The best theatre & dance shows to watch online

The Royal Ballet's 'Anastasia'
The Royal Ballet's 'Anastasia'
14 Apr 2020

It's still possible for performing arts buffs to get their fix of top-notch theatre and dance, as so many organisations are stepping up and offering streams of some of the best shows around the world. We’ve rounded up six performances that you can watch online. With musicals, comedy, plays and more on the bill, and no queue for the loo, your sofa will be the best seat in the house.

We'll update this page with new performances every week.

'The Winter's Tale'

'The Winter's Tale' at Shakespeare’s Globe

You can enjoy the magic of Shakespeare’s Wooden O from your sofa. The Globe is broadcasting a free selection of the Bard’s much-loved plays on YouTube every fortnight, including the 2018 production of "The Winter's Tale", a play which shows Shakesepare "at his most sad, his most human and his most joyful" (What's On Stage). Other performances to look forward to in the coming weeks include "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "The Merry Wives of Windsor".

 

Gillian Anderson in 'A Streetcar Named Desire'

National Theatre

Thanks to its long-running NT Live programme, the National Theatre has the largest archive of cinema-quality recordings of any theatre in the world, and is streaming past performances from the vaults for free on its YouTube channel. You can currently watch Gillian Anderson's "shatteringly powerful" (The Independent) performance in the 2014 production of "A Streetcar Named Desire". The National Theatre at Home programme will also feature bonus content including cast and creative Q&As and post-stream talks. 
'The Sound of Music'
'The Sound of Music'

Following the success of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical streams, Universal has confirmed that productions will continue to be released weekly via YouTube channel, “The Shows Must Go On!”. From 22 May, you 48 hours to enjoy "The Sound of Music". The production, which was first aired live as a television special in 2013 on NBC, stars Carrie Underwood, Audra McDonald and Stephen Moyer. If that’s not enough to quench your musical-theatre thirst, there’ll also be behind-the-scenes footage available to stream. It’s completely free – although there is an option to donate to a charity.

 

Phoebe Waller-Bridge in 'Fleabag Live'

'Fleabag Live'

"Fleabag Live" was one of 2019’s hottest shows, swiftly selling out in both London and New York. If you missed out on tickets, now is your chance to finally watch the award-winning performance -- and support charitable causes while you’re at it. Download a 48-hour stream for £4 from Soho Theatre On Demand. All proceeds will go to help health workers and theatre freelancers.

 

Cirque du Soleil's 'Alegría'

Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil brings all the fun of the fair to your living room with their new content hub, which showcases awe-inspiring moments from some of their top shows. The 60-minute spectacles are available alongside fitness videos, performance tutorials and behind-the-scenes footage.

 

'Cendrillon'

The Royal Opera House

It’s a case of the show must go online at the Royal Opera House, which will be broadcasting a different opera or ballet production on its YouTube channel every week. You can currently watch the 2011 production "Cendrillon", which was called a "charming and entertaining" new take on the story of "Cinderella" in a 4-star review in The Daily Telegraph. The channel is completely free to watch so you can satisfy your cultural cravings without spending a thing -- although you can support the Royal Opera House by donating here

 

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