Finished Netflix? Check out our pick of the 12 best plays and musicals you can watch on YouTube this weekend. All are free to watch, but please consider making a donation, either directly to the theatre/production, or to Acting For Others.
If you can’t wait to get back in to a physical theatre, here are the West End tickets on sale for later in the year.
1Under a Cardboard Sea
In the summer of 2016 Bristol Old Vic Young Company presented a major new production in celebration of Bristol Old Vic’s 250th anniversary – Under A Cardboard Sea. Performed on the historic Theatre stage, it featured a cast of 100 young people aged 5-25. A year in the making, Under a Cardboard Sea took inspiration from the hundreds of child performers who performed on stages like ours throughout the 19th century. The initial seeds of the idea were sown during a research visit to the Theatre Collection at the University of Bristol, where writer Silva Semerciyan and Young Company Director Lisa Gregan stumbled upon Victorian theatre paintings which showed young children dressed up and filling the stage. They discovered that in Victorian times very poor children were often paid to put on costumes and stand on stage as set dressings.
2Timpson The Musical
Two warring house. One ancient grudge. A whole lot of shoes. Can the warring houses of Montashoe and Keypulet be united by a pair of star-crossed lovers? Journey to Victorian London where Monty Montashoe and Keeleigh Keypulet, two young inventors bursting with ambition, strive to break free from their humdrum lives and follow their dreams all the way to the 50th annual ‘Invention Convention’!
Sponsored by Timpson Ltd. themselves, this five star, award-winning new musical explaining the origins of everyone’s favourite high street cobblers is guaranteed hilarity for the whole family.
If you weren’t able to raise a glass with The London cast at The Boulevard Soho when Ghost Quartet you can now relive a recording from 2015, filmed live at the McKittrick Hotel, starring the productions writer, Dave Malloy.
Kurdish freedom fighter Medea escapes the Turkish military and arrives at UK Border Control on a forged passport. Slipping through immigration, Medea discovers how to exist on the margins of London life. Working illegally as a cleaner in a gym, she meets Jason-Mohammed, the son of Iraqi immigrants. Their attraction results in the birth of twin boys.
Based on interviews with Kurdish fighters living in the UK, and written and directed by the first woman ever to direct at the National Theatre, Blueprint Medea is an award-winning new drama, loosely inspired by Euripides’ Medea, which connects the classical to the contemporary to explore eternal questions of passion, war, cultural identity, women’s freedom, sex, family and love.
Written and Directed by Julia Pascal Presented by Pascal Theatre Company in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre, Performed at the Finborough Theatre, London, in May 2019
In a world where citizens rehabilitate criminals, the Carer and the Murderer go for coffee and play badminton. Clown Funeral’s new adaptation of Luke Kennard’s darkly comic poem tells the story of their unusual relationship, questions how easily we can forgive someone and asks to what extent our obsessions can consume us.
WARNING: ‘Twisted’ contains adult language.
From StarKid, the creators of ‘A Very Potter Musical’ and ‘Holy Musical B@man!’, comes ‘Twisted: The Untold Story of a Royal Vizier.’ Hop on your flying carpet, because this musical parody retells the classic tale of Aladdin… from the villain’s point of view!
Long ago in a Magic Kingdom, one misunderstood Royal Vizier will go on a quest to save his city from its bumbling sultan, an invading prince, and the most notorious thief to ever live! With the help of the Kingdom’s free-spirited, teenage Princess, the Vizier must find a magical lamp containing a wish-granting Djinn (who’s really funny, by the way) and defeat the city’s most-wanted criminal… Aladdin! This musical adventure celebrates and lovingly pokes fun at everyone’s favorite series of hand-drawn, animated films.
‘Twisted’ features story & script by Matt Lang, Nick Lang, and Eric Kahn Gale. With music by A.J. Holmes and lyrics by Kaley McMahon. It is directed by Brian Holden.
Richard II – the Bard’s great Play of England. For your lockdown viewing pleasure – Shakespeare’s Globe film version of the critically acclaimed first all women of colour Shakespeare on a UK stage – from the 2019 Globe Season.
Watch Bristol Old Vic’s mighty Young Company’s ground-breaking 2014 show, The Tinderbox, for free, as part of Bristol Old Vic At Home. Bristol Old Vic Young Company is one of the largest regional youth theatres in the UK, home to over 350 young people aged 5-25 from across the South West who take part in an on-going programme of weekly sessions, theatre master classes, community projects and full-scale performances.
A soldier came marching along the road: “Left, right! Left, right!” On the outskirts of a country a war rages on and on, while at its centre a proud king rules the capital with an iron fist. Once upon a time it was foretold that his daughter would marry a common soldier, so the king has locked her in an impenetrable tower. Nobody has ever seen her in the flesh. When a disillusioned soldier returns from the war and comes into possession of a magical tinderbox that can grant him anything he wants, the storm clouds begin to gather.
The Built by Barn production of Henry V, directed by Hal Chambers and starring West End stars Aaron Sidwell (Wicked, American Idiot, EastEnders) and Lauren Samuels (Bend It Like Beckham, We Will Rock You, BBC’s Over The Rainbow).
The full cast comprises of: Matt Ray Brown (Exeter/Orleans), Alicia Charles (Bardolph/Williams), Elin Phillips (Fluellen), Lauren Samuels (Katherine/Boy), Aaron Sidwell (Henry), Adam Sopp (Pistol/Constable), Sarah Waddell (Queen of France) and Jonathan Woolf (Nym/Dauphin).
Arlene Phillips directs a reworked version of smash-hit new rock musical ‘27’, which ran for nine performances at London’s The Other Palace. Originally premiering in summer 2016 at the Cockpit Theatre, the musical returned to the stage in a workshop version under the new title Myth: The Rise and Fall of Orpheus.
A modern retelling of the well-known Ancient Greek tale of Orpheus and the underworld, the musical is a brand-new genre that is guaranteed to resonate with every generation. Examining the link between mental illness and an inescapable addiction to the music industry, Myth examines a growing cultural problem that has stolen the lives of stars such as Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Amy Winehouse.
1121 Chump Street
Lin-Manuel Miranda turns a piece of reporting broadcast in 2012 into a 14-minute Broadway musical, created by people who normally work on Broadway. You can find the original cast album of “21 Chump Street: The Musical” on, iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify.
Nearly 50 actors, singers, dancers, musicians, and comedians joined Ira Glass onstage at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Opera House on June 7, 2014, to try some things they’d never tried before. The result? Journalism turned into opera, into plays, into a Broadway musical (by Lin-Manuel Miranda, starring Lindsay Mendez and Anthony Ramos). Comedy from Mike Birbiglia and Saturday Night Live’s Sasheer Zamata. Songs from Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields. Dance from Monica Bill Barnes & Company.
A meteor the size of LA is about to hit LA, ironically, and in London a couple of friends spend their last seven days watching the news, reinventing chess and rewriting the rules of some of the other games in their universe: generally putting things into perspective, at once paralysed and inspired by the ‘overallness of it all’.
Getting ready, as best they can, to die together, the enormity of what’s about to happen completely overwhelms them, but it also brings out in them a whole burst of creative energy, and so as the story to top all stories unfolds, they inadvertently become its co-authors, while in a dimension far beyond their imagination, their soulmates-in-spirit are having something of an unexpected ball…