As a performer, it’s important to always be in touch with your craft and what’s happening within our industry. Something I realised during my training at ICTheatre is that sitting down to watch a two and a half hour play is a great excuse to rest, but it also counts as studying!
You’re observing the acting and vocal technique. So why wouldn’t you watch theatre and musicals from home whenever you can? This is something I want to prioritise more in my future – so to help both myself and you achieve this, I’ve done some research into places you can watch theatre whenever you want! Let’s get into it.
National Theatre at Home – Streaming Here
First up on our list is lockdown-born streaming service National Theatre at Home, which was initially launched as a free, once-a-week streaming of National Theatre productions on Youtube, which could be enjoyed from the safety of our living rooms. Following its success, the NT has now created the subscription service, so we can have their collection of plays at our fingertips whenever we desire.
The service costs £9.99 a month, or you can rent certain titles for three days for £7.99 (which let’s be honest, if you want to watch more than one you’d be better off subscribing for a few months and watching as much as possible…). And the collection extends further than the National theatre – they also feature productions from both the Old and Young Vic, Bridge Theatre and Donmar warehouse, and they regularly add new titles. A great place to start if you’re looking to watch some quality acting from respected theatres.
Shakespeare’s Globe – Globe Player – Streaming Here
Similar to the National’s streaming service, Globe Player has an incredible collection of their productions ready for you to stream to your heart’s content. You can also use their service to watch live streams of their productions and buy physical DVDs (I know, wild). This service doesn’t have a subscription I’m afraid, but productions are available to rent at around £4/£6 a show, so split that with your viewing buddy and you’re looking at a couple of quid per show!
They also have a collection of free interviews held with actors that work at Shakespeare’s Globe, and you can buy tickets to their live-streamed productions, which start at £5 per household! That’s all the Shakespeare you could ever need.
Broadway World HD – Streaming Here
This one is an American service, but it works in the UK no problem! So far this is one of the best places I’ve found to stream musicals (they’re hard to come by on the internet), they’ve got a few well-known titles such as An American in Paris, Falsettos and Fame – plus plenty more obscure productions to keep you busy.
They have a seven-day free trial if you’re feeling ambitious to crack on and watch a load of titles (rainy day activities maybe?) and then it’s $8.99 a month, which works out at about £6.50 – not bad at all!
Marquee TV – Streaming Here
If you’re one for watching dance productions as well as theatre, Marquee TV is the one for you. This streaming service has a whole collection of Ballets, Contemporary Dance and Operas for you to view, so it can be great when you’re looking for something you haven’t seen before.
They also feature documentaries, recorded festivals and ticketed events, so it really can be a great learning source. Again they have a seven-day free trial, and then it’s £8.99 a month to access their full library (although with that sweet student status you can apply for a whopping 50% off – seems like a deal you can’t turn up).
Netflix – Streaming Here
I had to finish on what probably feels like a really obvious choice – if you need your Musical Theatre Fix, Netflix has got loads of musical film options for ya! We’re talking about The Prom, La La Land, Burlesque (my personal favourite feel-good film), Les Mis, Funny Girl, Rocketman and so many more.
The most basic Netflix subscription is £4.99 a month and goes up to £9.99 if you want to watch in HD, or on multiple screens. So you can either set up your own account or share with one of your housemates (ask around before you make that payment because I’m sure someone will be willing to share their account with you – or share the price of a new one!).
For now, that’s all I have in regards to stuff to watch – although I’m sure I’ll be able to find some more to add soon! But this should keep you busy for a little while, whether that’s over the summer or once you’re back to your studies! Part Two will be coming your way soon, with some theatre-related listening and reading…
Author: Charley Morgan, ICTheatre Graduate 2020