Friday, May 14, 2021

I JUST CALLED TO SAY (The Covid-19 Monologues/Elysium Theatre Company)*****

 

By Emma

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sng2hPgYvE&t=4s  

Available until: Unknown

I Just Called to Say is a really emotional monologue and it only gets more emotional as you slowly work out what the situation is and what it means.

SHUCK (LaPelle’s Factory/Nottingham Playhouse)***

 

By Dave

Link: https://nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk/events/shuck-on-demand

Available until: 28th May

A lot of theatres have used the pandemic as an opportunity to tell stories. One or two actors onstage, social distancing, sometimes reading aloud and sometimes from memory.

The Nottingham Playhouse also used this approach with Ghost Stories with Mark Gatiss and it’s a good idea. It helps to keep the performers safe, it reduces the need for props and as a sort of amalgamation between audiobooks and theatre – a sort of onstage, in this case acted out audiobook – it’s bound to appeal to a lot of theatregoers because we like to be told stories and if we can see the story being enacted in front of us, even better.

SOPHIA (Curiosa Films/Be For Films/Your Screen/The Place Bedford)***

 

By Cal

Link: https://www.theplacebedford.org.uk/shows/sophia-2018-online-film

Available until: 23rd May 2021

Most films are there to tell a story and to entertain the audience. If there’s any education or awareness-raising aspect, that’s a bonus, but the primary purpose of a film is usually to entertain in some way (and to make money, though that’s more a necessity than a creative element).

Thursday, May 13, 2021

CLOSE QUARTERS (Aurora Theatre)***

 

By Emma

Link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwhWmWJPoEmHqEQek0JGlt2JEeD4eVPIX

Available until: Unknown

Aurora Theatre have been posting a lot of videos throughout lockdown and we’ve reviewed quite a lot of them. Their plays have been really international with cast and crew members in different continents.

Close Quarters is a bit different because the two characters are in the same place and they’re not social distancing but it’s still really good. It’s a sitcom about Greg and Samantha, a couple who are getting on quite well but they’re not ready to move in permanently.

HOUSE MOTHER NORMAL (New Perspectives/Brighton Festival)***

 

By Cal

Link: https://brightonfestival.org/whats-on/house-mother-normal-online-3112

Available until: 31st May. You’ll be sent a link shortly before 8pm on the day of the booked performance. You’ll have access for 48 hours. Captioned version is available.

It is incredibly brave to produce a play such as this in current times, but it is a decision I completely support and, if anything, the production might be a little overdue.

OUR DARK SIDE AND THE MOON: A NIGHT-TIME DUET (8bit/Royal Opera)****

  

By Dave

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJfbSr2XIvA 

Available until: 30th May

Our Dark Side and the Moon is part of the Royal Opera’s 8bit series of newly-commissioned vocal and dance pieces that can be enjoyed for free online. The aim of the series is to push the boundaries of opera and ballet and this one is inspired by the Moon and Mars landings.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

THE STATEMENT (Actor Monologues by Philip Pugh)****

 

By Jack

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emHS99RaRlg

Available until: Unknown

The Statement is a bit dark but I like it!

A student has died and the Head has to prepare a statement to say how sad she and the whole school are to learn of this girl’s untimely passing.

SACRAMENT (Minerva Productions/Plays on Film/King’s Head Theatre)****

 

By Louise

Link: https://kingsheadtheatre.com/whats-on/sacrament

Available until: 12th May

Trigger Warning: This production contains scenes of sexual violence.

Sacrament is quite a grown-up play in some ways. I hope it wasn’t wrong for me to watch it. I couldn’t find an age rating, but I’m fifteen so I’m old enough to watch some grown-up things. I think this is a really lovely play about finding out who you are.

