We all know that January can feel like a lifetime. The first 31 days of the year may not be packed with action, but with the days eking out more light, online theatre in February is still continuing to happen full steam ahead. From filmed productions, televised offerings and even world premieres, here are our top theatre picks of what to watch this month.
Get ready for Peter Polycarpou and Sally Ann Triplett to wow with this stunning song cycle. Written by Polycarpou, the two-person revue tells the story of a songbook found in an antique shop. As the pages are flicked through, old refrains from times gone by are revived in beautiful harmony. Packed with the music of Irving Berlin and Charlie Chaplin, this stunning production is a must-watch for February 2021.
Samuel Bailey’s award-winning play was due for a West End premiere at Trafalgar Studios in 2020. Unfortunately, the production was cancelled, but audiences can enjoy the gritty drama virtually, as a performance has been filmed. Three male youth offenders prepare for fatherhood while locked up, each coming to their own conclusions about how prison will shape their future lives. After a world premiere at Southwark Playhouse, Shook will now be available to stream globally throughout February 2021.
Even though we can’t visit the West End like normal, the BBC are bringing the West End to us. For one night only, stars from stage and screen will sing iconic musical theatre tracks in a concert, filmed at the London Palladium. Some of the names taking part include Nicole Scherzinger, Sheridan Smith, Michael Ball and Elaine Paige. We’ll be watching, and probably sobbing at the same time as we look forward to the West End reopening once more.
Back before theatres shut (for the second time), West End actors came together at the Phoenix Arts Club for a series of one-off concerts. Spreading joy once more, two concerts are now available to stream online. Firstly, Waitress stars Lucie Jones and David Hunter sing and chat together, with Dear Evan Hansen cast members Nicole Raquel Dennis and Sam Tutty coming together on stage.
But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? Except there’s no light breaking through the window for this production of Romeo and Juliet, as all actors were filmed remotely. Dear Evan Hansen’s Sam Tutty stars as Romeo in this cutting-edge adaptation, partnered with Emily Redpath as the teenage lovers. Derek Jacobi narrates the production, and it’s worth watching just to see how different footage is fused together. The production will be able to watch for a fortnight in February, so make sure this is part of your February viewing.
After her acclaimed performance in Fleabag, Sian Clifford returns to theatre in the world premiere of Lorien Haynes’ Good Grief. Not much is known about this two person play until we can see it for ourselves, but this quintessentially British romcom will tackle the emotional states of love and grief head on. Nikesh Patel joins Clifford, and it’s available to watch for two months.
The Olivier Award-winning actress Janie Dee takes to the stage once more, this time giving a solo performance in Terrence Rattigan’s All On Her Own. First broadcast as a television play in the 1960s, Dee will play Rosemary, a woman who suddenly decides to share their terrifying situation in central London. Available for just one week, make sure you put All On Her Own on your must-watch list.
The world premiere of Lolita Chakrabati's latest play will be presented as a livestream in February 2021. Adrian Lester and Danny Sapani will star in the two-person production, following two males who discover how to become a better father and son. There'll only be five performances of Hymn, so be sure to catch this groundbreaking production.
Powerful dramatic monologues often form some of the greatest pieces of drama. Thankfully, a quartet of West End stars will revive Peter Barnes’ acclaimed monologues in an upcoming online series. From impressionist Jon Culshaw to actor Adrian Scarborough currently in Leopoldstadt, these monologues will have you delving into the minds of perturbed individuals.
If we could cast a magic spell over London’s theatres, we’d open them all in an instant. Sadly, we don’t possess those powers, but the world premiere of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is sure to conjure up some magic. Based on Goethe’s poem of the same name, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice sees a sorcerer and his daughter rescue their Scandinavian village. The production was due to be staged at Southwark Playhouse, but will receive its world premiere online instead.