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!
We're going to be updating this list as the days go on, so do let us know if you spot any more on [email protected]. We're going to be doing round-ups for shows available on streaming services in the coming days! Please also if you can, donate to the various theatre charities out there – find out more here.
Chichester Festival Theatre
The venue will begin streaming archived shows from Thursday, including the award-winning Flowers for Mrs Harris. The show will be available here.
Experts in transforming screens, scenes and spaces into cinematic feasts, the award-winning company are putting two of their shows online for free. You can watch them both here.
Mercury Theatre's Cinderella
The Colchester Theatre is streaming its production of Cinderella for free to give audiences a piece of panto fun! A great way to keep kids of all ages entertained while lockdowns continue. You can 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.
Andrew Lloyd Webber's musicals
The Lord himself is getting in on the free streaming act – every Friday he'll be presenting a brand new show for free on YouTube. The series kicks off with Joseph with further shows to include Jesus Christ Superstar and By Jeeves. Find out more here.
The Importance of Being Earnest
The hit Curve Leicester and Birmingham Rep production is being made available for a week! Find out more here about dates and show info.
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.
Told By An Idiot
The incredible company is putting up a new show every week to keep audiences entertained. They're beginning with the smash-hit My Perfect Mind, which ran twice at the Young Vic and toured the UK.
One Man, Two Guvnors
The Wooster Group's Three Sisters
The iconic company is presenting a new show every week, with this week's being its classic version of Three Sisters. This is mature though – you have been warned!
It's True, It's True, It's True
The Breach theatre and Artemisia Films production aired on BBC Four after being filmed on location in a former chapel. Based on transcripts taken from the 1612 trial of Italian artist Agostino Tassi, who was accused of raping fellow painter Artemisia Gentileschi while he was tutoring her at her father's house, the show will now be free to stream online for 30 days from 31 March on the company's YouTube.
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.
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!
Three shows – Mike Bartlett's Wild (2016), Beth Steel's Wonderland (2014) and Howard Brenton's Drawing the Line (2013) will be made available on both the venue's website and The Guardian website over three consecutive weeks – all for free! You can find out more here about the #HampsteadTheatreAtHome.
Pentabus Theatre company
Pentabus Theatre company will release its archive of plays on a regular basis, and they'll be available for the next three months. Shows include Here I Belong by Matt Hartley on Friday 27 March with other shows to follow including Crossings by Deirdre Kinahan and ''Each Slow Dusk by Rory Mullarkey.
Maya Arad Yasur's prize-winning play will be available via the Orange Tree website, for a limited time. The piece is a co-production with Actors Touring Company and Theatre Royal Plymouth and follows a nine months pregnant violinist living in a canal-side apartment who finds an unpaid gas bill.
The Barn's hit production with Aaron Sidwell and Lauren Samuels will go 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].
The National Theatre at Home
The National just unveiled a brand new scheme to beam its NTLive shows onto the web – and all through YouTube! It kicks off next Thursday with One Man, Two Guvnors. Find out more.
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.
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.
Greenwich Theatre has a slab of great content coming from this Friday under the "Greenwich Connects" umbrella. Every week they'll present a new performance from their back-catalogue, including warmly received revivals of School for Scandal and The Duchess of Malfi.
Sadler's Wells has just 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 going live this week – live readings of Shakespeare's works provided by top-notch actors who would otherwise be twiddling their thumbs. The pieces will kick off tomorrow with Two Gentlemen in Verona.
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.
The Wind in the Willows
A West End production, available for free! (though you can also make a donation to theatre charities as a nice good cause), this is a cracking idea and well worth checking out if you need an evening filled. Find out more.
League of Gentlemen Live
This one is on iPlayer for another couple of weeks – great for anyone wanting to tickle their funny bone and featuring the stylings of Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith and 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.
Since U Been Gone
Teddy Lamb's hit five-star fringe show will be available for a week thanks to the power of YouTube – give it a watch above.
The long-running satirical stage veterans will be sadly closing their doors, but the show will go on as the team head online to present their comedy mockery of current circumstances. A nice little pick-me-up.
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 same company as Five Soldiers has released another show – filmed at the Southbank Centre.
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!).
The Stay at Home Comedy Festival
Featuring Mark Gatiss, Josie Long, Jo Brand, Sara Pascoe and more, this new initiative to bring comedy to the living room might well take off and provide us all with a good laugh. It's set to begin demoing on the 19 March, and features shows that were set to be performing at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. Payment is optional, and all to help artists.
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.
Wise Children and 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. So far, confirmed we have Emma Rice's Wise Children, the Almeida Theatre's production of Albion and productions filmed at The Space. Plus some newly commissioned plays created especially for broadcast. 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.
Royal Opera House
The following productions will be offered on demand and for free via the ROH's Facebook and YouTube channels:
Peter and the Wolf, The Royal Ballet, 2010 – 27 March 2020, 7pm GMT
Acis and Galatea, The Royal Opera, 2009 – 3 April 2020, 7pm BST
Così fan tutte, The Royal Opera, 2010 – 10 April 2020, 7pm BST
The Metamorphosis, The Royal Ballet, 2013 – 17 April 2020, 7pm BST
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 will be released on Friday 20 March at 7pm on Facebook and we imagine it will go down a storm! Who's gonna watch it with us?
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 theatremaker has been creating exciting and thought-provoking work and putting it on his YouTube channel for years – the latest video went up earlier this week, the 2013 show How To Occupy An Oil Rig. Bye has also launched a Patreon page if anyone wants to contribute.
Open Clasp Theatre Company's award-winning prison drama Key Change is coming online for free! The show was created with women serving at HMP Low Newton, County Durham and went to Edinburgh Fringe in 2015 with Northern Stage before playing across the pond to New York and in the Houses of Parliament! The show will stream on the Open Clasp website on 20 March, 1pm.
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.
BalletBoyz' new dance show Deluxe, which was due to open at London Sadler's Wells, will instead be made available online for free later this month.
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.