Celebrate VE Day And Beyond With Online Shows

Missing Live Theatre?  Need a bit of Shakespeare or a WW2 inspired drama to inspire or provoke? Well there’s plenty to watch online at the moment – and more are released every week.

But please note – some have got a very short life span so please check dates carefully. But all are first class performances – (and it makes a change from Tiger King on Netflix!)

Mercury Theatre , Colchester  – Pieces of String

To celebrate VE Day 2020, the Mercury present their hit 2018 production, Pieces of String, online. But it’s just available today Fri 8th, until midnight  – so hurry to catch it.

This new British musical, which premiered on the Mercury stage, explores three generations of one family, alternating between the 1940s and the present day, telling the story of a World War II soldier who returned with a secret that he would carry until the day he died.

With hauntingly beautiful music and a heart-rending human story, Pieces of String is a tender, funny, emotionally-charged exploration of how three generations of one family learn to deal with a story that nobody’s been brave enough to tell until today.

14+   https://vimeo.com/415473871

Black & White Productions  – ‘The Few’

An extract from local company  Black & White Productions’ new play which should have been performed at Two Sisters Arts Centre this week – shown as a tribute to VE day and the Battle of Britain Anniversary .

They are aiming to perform the whole play in September if lock down is eased by then.


Andrew Lloyd Webber’s By Jeeves

Alan Ayckbourn and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s  musical, By Jeeves, will be streamed for free on Friday 8th for 48 hrs.

Starring Martin Jarvis and John Scherer, the piece is based on P G Woodhouse’s classic characters. The streamed show will be the 2001 production, which ran on Broadway after the original show was rewritten.

Watch on youtube The Shows Must Go On

National Theatre Live

The National Theatre has announced a new series of free shows being streamed on YouTube.

Antony and Cleopatra with Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo can be seen until next Wednesday, then :

On 14 May, the venue will stream Inua Ellams’ hit play Barber Shop Chronicles, with a cast including Fisayo Akinade, Hammed Animashaun, Cyril Nri and Sule Rimi.

On 21 May, it will be the Gillian Anderson-led production of A Streetcar Named Desire, also starring Ben Foster as Stanley and Vanessa Kirby as Stella. It is the fastest selling show in Young Vic history.

On 28th May James Graham’s political masterpiece This House will be streamed  Jeremy Herrin directs a cast including Phil Daniels, Reece Dinsdale, Charles Edwards and Vincent Franklin.

Then on 4 June, the Donmar Warehouse’s production of Coriolanus starring Tom Hiddleston will be streamed. The cast also includes Alfred Enoch, Deborah Findlay and Mark Gatiss.

All screenings start at 7pm , with the shows available for a week.

The Lyric, Hammersmith – A Dolls House

The Lyric Hammersmith Theatre will be streaming its hit production of Ibsen’s classic A Doll’s House.

Playwright Tanika Gupta adapted Henrik Ibsen’s play for the west London venue, with Rachel O’Riordan directing Elliot Cowan, Tripti Tripuraneni, Anjana Vasan, Arinder Sadhra, Assad Zaman and Colin Tierney at the Lyric Hammersmith.

The show will be presented for one day only via the Lyric’s YouTube from 2.30pm until midnight on Wednesday 20th May

Complicite – The Encounter

Complicité’s award-winning show The Encounter will be available from 15th to 22nd May .

Inspired by Petru Popescu’s novel Amazon Beaming, the piece is co-directed by Simon McBurney and Kirsty Housley, and performed by McBurney.

The piece, which had its world premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival in August 2015, is co-produced with the Barbican, Edinburgh International Festival, Onassis Cultural Centre – Athens, Schaubühne Berlin, Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne and Warwick Arts Centre.

Please note –  audiences will need to wear headphones to experience the piece’s binaural sound design (which doesn’t work via speakers).

The show, co-presented with The Space, will be available on Complicité’s website and YouTube channel.

Chichester Festival – The Midnight Gang

The Midnight Gang by David Walliams, adapted by Bryony Lavery with
music & lyrics by Joe Stilgoe can be seen until May 29th here:


A bang on the head during a cricket match at his boarding school has landed twelve-year-old Tom in the children’s ward of the spooky Lord Funt Hospital. Luckily, he’s not on his own with the child-hating Matron and the scary-looking Porter. George, Amber, Robin and Sally are in there too, and they’re not taking things lying down. When the lights go out and the clock strikes twelve, they’re off. But will they let new boy Tom join their forbidden midnight adventures through the hospital’s labyrinthine realm?

This inventive tale of fun, friendship and the importance of kindness is adapted from David Walliams‘s biggest selling children’s book of 2016.

This stage version is by Bryony Lavery, whose adaptations include Chichester’s hit family shows The Hundred and One Dalmatians (2014) and A Christmas Carol (2015), with music and lyrics by renowned musician and composer Joe Stilgoe (The Jungle Book, 2017).

Cirque du Soleil

If its circus you crave – then Cirque du Soleil have a one hour show on


Hull Truck Theatre– Jack Lear

Hull Truck Theatre donn their oilskin overalls and fishing boots with Jack Lear, an exciting new production written by Ben Benison, set on the banks of the river Humber. Jack Lear will showcase a cappella folk music composed by Yorkshire-born folk icon Eliza Carthy MBE, daughter of musicians Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson.


Royal Opera House

And if Opera is your thing The Royal Opera House has a number of shows online including Gloriana,  La Traviata and The Royal Ballet version of The Winter’s Tale and Anastasia


BBC 4 – Culture in Quarantine

And last but by no means least there are a lot of shows now available on BBC iPlayer on the BBC 4 channel including Globe Theatre’s  Much Ado About Nothing Othello & Romeo & Juliet, Emma Rice’s version of Angela Carter’s Wise Children & Mischief Theatre The Play That Goes Wrong



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