What to stream in April

Five theatres streaming productions to watch at home for free in April

Will Longman
Will Longman

Usually, at the beginning of each month, we enjoy bringing you ten theatre shows we're most looking forward to opening in London over the next weeks. Unfortunately, with theatre doors closed for the foreseeable future, we're having to adapt and make do with what we've got.

Just because theatres won't be on stage doesn't mean we shouldn't make and event of the performances on screen. With the National, Sadler's Wells and the Royal Court among some of the theatres beaming shows to our living rooms, here are some of the streams to look out for this month.

National Theatre

The National Theatre has opened up its NT Live vault of shows it has filmed and broadcast to cinemas across the world. Every Thursday evening for the next two months, the theatre will stream a show from its archives, leaving it freely available for the next seven days on YouTube.

The season starts with One Man, Two Guvnors, Richard Bean's play which made a star of James Corden, who credits the production as being a landmark moment in his career. It streams on 2nd April.

This will be followed by Sally Cookson's 2017 production of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre on 9th April, Bryony Lavery's adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island on 16th April, and Shakespeare's Twelfth Night starring Tamsin Greig on 23rd April - the celebration of the Bard's birthday.

Further productions to be streamed in the following weeks will be announced by the theatre soon.

Hampstead Theatre

In association with The Guardian, the Hampstead Theatre is streaming three of its productions in full for free. While Mike Bartlett's Albion is set for broadcast on the BBC, his earlier work Wild, directed by James Macdonald, is available until 5th April.

The second show to be made available is Beth Steel's Wonderland, directed by the theatre's previous artistic director Edward Hall. The drama looks at the clashing ideologies during the miners' strike in the mid-eighties, and is available from 6th April.

Then, to round the season off, Howard Benton's 2013 play Drawing the Line is available from Monday 13th April. Howard Davies directed this production that tells the story of the partitioning of India in 1947.

Sadler's Wells

Sadler's Wells has put together a full-length programme of dance performances and workshops to help people get their fix during lockdown. Launched on 27th March with a screening of BalletBoyz's Deluxe, the venue will use Facebook to stream a number of productions.

From 3rd April, balletLORENT will present its adaptation of Rumpelstiltskin, and future broadcasts will include a new version of Wilkie Branson's dance for camera installation TOM, which would have formed part of Sadler's Wells' Digital Edition in April.

There will also be workshops and activities for families, children and over 60s to dance along to throughout the month.

Andrew Lloyd Webber

We know he's not technically a theatre, but, the musical theatre maestro himself is getting in on the streaming act by launching the YouTube channel The Shows Must Go On. Launching with Donny Osmond's iconic appearance in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, an ALW musical will be made available for free for a limited time every Friday. Next week, on Good Friday, the arena production of Jesus Christ Superstar, which starred Tim Minchin, Ben Forster and Chris Moyles.

Royal Court

This month, the Royal Court has made its production of David Ireland's Cyprus Avenue available for free on YouTube. Starring Stephen Rea, a Belfast loyalist is in the midst of a psychotic episode, when he mistakes his five-week-old granddaughter for Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams. It's available on YouTube until 26th April.

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