Stay in tune with theatre shows, musicals and operas available to watch online

Mon 26 Apr 2021

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 ideas you can watch from the comfort of your own home.

Derby LIVE, Folk 3D and Lostboys present St George's Day Celebrations at Home. Follow our traditional clog dancer and Morris dancing dragon as they lead the procession through the streets of Derby to the Market Place. It is a FREE event and you can watch it online from Fri 23 Apr 2021 for 7 days.

Kristian Thomas Company present Blonde - The Musical on demand. Blonde is a new musical based on the last nine years of the public & private life of Marilyn Monroe, seen through the eyes (and camera) of young photographer, Georgie Gifford. Watch from 7.30pm on Sat 1 May through to the Sun 16 May.

Thu 23 Feb 2021

There are shows to book to watch at home online, including The Colour Purple from our friends at Curve and The Picture of Dorian Gray at Lawrence Batley Theatre. The team at Show Must Go On YouTube channel have some great clips and insight into making the musicals and plays they have been sharing over the last year too.

The BBC broadcast a wonderful theatre celebration last month - Musicals the Greatest Show is available on iPlayer, and the powerhouse that is Kerry Ellis (performing with Queen Machine Symphonic at Derby Arena) rounded off the show with Defying Gravity.

Looking for something a bit different? Cirque du Soleil have an amazing archive of clips, backstage videos and full performances at Cirque Connect. And want to enjoy one of our local parks in a new way? Then try Hidden Winter produced by SBC Theatre and The Herd. 

Thu 28 Jan 2021

Sky Arts is now on freeview! Sky Arts showcases the best of classical and popular music, theatre, opera, dance and the visual arts, as well as original drama and comedy.

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The all-new National Theatre at Home is a streaming service offering unforgettable British theatre available to watch any time, anywhere. Watch National Theatre Live recordings, filmed in high definition for cinema to capture all the twists and turns, laughter and heartbreak.

National Theatre at Home: free, streaming British plays - Triangle on the  Cheap

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Thu 28 Jan 2021

A great platform to have a look at during this time is Scenesaver. It's a way of bringing all performances, including fringe festivals, to the people. It is a free to view, streaming website, launched during lockdown, to do something positive to help the performance world. Scenesaver features the work from little theatres across the world and has thousands of users enabling performances to be seen by new international audiences.

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Last year, our friends, the Babbling Vagabonds created a story with their online audience. Now you can watch the video and see those ideas come to life within the great adventure of “Baddy Baddy Two Shoes”

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They are also running FREE family workshops in story making and shadow puppet making that everyone at home can get involved in. The project is in two halves and the first is about conjuring up a great story with family groups. For more information head to Buxton Opera House’s Facebook Page!

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24 Dec 2020

Calling all musical lovers! The Shows Must Go On! is back, releasing a full length smash hit musical on YouTube each Friday night. Available now and until January 5th is Jeff Wayne's musical version of The War of The Worlds! Based on H.G. Wells’ dark Victorian tale, this rock opera musical remains a favourite to millions around the world, exciting audiences of all ages.

War of the Worlds

Back in March, the world celebrated Stephen Sondheim's 90th birthday and brought together Broadway and film stars alike to treat us to renditions on Sondheim's songs. The YouTube special, Take Me To The World, is still available for you to enjoy. Famous faces such as Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Mandy Patinkin all feature in this tribute to the musical legend. 

Mischief Theatre are offering a movie night in, offering you a brilliantly funny stage show from the comfort of your own sofa. From the creators of The Goes Wrong Show, the original Mischief team will not be deterred by Covid-restrictions and are taking to the stage to bring you an improvised movie, live streamed right into your home! Tickets are £10 and can be purchased from the Mischief Comedy website.

Mischief Movie Night in

National Theatre at Home is back with an all-new format! They are now offering a paid for streaming service of unforgettable British Theatre, available to watch any time, anywhere. You can choose whether to subscribe to the service or pay for a single play. Find out more at the National Theatre at Home website.

Our friends, the Babbling Vagabonds, have made their popular summer production, Here Be Dragons! available as an audio show alongside a Monster Menders Journal (an activity booklet for kids that links to the story). Coming in January, you'll be able to go dragon hunting yourself with the help of the Babbling Vagabonds wonderful performance. You will be able to find it on the Babbling Vagabond website.

The Babbling Vagabonds great family Christmas show is still available to watch online too! Until 2 Jan, join the festive funsters in the Elf Encounter At Home. Unwrap a mini festive adventure fit for the family, journeying in a magical Christmas machine and encountering an Elf with a talent for making trouble. Buy your tickets and then watch from the Derby LIVE on-demand page.

Derby favourites, the Lost Boys, are back for a Dickens of a time in A Christmas Carol At Home. Join the much-loved duo from the comfort of your own home as they aim to play all the parts from the novel in 60 minutes; expect wigs, gags, laughs, gaffs, deference, and irreverence. Grab your tickets and go to the Derby LIVE on-demand page until January 2nd to watch the show.

Or if you're looking for some festive music to enjoy during the holidays, why not buy a ticket for Sinfonia Viva Christmas Brass Quintet At Home? Step into Christmas and enjoy an hour with the festive sound of a live brass quintet. Without a doubt, this is music to make your days merry and bright this season, and you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. Joined by the Derby Cathedral Choir, this beautiful performance is available until 2 Jan, and you can watch from the Derby LIVE on-demand page.

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24 June 2020

From Monday 20 April you can download the all-star staged concert version of Les Miserables 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.

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For all the Shakespeare lovers out there, The Globe are making six of their performances available for free every 14 days on The Globe 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 isplenty of opportunity to watch your favourite! If you’re interested, you can find out more information on The Globe’s website.

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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. 

Derby based theatre company Oddsocks is continuing to bring entertainment to their audiences (old and new!) during the Covid-19 crisis. Their brand new concept is called Stay Home Shakespeare, and you can watch the latest release, A Midsummer Nights Dream now! 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 the Oddsocks 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. Showing this week is Small Island, the National Theatre’s epic, sold-out production of Andrea Levy’s novel traces the history between Jamaica and the UK through WWII to 1948. From Thursday 25 June, you will be able to watch A Midsummer Night's Dream, featuring Gwendoline Christie and Hammed Animashaun. 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' on Wednesday evenings at 8pm on the Sinfonia Viva Facebook page. This wonderful virtuoso ensemble continue to deliver original and extraordinary musical experiences even throughout these difficult times. Each of their videos remain on the Facebook page so you can revisit your favourites or listen to all the shows back to back!

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. 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 the Opera Vision 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 Lost Boys Facebook page or email them at paul@thelostboys.org.uk.

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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!

Wed 13 May 2020

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 and final Andrew Lloyd Webber show to be released in the series by The Shows Must Go On, following his birthday concert from 1998, Love Never DiesThe Phantom of the OperaJesus Christ Superstar and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

Tue 28 Apr 2020

Chichester Festival Theatre have released their archive recording of Flowers for Mrs Harris that you can watch for free on the CFT 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. 

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 premieres 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 Andrea Bocelli YouTube channel at 6pm. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate Easter.

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. Its world premiere 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.