BELFAST BLUES (Irish Repertory Theatre/Stream Theatre)*****

 

 By Cal

Link: https://www.stream.theatre/season/102 

Available until: 16th May

There are some things in life which don’t really belong in the medium of comedy. These include, but are not restricted to, bombs, guns and childbirth. Bombs and guns can intentionally cause death; in childbirth, death is unintentional but no less tragic. In order to make these things funny, you would need an extraordinarily gifted writer and performer who can find the humour in these situations but deliver it with compassion and respect.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

NIGHT WORK (Penny Dreadfuls from the Moth Sanctuary)****

 

By Cal

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9qZXxsGi3M

Available until: Unknown

Night Work is another incredibly creepy original story from Moth Sanctuary Productions in their Penny Dreadfuls series. As always, the standard is very high and each story introduces us to a completely different world with new characters, situations and horrors.

SELFIE (The Place Bedford)***

 

 By Emma

Link: https://www.theplacebedford.org.uk/shows/selfie_onlinefilm

Available until: 15th May 2021. You can start watching it anytime between now and 15th May, but once you’ve started it, you have to finish watching it within 48 hours.

I think we all know really that social media isn’t necessarily the best idea. It can get you into all sorts of trouble and so many things can go wrong. But sometimes it feels as though there’s no other option than to use social media and when you do finally give in and try it, you realise how addictive it can be.

AN ACORN (Oldham Coliseum/impel Theatre)**

 

By Dave

Link: https://www.coliseum.org.uk/shows/an-acorn-recorded-6401ag

Available until: 17th May 2021

The thing about audiences is we can be very lazy. We’re usually happy to put in the psychological work to find out what it’s all about. We’re usually happy to put in the emotional work so we can engage with the story and the character. We’re usually happy to put in the physical effort involved in getting to the performance. But we do have limits.

Monday, May 10, 2021

MAIN-MAIN ENGINE ROOM TAKEOVER (Rumah Khai/Omnibus Theatre)*****

 

By Dave

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRfptpSM5Iw

Available until: Unknown

Main-Main is a word from the Malay language and it means ‘playing’. The idea behind it is to encourage the artists to play in whatever way they want to. To explore their creativity and share it with us. The result is very interesting, original and thought-provoking.

SCHOOL’S OUT (Virus Free Monologues)*****

 

By Emma

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydBtniuBniA

Available until: Unknown

School’s Out is such a clever monologue. I really like plays that surprise me and don’t go where I’m expecting it to go. “School’s out” is a really well known phrase so I went into this with expectations of what it would be about and I was wrong. I love being wrong about things like this!

DINOSAURS AND ALL THAT RUBBISH (Roustabout Theatre/Watermans Art Centre)*****

 

By Megan

Link to Episode 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vej2H3bvpg8

Link to Episode 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVeVMYuvDs0

Link to Episode 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whpD5itVWlM

Available until: Unknown

Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish is a play in three parts, based on a picture book by Michael Foreman which was published fifty years ago. It is an adventure story for children and it’s a lot of fun but it also teaches children about the importance of science and caring about the environment.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

FERAL (Atmospheres 2021/Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama)****

 

By Dave

Link: https://www.rwcmd.ac.uk/events/feral

Available until: 9th May 2021

Feral is a stunning and inventive opera. At just under ten minutes, it’s probably not quite the shortest opera I’ve seen or heard (I think Samuel Barber’s A Hand of Bridge just about has the edge there) but the ideas in it are so interesting, I could easily see it becoming a full-length work.

EUGEN ONEGIN (Wiener Staatsoper)*****

 

By Sophie

Link: https://play.wiener-staatsoper.at/event/ee614b25-8435-479b-baab-21b887943915/play 

Available until: 10th May at about 6pm

It is often said that the modern world is cruel and there is certainly a great deal of truth in that. But the world has always been cruel to people who are perceived as being unlike everyone else.

The difference now is that our lives are so public, it is harder even for the so-called normal people to hide the moments when they are less than perfect. Anyone can become the butt of the very next joke and many people seek out the relative safety of laughing along with the crowd.

CORAM BOY (Atmospheres 2021/Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama)****

 

By Cal

Link: https://www.rwcmd.ac.uk/events/coram-boy

Available until: 9th May 2021

Coram Boy appears to be incomplete, with only Part 1 featuring as part of this performance. But it’s a great opera and it’s free to watch so if you listen to it now, you’ll know if you like it and if you ever do get the opportunity to watch the full opera, you’ll know it’s worth paying for.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

PRELUDES (Southwark Playhouse)*****

 

By Sophie

Link: https://www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/show-homepage/preludes-in-concert

Available until: Livestreams on Saturday 8th May at 3.15pm and 7.45pm. The show remains available for a couple of hours after broadcast.

