Wed 13 May 2020
We might not be able to go and see shows in the theatres at the moment, but there are still plenty of ways to get your culture fix while at home. A lot of theatres and companies have been making some of their content available online, and Derby LIVE has created a list of some the best things you can watch from the comfort of your own home.
Calling all musical lovers! Every Friday evening, a full length, smash hit, Andrew Lloyd Webber musical is being released on YouTube by The Shows Must Go On!. This Friday, 15 May you you are invited to the jellicle ball to watch Andrew Lloyd Webber's most famous musical, CATS! This is the sixth show to be released in the series by The Shows Must Go On, following Andrew Lloyd Webber's birthday concert from 1998, Love Never Dies, The Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.
The world also recently celebrated Stephen Sondheim's 90th birthday and brought together Broadway and film stars alike to treat us all to renditions of Sondheim's songs in the YouTube special Take Me To The World. You can still watch the special on YouTube, and see Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda singing "Giants in the Sky", Mandy Patinkin from Homeland singing outside with his dog, and Christine Baranski, Audra McDonald and Meryl Streep getting together (via Zoom) to sing "Ladies Who Lunch", plus so many more!
From Monday 20 April you can download the all-star staged concert version of Les Miserables with with proceeds from sales being donated to charity and shared between Captain Tom Moore’s NHS fund, Acting for Others, and the Musicians Union Coronavirus Hardship Fund. Starring Michael Ball, Alfie Boe, Matt Lucas, and Carrie Hope Fletcher, this concert was originally filmed for a small cinematic release, but it is now being made available for you to download and watch at home. The download is available for £9.99, with The Mackintosh Foundation – which donated an initial £100,000 sum – donating £5 for every download. It is available to download from lesmis.com/concert.
For all the Shakespeare lovers out there, The Globe are making six of their performances available for free every 14 days on their YouTube channel. Every other Monday, tune in and join hundreds of other Shakespeare lovers in watching the latest release. You can also join in with the live chats on The Globe’s Twitter, @The_Globe, or on YouTube from 6pm on release day. Romeo and Juliet (2009) is available to watch now, and also coming up is A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2013) and The Two Noble Kinsmen (2018), plus two previously unreleased titles, The Winter’s Tale (2018), and The Merry Wives of Windsor (2019). The shows remain available for 14 days after initial release, so there is plenty of opportunity to watch your favourite! If you’re interested, you can find out more information on The Globe’s website.
You can also watch a lot of RSC’s shows for free online thanks to Marquee TV. Arts lovers can now sign up for a 30-day free trial on Marquee TV and watch over 400 theatre and dance shows, including 17 RSC productions such as Antony and Cleopatra, The Merchant of Venice and The Tempest.
The 12th of May 2020 celebrates the 200th birthday of Derbyshire nurse, Florence Nightingale! To commemorate this occasion, writer George Gunby has created a great new audio play called Florence - Scenes from a Life, performed by Derbyshire born Ellie Ward. You can listen to it here until 13 August.
Derby based theatre company Oddsocks is continuing to bring entertainment to their audiences (old and new!) during the Covid-19 crisis. Each Friday evening at 7pm they will be releasing recordings of their past performances on their YouTube channel. Known for putting their own comical spin on classic tales, the inclusive story-telling of Oddsocks breaks down the barriers between communities and culture, making for some easy Friday night entertainment for all the family! Their shows are free to watch, but if you would like to make a donation to support Oddsocks, you can find out more information on how to do so on their website.
You can enjoy world-class theatre at home from National Theatre. They are streaming a show every Thursday evening at 7pm which will remain available to watch for seven days. Streaming from this evening, and available for a whole week, is Barber Shop Chronicles, available to watch on the National Theatre's YouTube channel. For more information and to find the latest YouTube link, visit the National Theatre At Home's web page.
Our friends, Sinfonia Viva, are delivering a new series of intimate performances from the homes of their musicians in 'A Little Live Music' every Wednesday at 8pm on their Facebook page. This wonderful virtuoso ensemble continue to deliver original and extraordinary musical experiences even throughout these difficult times.
Derby QUAD's Cinema Programmer, Adam Marsh, is swapping the cinema screens for TV screens and is offering a 'cinema diet' of the best things to watch on TV each week of lockdown. He is scouring the internet's streaming platforms to provide a healthy cinema diet and will post a new blog post on the QUAD website every 7 days of the best things to watch in the coming week. You can check out his latest post here. No problem if you missed any of the previous weeks, you can just jump straight in!
Opera Vision already has a huge catalogue of shows that you can watch, but now they are supplying the opportunity to watch top-tier opera performances for free on their website with new shows being released weekly!
For even more things to watch, check out What’s On Stage’s list of stage shows to watch online. This list is updated almost every day with the latest great things to watch and covers lots of different genres so there is something for everyone in your family.
If you're looking for creative and cultural things to do, but want more than to watch a show, The Lost Boys are running a 10 week long writing workshop for all to get involved in! Each week you will receive a full session of creative writing exercises accompanied by guidance from The Lost Boys. The weekly sessions will be themed and focused on one specific area to get you writing no matter what style, format or genre you are interested in, so whether that is poetry, writing for stage or screen, or long-form fiction, there is something here for everyone. Have fun, do each week as it comes along or drop in and out as you see fit. Ultimately, you will get out of this what you want to put in. If you are interested, drop them a message on through their Facebook page or email them at email@example.com.
BBC Arts have also started their Culture in Quarantine which not only lists shows to watch but also creative things you can try yourself at home, as well as the latest news for culture during this unprecedented time.
We will keep updating this list with the latest links, so keep checking back for more great things to watch!
Tue 28 Apr 2020
Chichester Festival Theatre have released their archive recording of Flowers for Mrs Harris that you can watch for free on their website now! This fabulous production won three UK Theatre awards, including best musical, and is available for you to watch until 8 May. This recording is also captioned.
Mon 20 Apr 2020
If you like Jason Manford and can't wait to see him when he tours to Derby Arena next year, you can tune in to watch him perform in the musical, Curtains, on Wednesday 22 April from 7pm. There is a small fee to watch it, and all profits are going to the Funds For Freelancers cause. This hilarious murder mystery has an all star line up and is packed full of catchy songs, unforgettable characters and plot twists galore. Watch it by logging in and paying here.
Mon 13 Apr 2020
If you are already missing all the fun of panto, the Mercury Theatre, Colchester, will be streaming their pantomime, Cinderella, for free for you all next week (oh yes they are!). It premiers on YouTube on Sat 11 Apr at 3pm, and will remain available to watch until Sun 19 Apr.
Thu 9 Apr 2020
For the opera lovers, you can watch Andrea Bocelli singing live on Easter Sunday from an audience-free Cathedral in Milan. It will be streamed for free from his YouTube channel at 6pm. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate Easter.
Over the Easter weekend, on Sat 11 and Sun 12 Apr, the Home Folk Festival is taking place. Featuring some of the UK and Europe’s most talented folk acts, performances will be brought to you live from their living rooms. Katie Spencer, who played in last year's Derby Folk Weekender, and Luke Jackson, who has been at the Guildhall, are included in the line-up of this fabulous festival. Tickets are available here.
A brand new musical, Pride and Prejudice, will have its UK debut on Sat 11 Apr from 2pm via Facebook Live on What’s On Stage’s Facebook page. It’s world premier took place only months ago in December 2019 in Silicon Valley, and now it is being made available for you to watch from the comfort of your home. The piece was written by Tony Award nominee Paul Gordon and directed by Robert Kelley with musical direction from Bill Liberatore and choreography by Dottie Lester-White. This is a fun new way to enjoy a classic.