Comedy, drama and more: ten of the best shows to watch at home in the coming days
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bridge Theatre, London, streaming June 25 to July 2, freeThe National Theatre will stream A Midsummer Night’s Dream captured live from the Bridge Theatre in 2019. Shakespeare’s most famous romantic comedy sees Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones), Oliver Chris (One Man, Two Guvnors), David Moorst (Allelujah!) and Hammed Animashaun (Barber Shop Chronicles) lead the cast as Titania, Oberon, Puck and Bottom. The striking and acclaimed production is directed by the award-winning Nicholas Hytner (The History Boys, One Man, Two Guvnors).
Where to watch: The National Theatre channel on YouTube
2 OPERA AND BALLET
Live from Covent Garden, June 27, 7.30pm, live and on demand for 14 days from June 27, £4.99
A celebration of ballet and opera, the Live from Covent Garden series marks the first live performances at the Royal Opera House since the building closed its doors to the public on March 17. Head behind the scenes as the theatre is opened up to a select group of musicians, artists and performers, sharing music and dance from the Royal Opera House to your house.
Where to watch: roh.org.uk
Just the Tonic: Rich Hall and Henning Wehn, June 20, 8.30pm, £5
One of the most esteemed comedy clubs across the UK, Just the Tonic is bringing back the comedy club experience to millions of people with new live comedy night Working from Home. Compèred by Darrell Martin, the next show features the laconic Rich Hall and the much-loved German Henning Wehn. To fully create the one-off experience of a comedy night, the gig will be streamed live only - once it is done, it will be gone. Worth getting a watch party together for.
Where to watch: www.justthetonic.com
Lungs, Old Vic, London, streaming June 26 to July 4, £10 to £65
Claire Foy and Matt Smith perform a socially distanced version of Duncan Macmillan’s comical and emotional play about a couple wrestling with life’s biggest dilemmas, live from the Old Vic. Each performance of Lungs will be available for up to 1,000 people per night with some matinees, replicating its usual audience capacity size. Tickets will be priced as they are in the auditorium from £10 to £65 and, while all ‘seats’ offer the same view from the comfort of your own home, the theatre is asking audiences to give what they can to support the venue.
Where to watch: oldvictheatre.com
Wasted, Southwark Playhouse, streaming now, free
Through the lens of a rock documentary, Wasted gives an access-all-areas account of the struggles, heartbreaks and triumphs of the three Brontë sisters, Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and their brother Branwell. Brought up in a remote, poverty-stricken town in Yorkshire, without money or opportunity, they fought ill-health, unrequited love and family feuds to write some of the most celebrated literature including Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Never afraid to rebel against expectations, the lives behind the pages expose a struggling, squabbling, ferociously driven, drug-fuelled crash and burn trajectory from obscurity to celebrity and ultimately to their untimely deaths. It’s coupled with a rock score from the award-winning Christopher Ash.
Where to watch: southwarkplayhouse.co.uk
Woolf Works, The Royal Ballet, June 26, 7pm, free
The Royal Ballet’s Olivier Award winning Woolf Works is choreographed by Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor and takes inspiration from Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway, Orlando and The Waves as well as her letters, essays and diaries. The triptych of ballets is set to a commissioned score by Max Richter and stars Guest Artist Alessandra Ferri as Woolf.
Where to watch: roh.org.uk
Pericles, Flute Theatre, streaming until July 18, free
Written at least in part by William Shakespeare, the play offers tragi-comic riches aplenty. The production has been especially designed for people with autism and their families.
Where to watch: flutetheatre.co.uk
Toast, Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield, streaming July 1 to 31, £10 to £16
Following its hugely successful 2019 West End run and national tour, Nigel Slater’s Toast returns to the Lawrence Batley Theatre as an online play to enjoy from home. Toast vividly recreates Nigel Slater’s childhood through the tastes and smells he shares with his mother, culminating in the young Nigel’s escape to London. From making the perfect sherry trifle, through the playground politics of sweets, the rigid rules of restaurant dining, and a domestic war over cakes, this is a moving and evocative tale of love, loss and, of course, toast. This online version is part radio play, part animated film.
Where to watch: thelbt.org
The Grinning Man, Bristol Old Vic, streaming June 26, 7pm to July 3, 6pm
A strange new act has arrived at the fairground. Who is Grinpayne and how did he get his hideous smile? Helped by an old man, a lone wolf and a blind girl, his story must be told. Expect an epic, dark and twisted tale of an abandoned child with a terrible secret. The story is based on The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo and brought to life by director Tom Morris (Touching the Void) and writer Carl Grose (Dead Dog in a Suitcase), with the production featuring an original score by Tim Phillips and Marc Teitler and puppetry from Gyre & Gimble, the original puppeteers of War Horse.
Where to watch: bristololdvic.org.uk
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare’s Globe, London, streaming until June 28, free
It’s been arguably the most popular play of the lockdown, with various productions being streamed. Some have been dazzlingly bold and innovative, but the Globe has taken it back to a more classical style in this production, which employs Renaissance costumes and staging. Shakespeare put some of his most dazzling dramatic poetry at the service of this teasing, glittering, hilarious and amazingly inventive play, whose seriousnes
s is only fleetingly glimpsed beneath its dreamlike surface, as An enchanted forest charms a disenchanted court.
Where to watch: Shakespeare’s Globe channel on YouTube