Plays about composers have a habit of being exceptional. The first I recall was a production of the play Beethoven’s Tenth at the Watford Palace, at a time when I was much too young to appreciate the nuances of the work but old enough to believe the leading actor was the real Beethoven. Later, I saw brilliant productions of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus at the Old Vic and National Theatres, with two very different but excellent Mozarts in Michael Sheen and Adam Gillen, joined by two equally brilliant Salieris in David Suchet and Lucian Msamati. (I probably had entirely the opposite experience to most people in my delight at discovering that “Hercule Poirot is played by Salieri!” and am now very excited by Google’s suggestion that ‘the real Beethoven’ was played by another Poirot, Peter Ustinov, who also wrote Beethoven’s Tenth.)

COX AND BOX/TRIAL BY JURY (University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan Society)****

 

By Louise

Link: https://events.umich.edu/event/83221

Available until: Shows on 8th and 9th May at 5pm in the UK (2pm in Michigan).

The writing team of W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan are probably best-known for their longer operettas like The Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado and HMS Pinafore, but they also wrote some shorter works and Cox and Box and Trial by Jury work really well together.

TENNIS ELBOW (Pitlochry Festival Theatre/Naked Productions/Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh/Sound Stage)**

 

By Cal

Link: https://lyceum.org.uk/whats-on/production/tennis-elbow

Available until: Livestream on Saturday 8th May at 7pm.

Tennis Elbow was written by the acclaimed Scottish playwright John Byrne, some thirteen years after what many probably believed to be his last play. It is a sort of sequel or companion piece to another play what he wrote (bad grammar intentional), Writer’s Cramp.

Friday, May 7, 2021

OH BY THE WAY, I HATE MYSELF (Elysium Theatre Company)***

 

By Cal

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddOcAMgO8TY

Available until: Unknown

Oh By the Way, I Hate Myself is a really brave monologue. Brave for the writer and the actor. It goes against social conventions and I can imagine that some people might be upset by it. But I’m not. Although I’ll never be in this situation myself, I think it’s very real and honest – more real and honest than many people are in this character’s situation – and I think quite a lot of people would identify with it, even if they don’t feel able to admit to it.

ONE HALF OF TWO (The Cockpit)***

 

By Aashiq

Link: https://www.thecockpit.org.uk/show/one_half_of_two 

Available until: 8th May

Age recommendation: 12+

One Half of Two is about three young women whose boyfriends have all turned out to be complete and utter FAECES. I might not know how it feels to be a woman, but I do know about horrible boyfriends. Even my husband has been known to be… mildly irritating on occasion. And don’t even get me started on how annoying my husband’s husband can be (just to be clear, that is me, there is no bigamist ménage à trois, except in my imagination sometimes. But let’s not go into that).

BLONDE THE MUSICAL (Derby Live/Kristian Thomas Productions)**

 

 By Emma

Link: https://www.livetickets.org/whats-on/blonde-the-musical

Available until: 16th May 2021 on demand

I feel really mean about the two stars. I think this musical could be really good but it feels like a work in progress. I feel like I can see what the musical is trying to achieve but it’s not quite achieving it? But I think it could achieve it. It’s only an hour and a half including the interval so there’s lots of space to develop it further and show the characters and the story in more detail and make it really good.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

THE TEXT (Actor Monologues by Philip Pugh)****

 

 by Dave

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vR_sDH2QaZw

Available until: Unknown

Another great monologue from Philip Pugh in his Actor Monologues series. Very different in style and character from the first one but that just shows how versatile a writer he is.

Patrick has had some bad news at the worst possible time. I won’t go into details, he can tell you that much better himself but he has good reason not to be thrilled about it.

