I adore going to the theatre. It’s not just the show itself, which of course is fabulous, and the grand setting of the theatre, it’s the whole occasion: getting dressed up, mingling with the other theatregoers and feeling the buzz and excitement. It’s about being part of something beautiful.
This year, we have all suffered from isolation; we have not been able to be part of things as we would like to. But while most of us can’t visit the theatre in person this year, we can still be connected – we can still be part of this cultural world.
Here are some fantastic theatrical initiatives you can access from the comfort of your own home.
The National has launched a streaming service for its archive of filmed plays called National Theatre at Home. You can either subscribe or pay for a single play. It’s a chance to see famous actors like Dame Helen Mirren, Tom Hiddleston and Olivia Colman at their best, and to watch plays like Othello, Coriolanus and Phèdre.
Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House has a programme of operas and ballets available to buy and stream online. These include Don Giovanni, Enigma Variations, Ariodante in Concert and The Royal Ballet: Live – Within the Golden Hour. In addition, you can listen for free to BBC broadcasts from the Royal Opera House, including The Marriage of Figaro and Rossi’s Orpheus.
Christmas at the (Snow) Globe has been developed as an online film festival that you can watch from home. The company promise that they will ‘restore the magic of Christmas’ with songs and laughter.
Outside of London, the Royal Shakespeare Company is offering Tales For Winter, which they describe as ‘celebrating the essence of live theatre: an actor, a stage and a story’. The highlight is Festive Tales, an eclectic programme of carols, songs and festive readings.
The Old Vic
As part of the ‘Old Vic: In Camera’ series, you can stream this month’s production of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol via Zoom. This version has been adapted by Jack Thorne and stars Andrew Lincoln as Scrooge.
Royal Albert Hall
Join the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Choral Society and the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain for Carols at the Hall, a programme of favourite carols, accompanied by the Hall’s 9,999 pipe organ, Voice of Jupiter. And if you love carols, also check out Katherine Jenkins’ Christmas Spectacular recorded at the hall.