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Watch world class theatre online at home including with the RSC, Shakespeare's Globe and Sadler's Wells

With theatres and cinemas closed, so how are you getting your arts fix? Here are some world class theatre shows you can watch at home for free

The National Theatre

Jane Eyre is one of the National Theatre Live productions Picture: Manuel Harlan, National Theatre Live
Jane Eyre is one of the National Theatre Live productions Picture: Manuel Harlan, National Theatre Live

The National Theatre At Home will see NT Live productions streamed for free on YouTube on Thursdays at 7pm.

Alongside the shows, which will be available on demand for seven days, there will be interactive content such as Q&As with cast and creative teams and post-stream talks.

Bryony Lavery’s adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island will be on Thursday, April 16, and Twelfth Night on Thursday, April 23 starring Tamsin Greig as Malvolia in Shakespeare's classic comedy.

Lisa Burger, executive director and joint chief executive said: “Our ambition at the National Theatre is to create work which is challenging, entertaining and inspiring and we’re committed to continuing that through these difficult times. I'm thrilled that we’re able to fulfil this ambition in a different way through our collaboration with YouTube.

Tamsin Greig will star as Malvolia Picture: ITV pictures
Tamsin Greig will star as Malvolia Picture: ITV pictures

"We have delved into the National Theatre Live archive and curated a programme that’s varied from comedy to new dramas to classics so there is something for everyone to enjoy from their own homes. We will be streaming each production at the same time each week and we hope this will be an opportunity for people to share their enjoyment together online."

For schools

Pupils who have been home schooling will be able to access the National Theatre Collection of 24 productions, drawing from 10 years of NT Live broadcasts and never-before-released productions from the archives. It’s available now for free to pupils and teachers, in partnership with Bloomsbury Publishing. Schools just need to share log-in details with pupils to access it while home schooling.

You can watch Shakespeare set texts (Othello), 20th Century classics (The Cherry Orchard) and adaptations of Romeo and Juliet and The Winter’s Tale created specially for younger audiences.

Teachers can sign up via nationaltheatre.org.uk/ntcollection

The National Theatre is not expected to reopen until July. Visit nationaltheatre.org.uk where there is a link to the YouTube channel.

The National Theatre Live's Jane Eyre
The National Theatre Live's Jane Eyre

Shakespeare's Globe

The Globe has plays, podcasts and actor talks online so that Shakespeare fans can continue to enjoy his works.

This week six productions will be available to watch for free on the theatre’s Globe Player which will rotate every two weeks. You can see Hamlet (2018), Romeo & Juliet (2009), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2013), The Winter's Tale (2018), The Two Noble Kinsmen (2018) and The Merry Wives of Windsor (2019).

The Globe theatre in London - visit virtually
The Globe theatre in London - visit virtually

The Globe Player will also host all 37 Complete Walk short films for free, made to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, with an all-star cast shot on location in the real setting of each plot. Also hosted for free will be all 34 Globe to Globe titles filmed at the Globe to Globe festival of 2012, bringing together artists talking about plays on the Globe stage.

It is also aiming to continue its 27-year tradition of Shakespeare Walks held for Shakespeare's birthday on April 23, this year with Ashford-born Mark Rylance.

Artistic director Michelle Terry, said: "Whilst everything seems so uncertain, one thing we know for sure is that the world will never be the same again. In 1599, when Hamlet stood on a “distracted Globe” and uttered the words: Now I am alone – he would have been surrounded by up to 3,000 people. Now we are alone, but we are also in the company of billions, from all around the globe, finding the most inspiring ways to be alone, together. In these times of isolation, we will continue to reach people on our ‘distracted Globe’, providing community, joy, and wonder, remaining, albeit digitally for now, a place of connection for us all.”

Ashford-born Mark Rylance (pictured, centre, with Tom Hanks right) could appear in Shakespeare's Globe production for Shakespeare's birthday
Ashford-born Mark Rylance (pictured, centre, with Tom Hanks right) could appear in Shakespeare's Globe production for Shakespeare's birthday

For schools

The Globe is also launching aids for school children. The Globe’s Learning team's activities include Teach Shakespeare for parents home-schooling while The Globe Playground is suitable for younger children.

The podcast Such Stuff has new content this week, starting with an episode on the film 10 Things I Hate About You. with host Imogen Greenberg.

The theatre is a registered charity and hopes to open again in early July. Visit shakespearesglobe.com and for the Globe Player go to globeplayer.tv/


London’s most famous dance theatre, Sadler’s Wells, may be closed until June but has is opening up its substantial digital vaults on its streaming platform Digital Stage.

There will be full-length dance performances and workshops online, and performances coming up include a new version of Wilkie Branson’s dance for camera installation TOM, which would have formed part of Sadler’s Wells’ Digital Edition in April.

There will also be free online activities for people to dance along to at home, with family dance workshops for two to six-year-olds curated by Cherie Coleman, and older audiences.

Find out more at sadlerswells.com/whats-on/2020/digital-stage/


The film of The Wind in the Willows production was made at the London Palladium in 2017 and is now available to stream online for free while theatres are closed.

Go to willowsmusical.com and click Play Video.

While on the site there's also a way, if you choose, to donate to help theatre workers, which goes to Acting for Others.

Hamlet by the RSC (2016) Picture: Manuel Harlan (33255244)
Hamlet by the RSC (2016) Picture: Manuel Harlan (33255244)


The RSC may currently be closed but arts lovers can now sign up for a 30-day free trial on Marquee TV, the performing arts streaming service with a catalogue of more than 400 dance, opera and theatre productions.

There are 17 shows and weekly Saturday premieres. Productions available to watch include Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Hamlet, Othello, Richard II and The Tempest.

Artistic director Gregory Doran said: “Nothing can replace the experience of seeing a play live on stage. But with our theatres currently closed, and all of us spending much more time at home, we are pleased to be part of this initiative. This will give people from around the world the chance to see 18 of our recent productions for free at this time.

“Shakespeare speaks to us unlike any other writer, and this partnership with Marquee will enable everyone to enjoy his work, bringing us together virtually at a time when many of us will be apart.”

Watch and sign up at rsc.org.uk

Find out how you can watch Disney+ by clicking here.

Take a virtual tour of museums currently closed by clicking here.

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