SPRING AWAKENING (Factory Playhouse/Emil Dale Academy/Stream Theatre)*****

 

By Louise

Link: https://www.stream.theatre/season/105 

Available until: This cast, the ‘Spring’ cast, will also appear in the performance on Friday 7th May at 7pm. The ‘Summer’ cast will perform on Thursday 8th and Saturday 10th May at 7pm.

Trigger Warnings: Sexual content, sexual violence, domestic abuse, topics of abortion, death and suicide. There is no age recommendation, but I am 15 and I would say I’m only just old enough, but I am quite innocent so maybe it is a 12A. If you are wondering if your child should watch this musical, or if you’re wondering yourself it might be too upsetting to be enjoyable, there is a very good synopsis on Wikipedia.

Spring Awakening is a sad and devastating but beautiful story about a group of young people who are growing up. It is based on a German play, Frühlings Erwachen, which was written in 1891 by Frank Wedekind.

ROOTLESS ISLAND BABY (Nottingham Playhouse)****

 

By Cal

Link: https://nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk/events/rootless-island-baby-on-demand

Available until: Friday 28th May

It’s very easy to blame the social workers.

From my own experience of the care system and adoption, and from experiences of people I know who have been let down by social workers, it is clear that their work is not always of an acceptable standard. There are the ones who promise everything you need and then don’t deliver it – it’s hard to describe that feeling of believing someone is finally listening to you and has finally seen you as a person and not just another case file, only for this feeling to be snatched away when they claim the conversation you clearly remember didn’t happen.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

THE HELPLINE (Coronavirus Theatre Club)***

  

By Dave

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdYJpVM3Grg

Available until: Unknown

I can’t say what makes The Helpline a clever monologue because that would give the whole game away. But take it from me, it’s clever.

A man is calling what seems to be some sort of sex line. His wife doesn’t know. He’s even got a new phone so it won’t show up on the phone bill. There’s a girl working there called Roxy and he really likes her a lot. No other girl will do. He’s getting desperate now. It seems almost like an obsession.

THE RED SHOES (New Adventures/Sadler’s Wells/iPlayer)****

 

By Imogen

Link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000qry2 

Available until: 16th May 2021

Sir Matthew Bourne is one of the greatest ballet choreographers and directors alive today. He has adapted many well-known stories, some ballet some not, like The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Carmen (as The Car Man) and most famously of all Swan Lake to give them a more modern twist and greater relevance to the 21st century.

AMONG THE FLOWERS (Royal Opera)**

 

By Cal

Link: https://www.instagram.com/tv/COSUCT2jw0X 

Available until: 30th May 2021

It is important for opera companies to try to reach out to new audiences. While there are young people like me and some of my siblings who genuinely enjoy opera and have even, in some cases, either sung arias or even appeared in an opera, young opera fans do seem to be few and far between.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

THE NEIGHBOURS (Penny Dreadfuls from the Moth Sanctuary)****

 

By Dave

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DTO8eDMYf8 

Available until: Unknown

The Neighbours is the third in Moth Sanctuary Productions’ series of Penny Dreadfuls, a set of spooky short stories written by Andrew Bate and Chloe Gorman. This is the first in the set that’s written by Chloe.

If you thought your neighbours were bad, they might seem quite human after you listen to this story.

THE WEIR (Irish Repertory Theatre/Stream Theatre)****

 

By Cal

Link: https://www.stream.theatre/season/101 

Available until: 9th May on demand

The Weir is the latest in the series of plays made available on Stream Theatre by the Irish Repertory Company – and it’s another really great production. Conor McPherson isn’t as big a name as Samuel Beckett or Eugene O’Neill, but he’s still a great playwright and arguably a more accessible one.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (Roundabout Theatre Company/LA Theatre Works/Theater Mania)*****

 

By Louise

Link: https://www.theatermania.stream/products/the-importance-of-being-earnest

Available until: Unknown

The Importance of Being Earnest is one of my very favourite plays and this production is perfect. If you enjoyed the recent modern production at the Lawrence Batley Theatre and you would like to see the play it was based on, or if you already love the play and would like to see it again, you might really enjoy this performance. (You could also watch SupportBritish’s production on YouTube. We haven’t watched it yet as we were a bit scared Roundabout Theatre Company’s production might be taken down before we could see it, but SupportBritish’s plays are always of a really high standard and the actors are so lovely and I am really looking forward to watching their Importance of Being Earnest in the future.)

