The best stage shows you can stream to vary your lockdown viewing

Wise Children (Steve Tanner)

We’ve had a look at what’s online at the moment – and coming soon – and put some recommendations together to help add some variety to your lockdown streaming schedule.

So that’s it. After two months of staying in, you’ve finally completed Netflix. And Amazon Prime. And somehow, inexplicably, even Disney+. So what now? Lucky for you there’s a whole lot more content out there, including some of the best theatrical experiences. Many of the biggest shows from the last few years have been filmed, meaning you can now watch from the comfort of your living room – some of them for free! What’s not to love? Below we’ve curated some of our faves that are available right now, as well as a few to look out for over the coming weeks.

Rush is a new queer comedy to look out for over the summer, though we’re a little light on details at the moment as it hasn’t been recorded yet. Originally scheduled to open at London’s Trafalgar Studios to coincide with Pride, the performances have been cancelled but a reading of the play, starring Rupert Everett, is to be filmed and posted online. Rush debuted at the King’s Head Theatre in 2018 and portrays a triangular relationship between three gay men. We’ll post more information when we have it.

Rupert Everett for Rush (William Baker)

A Streetcar Named Desire is the latest in the National Theatre At Home series, a free weekly programme which has already brought us such stellar offerings as One Man, Two Guvnors and Treasure Island (both excellent). This acclaimed Young Vic production stars Gillian Anderson as Blanche DuBois in the classic Tennessee Williams play. More information on NT At Home can be found here and it’s worth keeping an eye on – soon they will be treating us to Coriolanus starring Tom Hiddleston.

Fleabag needs no introduction – we all fell in love with both series on the BBC, even more so when we were introduced to the hot priest. But did you catch Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s one-woman play, where it all began? It debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe festival way back in 2013, with the story line forming the basis of the first series. Following the conclusion of the second series, the play returned to the West End in 2019 and became the hottest ticket in town. It’s available for the sum of £4 from Soho Theatre On Demand here or, alternatively, can be streamed from Amazon Prime for the same price.

Wise Children was a pleasant surprise for us when we went to check out Emma Rice’s delightful adaptation of Angela Carter’s novel at the Old Vic in 2018. Full of great music and imaginative set pieces, the production was critically acclaimed and went on to tour nationally – this recording was filmed at York Theatre Royal last year. It’s available to stream for free on the BBC iPlayer here.

Wise Children (Steve Tanner)

The Grinning Man – based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel The Man Who Laughs – was a critically-acclaimed hit for the Bristol Old Vic when it premiered back in 2016. Brought to life by director Tom Morris and writer Carl Grose, it subsequently enjoyed an acclaimed run at London’s Trafalgar Studios. The Grinning Man will be available from 26th June and forms part of the Bristol Old Vic At Home series of free weekly shows, which will also feature Sally Cookson’s production of A Monster Calls. More information can be found here.

Hamilton is a show that we adored, awarding it a perfect five-star review when it opened in London at the Victoria Palace Theatre. Disney bought the rights to the show, with a view to releasing it in cinemas during autumn 2021. In light of the current situation, they’ve brought the release forward more than a year and will be making the hit musical available on their streaming service Disney+ from July 3rd. The performance was filmed on Broadway in 2016 and stars Lin-Manuel Miranda in the title role.

Related: The best LGBTQ+ shows you can watch right now on Netflix.

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