All the streaming theatre shows to watch from London and beyond
West End theatres have been closed for the best part of a year. Although audiences can’t flock to London to enjoy the latest theatre openings, theatre streams have now become more popular than ever. Theatregoers are now making their own West End experiences from home with the wide selection of shows available, and we’ve got you covered for the theatre shows to watch indoors.
Here’s a list of all the London shows and regional productions that are streaming online now. For this list, we’ve included all streaming productions that are premiering online, listed in alphabetical order.
Where can I stream theatre shows?
Prior to when theatres closed in March, there were limited services available, purely dedicated to streaming West End and Broadway shows. Now, there’s a plethora of streaming websites, collectively housing thousands of options out there for audience members of all age. Here’s just a few theatre streaming recommendations.
- National Theatre at Home: Throughout 2020, the National Theatre had millions of viewers glued to their computer screens, watching acclaimed productions from recent years. In December 2020, the National Theatre then launched National Theatre at Home, a dedicated service to NT Live shows. So far, there’s over a dozen shows, including Amadeus, Medea, and Yerma.
- Globe Player: Sadly, we can’t visit Shakespeare’s Globe right now. However, audiences can still get the best of the Bard thanks to Globe Player. As well as streaming Shakespeare plays, there’s interviews with British actors like Judi Dench and Tom Hiddleston to whet your appetitie.
- Netflix: Yes, the worldwide streaming service has enough theatre content to get you through a million lockdowns (hopefully that’s not the case). New releases drop monthly too, with recent films including Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and The Prom.
When can I stream theatre shows?
It’s important to note that all productions have different ways in which you can watch them. Here’s some handy tips to make sure you understand the key differences between “streamed theatre” and “livestreams”.
- A livestreamed theatre production is a performance that is taking place live when you are watching. Livestreamed theatre typically takes place at a specific time, where audiences can book a time slot, instead of watching on demand.
- Some productions are filmed ahead of time and are typically available to watch on demand when released, making them a piece of streamed theatre. In the time that production is available, audiences can press play whenever they wish, instead of being limited to specific showtimes.
- Some theatre streams have a specific time which you have to watch by, in order to see the full production. If you’re wanting to watch a show on its final day, you’ll need to make sure you start tuning in a couple of hours before the posted end time, so you watch the entire show.
- If watching on a service like BroadwayHD or National Theatre at Home, you can decide whether to rent a specific show for a few days at a time, or be able to stream the production unlimited times.
Can I watch theatre on television?
Yes! Although viewers are restricted to watching theatre performances at specific times, there’s lots of opportunities to enjoy the best of British theatre throughout the week.
As part of the BBC’s commitment to broadcasting educational content, Royal Shakespeare Company productions are taking front and centre. On 9 February, audiences can see the 2018 production of Romeo and Juliet, filmed at the Barbican. There’s also a BBC musical theatre celebration filmed at the London Palladium, as well as documentaries on theatre stalwarts like Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh.
Sky Arts have also made all programmes free to view for all audiences, sharing theatre for everyone. As part of their broadcasting schedule, there’s regular repeats of shows including Les Miserables, The Sound of Music and Jesus Christ Superstar, as well as the upcoming National Theatre Romeo and Juliet film.
London streaming theatre shows available to watch
Over the past year, the Theatre Support Fund+ has raised over £500,000, supporting theatre charities nationwide. Now, over a dozen shows will be represented in The Show Must Go On! at the Palace Theatre, and you can watch the show live. The final performance on 6 June will be livestreamed, then made available to watch for one week. Read more here.
Available from 6 - 13 June.
Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray has been a popular muse for creators during the pandemic. Now, Dorian Gray is the lead character of Dorian, a new rock musical premiering virtually. Bart Lambert will lead the cast as Dorian Gray in a biographical production, with influences from David Bowie to Bertolt Brecht.
Available from 16 July - 12 August.
Closer Than Ever
A new revival of musical revue Closer Than Ever will premiere virtually this autumn. Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire's piece explores how individuals fall in love with one another, and the different steps that love takes. Casting includes Kerry Lee, Dalton Harris, Lee Mead and Grace Mouat, with streaming dates to be confirmed.
Available this autumn.
Regional streaming theatre shows available to watch
Peter Barnes’s monologues delve into the mundane lives of individuals up and down the country. After a 40 year gap, Barnes’ People will be revived for 2021, starring a quartet of British acting veterans.
Available from 18 February - 31 July.
A Splinter of Ice
As a young man living in the 1950s, Graham Greene worked for MI6. Thirty years later, amidst the Cold War, Graham reunites with his MI6 boss, Kim Philby in the Soviet Union. Catching up, Graham and Kim wonder if they've betrayed each other. Oliver Ford Davies, Stephen Boxer and Kim Greene star in this political drama, which will be released online and then go on tour nationally. An in-person national tour of A Splinter of Ice will begin from 8 June.
Available from 15 April - 31 July.
A Cold Supper Behind Harrods
Originally presented in 2012, David Jason, Stephanie Cole and Anton Lesser stage in the audio play revival of A Cold Supper Behind Harrods. Set 50 years after the end of World War Two, a trio of Special Ops agents record interviews for a television documentary.
Available on 11 June.
The Three Musketeers
As well as starring in Anything Goes this summer, stage veteran Robert Lindsay will appear in a new adaptation of The Three Musketeers. Expect sword fights and romances in this 17th-century inspired adaptation, combining audio, animation and drama. Further casting include Only Fools and Horses: The Musical's Dianne Pilkington and & Juliet's David Bedella.
Available from 15 - 27 June.
Going The Distance
Inspired by the heroic efforts of theatre groups up and down the country, Henry Filloux-Bennett and Yasmeen Khan's world premiere is celebratory theatre at its finest. Not much is known about the world premiere, but press material states: "Get ready for a brand new comedy about a little theatre with a huge challenge."
Available from 4 - 17 October.