Monday, May 3, 2021

THE RIPPLE EFFECT (Actor Monologues by Philip Pugh)****

 

By Emma

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUZ0XJnQ17s

Available until: Unknown

Content warning: (not a real spoiler, it’s in the video description) mentions of suicide

We have been retweeting Philip Pugh’s Actor Monologues for a while but this is the first time we are reviewing one. It won’t be the last. This is really good and I hope we’ll review them all eventually.

Amanda is talking about something terrible she witnessed when she was at a train station. Quite a bit of time has passed since then but it’s still affecting her. She thinks about it every day and it has changed her. It’s changed her feelings, her thoughts and her behaviour. Amanda was probably always a caring person but this incident has opened her eyes to how much some people really do suffer.

GHOST STORIES WITH MARK GATISS (Nottingham Playhouse)***

   

By Dave

Link: https://nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk/watch-ghost-stories-on-demand

Available until: 17th June 2021. You can watch on demand at any time and the rental period is five days.

Mark Gatiss and Adrian Scarborough were both excellent in the National Theatre’s production of Alan Bennett’s The Madness of George III, which was streamed for free on YouTube by the National Theatre earlier in the pandemic.

DISTANCE REMAINING (Helen Milne Productions)****

 

By Cal

Link: https://distanceremaining.com/categories/upcoming-online-performances

Available until: Shows at 7.30pm on Wednesday 5th, Thursday 6th, Friday 7th and Saturday 8th May at 7.30pm and on Sunday 9th at 2.30pm. Available for 48 hours from the time your performance goes live.

Age guidance: 14+ (strong language)

Distance Remaining is about three people. They all have a distance they need to travel. It’s physical and it’s psychological. They want to get there, but it’s not easy – and perhaps they can’t do it alone.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

SMILE (Rep Studios/Dundee Rep)****

 

By Angel

Link: https://dundeerep.co.uk/whats-on/smile 

Available until: Sunday 2nd May-Sunday 9th May and Wednesday 12th May-Sunday 16th May at 7pm. Matinées on Thursdays and Saturdays at 2.30pm.

Content warning: There’s a bit of swearing but nothing I don’t hear every day at school

Jim McLean was the manager of Dundee United Football Club between 1971 and 1993. He never played for the club – he actually spent three years at their very local rivals Dundee who are literally just down the road – but he was appointed manager not long after finishing his playing career at Kilmarnock. McLean was an inside forward (that’s like a second striker who plays in the hole except there were two inside forwards) who began his career at Hamilton Academical and also played for Clyde.

IN ITS MAJESTY (Crew of Patches)****

By Jack

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Wc-yrjA43Y 

Available until: Unknown

After their brilliant Zoom play about the Mechanicals in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bottom is seriously the best character in Shakespeare, I haven’t seen all the plays but I know people who have and they’re not arguing) Crew of Patches are back with another hilarious comedy about robbers.

ROCKY ROAD (Panorama Productions/Jermyn Street Theatre/Stream Theatre)***

 

By Cal

Link: https://www.stream.theatre/season/103

Available until: Monday 10th May-Saturday 30th May at 7.30pm. Matinées on Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm.

Rocky Road is named after a type of cake. There’s a character in this play who makes cakes and it’s fair to say they’re definitely on a rocky road so it really is a brilliant title. Of course, most people have been baking cakes through lockdown and watching Bake-Off so you probably know all this already, but it’s a new one for me.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

TARANTULA (Aria Entertainment/Southwark Playhouse)****


By Cal

Link: https://www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/show-homepage/tarantula

Available until: Livestreams on 3.15pm and 7.45pm on Saturday 1st May. Although advertised as livestreams, they are available for a few hours after the event. A lot of Southwark Playhouse shows are made available on demand after the event so if you do read this after Saturday, it might be worth checking the Southwark Playhouse and Stream Theatre sites to see if it has been made available, but don’t just assume that will be the case – grab the opportunity to see it now if you can.

