shared their show The Depraved Appetite of Tarrare the Freak online, a chamber opera that charts the story of a sideshow freak in 18th-century Pariswho serves as a spy for the French Revolutionary Army.
Myth: The Rise and Fall of Orpheus
This show has had a number of incarnations in its journey to date. Directed by Arlene Phillips, Sam Cassidy's musical started life at the Cockpit Theatre in 2016 as 27 and starred Greg Oliver, Ryan Molloy, Jodie Jacobs, Maisie Bawden, Eloise Davies and more. It morphed into its current form and ran at The Other Palace in 2018, with cast members including Zoe Birkett (The Bodyguard), Jaymi Hensley (Union J) and Jodie Steele (Heathers). Watch for free now to discover a modern retelling of the ancient Greek story of Orpheus and the underworld.
Where Do We Go Next?
With the Bunker Theatre now closed before it was able to finish its final takeover season, the last week of programming has moved online. Where Do We Go Next? is curated by Caitriona Shoobridge and will feature six new short films from underrepresented writers interrogating the importance of diverse, political theatre in an increasingly hostile environment. Hangman by Abraham Adeyemi, F*cked by Adam Hughes, Keys by Matilda Ibini, Same Again by Charley Miles, "May I, Speak-er?" by Nessah Muthy and The Feevs by Kat Woods will be streamed, with full details of where and when to be announced.