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How to watch the best of British theatre from your living room

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

It's been a long time since we've felt the excitement of spending a night at the theatre. From the orchestra tuning their instruments, stars singing in the spotlight and the final curtain call, there's nothing quite like watching a mesmerising performance on stage. But, even with theatres shut for the foreseeable future, there's still plenty of opportunity to satisfy your craving for plays, musicals and even more entertainment.

We'll be keeping this page updated with the latest ways to stay in touch with the best of British theatre, podcasts and series. There's guaranteed to be at least something that you've never seen before, so make it an occasion to grab front-row seats to the opening and closing night of a production in your living room.

We hope this is a quick fix, and a temporary solution before we can all experience the rush of seeing a live performance. But for now, here's the ways we'll be watching all the newest shows.


The Goes Wrong Show

The Olivier Award-winning theatre company Mischief Theatre are back on our screens with a new series of The Goes Wrong Show. Inspired by their hijinks in The Play That Goes Wrong, audiences can tune in to see the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society try to make things go right in their own way. The Goes Wrong Show is on BBC One at 8:30pm from 27 September.

Sky Arts

The broadcaster has now made their arts channel free to watch without a subscription. Upcoming shows include Beat the Devilseen at the Bridge Theatre starring Ralph Fiennes. The National Theatre's final part in the Death of England trilogy, starring Giles Terera, will also be available to watch on 25 November, as well as a cut version of The Invisible Hand.

Following J'Ouvert on BBC, the other two plays in the Re:Emerge West End season will be seen on television. Walden starring Gemma Arterton and Anna X starring Emma Corrin are available to view in December.

National Theatre at Home

National Theatre at Home is available as its own streaming service, with more information here. But in March 2020, the National Theatre announced the launch of a new initiative. Titled 'National Theatre at Home', audiences around the world could stream NT Live productions for free via YouTube, and students and teachers had access to the National Theatre Collection at home, delivered in partnership with Bloomsbury Publishing. Every Thursday, a different production was screened as part of National Theatre Live that was available to watch online for one week via the NT's Youtube channel. Although the initiative has ended, here's a list of all the shows that were screened. 

One Man, Two Guvnors (2011), starring James Corden
Jane Eyre (2017)
Treasure Island (2014)
Twelfth Night (2017), starring Tamsin Greig
Frankenstein (2011), starring Benedict Cumberbatch
Antony and Cleopatra (2018), starring Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo
Barber Shop Chronicles (2017)
A Streetcar Named Desire (2014), starring Gillian Anderson
This House (2013)
Coriolanus (2013), starring Tom Hiddleston
The Madness of George III (2018), starring Mark Gatiss
Small Island 
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Les Blancs

The Deep Blue Sea
Amadeus

Find out more here.

Article Updated: 13 September 2021

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