Philip Ridley has kept us all brilliantly-entertained throughout lockdown, first with his The Beast Will Rise series and then with The Poltergeist, which was so good, I watched it twice – and there isn’t a lot of room in my online theatre schedule to watch things twice. Not forgetting the small matter of university taking up my time.

BEING MR WICKHAM (Original Theatre Online/Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds)*****

 

By Megan

Link to 3pm show on May 1st: https://originaltheatreonline.com/productions/23/being-mr-wickham-live-streaming-saturday-1-may-at-3pm-bst

Link to 7.30pm show on May 1st: https://originaltheatreonline.com/productions/24/being-mr-wickham-live-streaming-saturday-1-may-at-730pm-bst

Link to captioned 7.30pm show on May 1st: https://originaltheatreonline.com/productions/25/being-mr-wickham-live-streaming-saturday-1-may-at-730pm-captioned-bst 

Available until: This show can only be watched live at the above times. There will be a different Q&A after every show.

Being Mr Wickham was inspired by a very popular TV series of Pride and Prejudice which was first on TV in 1995. It was Colin Firth who played Mr Darcy who got most of the attention but most people agreed it was a very good series.

LOVE AND INFORMATION (Silk Street Theatre/Guildhall School of Music and Drama)***

 

By Dave

Link: https://www.gsmd.ac.uk/summer_2021/love_and_information 

Available until: Livestreams on Saturday 1st May at 7.30pm.

Love and Information seemed like a bit of an odd title when I first heard about it but after watching the show, I think it not only describes the show perfectly, it’s a pretty good description of life too.

Of course life isn’t just about love and information but it does play a much bigger role than I realised. We go through life sharing information with other people. Sometimes they want the information, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes you tell them too little and sometimes you tell them too much. Sometimes they understand what you’re saying and sometimes they don’t. We give the information in whatever way seems like the right way and the reaction we get very often does depend on love, whether that’s how much they love us or how much they love whoever or whatever we’re talking about.

Friday, April 30, 2021

THE JAR (The New Theatre Dublin/Scenesaver)***

 

By Aashiq

Link: https://www.scenesaver.co.uk/production/the-jar 

Available until:

Content warning: Language, 15+

You know, this is such a good idea? It almost makes me want my husband to cheat on me so I can do it to him. I really don’t think he’d like it. But he hasn’t done anything to deserve it yet. He did get a bit moody about where I left my hairspray (how was I meant to know he was going to trip over it? I mean, it was right in the middle of the floor, it could hardly have been more visible), but this method of revenge needs a much more serious crime.

TOLL BOOTH (Vimeo)*****

 

By Cal

Link: https://vimeo.com/326145983 

Available until: Unknown

Toll Booth is an award-winning film which isn’t strictly theatre, but I found it through a streaming site so that’s good enough for me. More than good enough.

Terry has a new job working in a toll booth. He’s worked in a toll booth before so he knows what it’s all about. He’s never worked in a toll booth with scary rumours before, but as long as they are just rumours, there’s really no need to worry… is there?

DO YOU LOVE ME YET? (Theatr Clwyd/Oxford Playhouse/TORCH/Bristol Old Vic)***

 

By Emma

Link: https://www.theatrclwyd.com/event/do-you-love-me-ye

Available until: Livestream on Friday 30th April at 7.30pm, available for at least three hours after the broadcast.

Do You Love Me Yet? is a really lovely idea and it’s a shame there are only two livestreams. I hope they’ll do more in the future, but the theatres involved in this will probably be too busy doing live shows for audiences. Which is definitely a good thing.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

SUGAR (Covid-19 Monologues/Elysium Theatre Company)*****

 

By Dave

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T3Cu18dqK4

Available until: Unknown

The final monologue in Elysium Theatre’s first series of Covid-19 Monologues is the longest of the four. But it’s well worth listening to every word.

