Theatres Online


Theatres are streaming recordings of their performances online. We will try to provide up-to-date suggestions on this page.

Many are available free. However, faced with empty seats and huge financial uncertainty, some of our most famous theatres are on the brink of collapse. Please make a donation if you watch any of these shows.

Are Fringe you missing the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which should have been celebrating its 70th year about now? (Some of our Dunmow U3A members were scheduled to perform there this August as part of Rock Choir 😢). Do not despair! Some performances are being streamed online, and you can find out more at the »Free Fringe Festival Online website.
In addition, each Friday Free Fest during the Fringe (7, 14, 21 and 28 August) a 60-minute Fringe variety show and fundraiser will be streamed, showcasing the Festival across a range of genres, including comedy, cabaret, dance and music. Each show will feature nine different acts and will go out live at 9pm, with tickets costing £9 each (£1 less than the cost of the average Fringe ticket) from »Fringe on Friday.
The organisers Edinburgh Tattoo of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo are also offering a »Tattoo at Home range of experiences”, including a Dine at Home option in partnership with Edinburgh restaurant Contini. For just £65 (!) you can settle in for your own private viewing of an iconic Tattoo Show from years gone by, seated upon a Tattoo tartan blanket, and feast on the very best of Scottish ingredients — four courses for two people with fresh ingredients delivered direct to your door. What are you waiting for?
The Royal Opera Mad Hatter House is streaming ZooNation’s »The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party until Friday 14 August. Kate Prince’s Company offers a gleefully off-the-wall take on the famous characters of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland — irresistible narrative hip hop dance theatre.
Also Swan Lake available to view is a 2012 recording of Matthew Bourne's ground-breaking production of Tchaikovsky’s »Swan Lake.
The »John Wilson Orchestra is a John Wilson Proms symphony orchestra which incorporates a complete jazz Big Band. Their annual concert, performing the original arrangements of favourite stage and film musicals, has become a traditional feature of the BBC Proms for the last ten years. Some of these incredibly popular concerts are available in full on YouTube, including 2011’s »Hooray for Hollywood, a celebration of the Golden Age of Hollywood film musicals, and 2012’s »John Wilson on Broadway, spotlighting the composers who created the ‘Broadway sound’, with excerpts from favourite shows.
Lin-Manuel Hamilton — King George Miranda's hit Broadway musical Hamilton is available exclusively on »Disney+. Officially titled Hamilton: An American Musical, the award-winning show tells the story of forgotten American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton and his ascent out of poverty to become the United States’ first Secretary of the Treasury. Initially performed off-Broadway in 2015, and blending hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway styles, it set a Broadway box office record for the most money grossed in a single week in New York City in late November 2016, and had debuted in London in December 2019, before being closed by the Coronavirus pandemic.
This performance, filmed at the Richard Rodgers Theater in New York, is now available by subscribing to Disney+. The channel was launched on 24 March at a subscription cost of £5.99 per month, and offers 500 films and 350 shows to stream (not to mention 600 episodes of The Simpsons!).
We have Phantom reached the end of the current series of full-length shows being streamed under the banner The Shows Must Go On. A new series will begin in August, and the intervening gap will be filled with shorter clips from shows. If you have missed the previous free weekend screenings of musicals so far, you can still rent them (and hundreds of other shows and films) for a very reasonable £3.49 a time from »YouTube’s online ‘shop’.
If you Carousel didn’t manage to see the recent broadcast on BBC Two of the 1956 film of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical Carousel, then you still have the chance to see a free »staged concert performance, streamed live from New York’s Lincoln Center until 7 September.

Still Macbeth available from Shakespeare’s Globe is their 2020 production of »Macbeth.
Need still more Shakespeare? The BBC’s iPlayer offers nine plays by the Globe Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company as part of the »Culture in Quarantine series.

Have you tried Company of Elders Sadler’s Wells’ »Company of Elders workshops?. The series is specially created for over 60s who may be staying at home due to social distancing, and is hosted by artists in the UK and across the world.
Sadler’s Wells have also recorded a series of behind-the-scenes »Danceworks programmes for BBC iPlayer, including Firedance: Latin Fever, featuring Strictly Come Dancing’s Karen Hauer and Gorka Marquez.
Last Cosette year’s record-breaking staged concert performance of »Les Misérables, starring Michael Ball, Alfie Boe and Matt Lucas, is now available to rent or buy online. For every digital download purchased (RRP £9.99) The Mackintosh Foundation will separately donate £5.00 shared between theatre artists’ charities and Captain Tom Moore’s Walk for the NHS fund.
One Cirque du Soleil of Dunmow U3A’s most popular theatre outings was to the Royal Albert Hall to see Cirque du Soleil, the Montréal-based contemporary circus show. The company is releasing a series of free 60-minute Specials on YouTube. The first five are here: »No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5.
Also Fleabag available to watch online, for a charity donation, is the original stage show of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s »Fleabag, as performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, in the West End and off-Broadway.
A useful Ents24 resource for members interested in seeing more live entertainment is the website »Ents24. It lists more than 300 current or future online streamed events, ranging from standup comedy and musical theatre to rock concerts and poetry recitals. Most of those listed charge a modest fee.