It’s 1721 and we’re in Bristol. The Reverend Harcourt is asleep but he hears a knocking on his door. It won’t go away. His wife still seems to be asleep and Harcourt probably wishes he was too but when you’re a reverend there are obligations.

CELLS (Metta Theatre/Royal & Derngate/Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch/Stephen Joseph Theatre)****

  

By Louise

Link to full film version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjn2czM5xow

Link to playlist of individual episodes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gwv0Lhba5s&list=PLTefCSIo0OJcnXHichpkIUbeHdbu9__ft

Available until: Unknown

Cells was originally shown in a series of seven episodes. The longest is six minutes and twenty-three seconds and the shortest is three minutes and thirty-nine seconds. One episode was uploaded every day for a week.

THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS/MAHAGONNY SONGSPIEL (Royal Opera)***

  

By Cal

Link: https://stream.roh.org.uk/packages/the-seven-deadly-sins-mahagonny-songspiel/videos/the-seven-deadly-sins-mahagonny-songspiel 

Available until: 9th May

The last two years at the ROH are hardly what the Jette Parker Young Artists would have expected and hoped for. There has been very limited opportunity to work alongside seasoned professionals or to play roles in large-scale, well-known operas, and we can’t dismiss the impact of the absence of the audience: not just the instant positive feedback but the energy they give the singers throughout the performance, just by being there.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

A PERFECT FAMILY (Penny Dreadfuls/Moth Sanctuary Productions)*****

 

By Sophie

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-dolKCPjo0

Available until: Unknown

A Perfect Family is yet another absolutely incredible story produced as a YouTube audio book by Moth Sanctuary Productions.

It tells the story of a doctor with a thriving practice who falls in love with a woman living in the area. She returns his feelings and the two are happy, deflecting the many questions about when they would have children, apparently feeling no need to conform to expectations.

ANTHROPOCENE: THE HUMAN ERA (GymJam/Oxford Playhouse)**

 

By Emma

Link: https://www.oxfordplayhouse.com/whats-on/all-shows/anthropocene-the-human-era/13828 

Available until: 10th May 10am

Anthropocene: The Human Era is mostly very pretty to watch but I don’t really understand it.

It’s partly a choose your own adventure game. You choose between different options and you learn something about the environment. This is framed by an outer story of a woman called Megan who says goodbye to her partner Max, then her friend Giulia comes rushing round with magazines, chocolate, wine… and a pregnancy test. So I don’t know what the wine’s doing there really. Wine seems a bit tactless when there might be nothing to celebrate and if there is something to celebrate, you can’t drink!

I WISH MY LIFE WERE LIKE A MUSICAL (KING’S HEAD THEATRE)*****

 

By Imogen

Link: https://kingsheadtheatre.com/whats-on/i-wish-my-life-were-like-a-musical 

Available until: 12th May

Lots of people wish their life was more like a musical. It all looks so glamorous up there on the stage. This musical is actually more about wishing you had the life of a musical theatre star than literally wishing that you’re green all over and that a whole city thinks you’re evil and your family is dead and your boyfriend is never going to die and what if he doesn’t age and you do? I’m sure having a toyboy is a lot of fun (I’m too young to have toyboys, boys who are younger than me are so immature) but you don’t actually want them to look like your toyboy.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

PARADISE LOST PART 2: EVE AND ADAM (Red Bull Theater)****

  

By Cal

Link: https://www.redbulltheater.com/paradise-lost

Available until: Saturday 1st May at 12.30am (UK); Friday 30th April at 7pm (EST).

It seems more than two weeks since Part 1 aired, but seeing the characters onscreen again helped to jog my memory almost straight away.

Adam and Eve are living happily in the Garden of Eden, but someone has a plan to ruin it. Adam senses that all is not completely right with Eve, and the Father (God), fearing their disobedience, sends Raphael, one of His best angels, to have a word.

JACKAL RUN (Guildhall School of Music and Drama/Breach Theatre)*****

 

By Emma

Link: https://www.gsmd.ac.uk/spring_2021/jackal_run 

Available until: 30th April

Jackal Run is based on a true story. It is absolutely terrifying to think that any of this could be real. It seems so cruel and unethical but it happened and maybe it’s something that could happen again.

GALLATHEA (The Show Must Go Online)****

 

By Megan (she/her)

Link: https://www.patreon.com/TheShowMustGoOnline/posts (you need to sign up as a patreon to watch this show)

Available until: Unknown

The Show Must Go Online has performed all the plays which Shakespeare definitely wrote (though a lot of people would say The Two Noble Kinsmen is definite and other people include Edward III and Sir Thomas More) so now they are performing a classic play by John Lyly.

Monday, April 26, 2021

ALONE TIME (Coronavirus Theatre Club)*****

 

By Cal

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4l55jy6r_Q 

Available until: Unknown

Content warning: There’s no official warning, but this play does include what you might call ‘adult themes’, even though they’re not exclusive to adults.

Alone Time is really sad. In all sorts of ways.

It’s sad because the main character hasn’t had the support he needs from his parents. He was actually planning on moving out now he had a job, but the pandemic came along and the job disappeared. His parents aren’t happy with the person he is and that hurts him. Of course it does.

OH FOR ****’* SAKE (I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU) (Nottingham Playhouse/In Good Company/Arena Theatre Wolverhampton)**

 

By Dave

Link: https://nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk/events/oh-for-fcks-sake

Available until: 14th May

Captioned version available. You’ll have access to both versions when you book.

Content warning: Contains strong language, scenes of a sexual nature and some cartoon violence. 15+

Comedies can be really difficult if you happen not to find them funny and unfortunately that was the case with this one. However although I didn’t really enjoy the play itself, the subject of it was very interesting and I did enjoy thinking afterwards about the ideas in the play.

SCOOP’S SPACE: MR GOBBLE’S GARDEN (Little Angel Theatre)****

 

By Lottie & Ricky

 

Link: https://littleangeltheatre.com/online-shows-and-activities/watch/mr-gobbles-garden 

Available until: Unknown

Sunday, April 25, 2021

HENRY V (Guildford Shakespeare Company)****

 

By Louise

Link: https://www.guildford-shakespeare-company.co.uk/henry-5-online

Available until: Final performance on 25th April at 7pm

There is only half an hour until the final performance of Guildford Shakespeare’s Henry V, but I really hope that everyone who is interested in seeing a short, brilliant production of Henry V will be able to watch this one.

PRIVATE PEACEFUL (Box Less Theatre/Barn Theatre)****

 

By Louise

Link: https://barntheatre.org.uk/privatepeaceful-stream-page-the-barn-theatre

Available until: 2nd May

Michael Morpurgo is probably most famous for his novel War Horse, which was adapted for the stage and performed at the National Theatre. The production was available to watch on the National Theatre’s website earlier in lockdown.

But he wrote a lot of other books too, including Private Peaceful, which is also set in wartime. There are three Peaceful brothers – Joe, Charlie and Tommo. Joe is a lovely disabled boy who is very kind and loves animals. Charlie and Tommo spend a lot of time together and they make friends with a girl called Molly. Some of the story is about when they are children and part of it is about when Charlie and Tommo go to fight in the war.

SHOWSTOPPER: THE IMPROVISED MUSICAL 24.4.21 (The Showstoppers/Islington Studios)*****

 

By Arran

Link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/showstopper-the-improvised-musical-livestream-tickets-151971263139?aff=ebdsoporgprofile 

Available until: I think it’s available till 29th April.

The latest Showstopper musical is set somewhere I can’t tell you about because it would give away which story the Showstoppers chose but it is a really interesting place to set a musical and it was really good.

IN PIECES (Future Spotlight Productions/Stream Theatre)***

 

By Imogen

Link: https://www.stream.theatre/season/83 

Available until: Livestreams on Sunday 25th at 2.30pm and 7.30pm, Monday 27th 12.20am and 7.30pm, Tuesday 28th at 12.30am.

In Pieces is a new musical with music by Joey Contreras. There is no book, just lots of songs one after another and it’s performed by lots of big West End stars.

The music is very good. If I had to say what style it is I would say some of it is similar to Dear Evan Hansen but the music doesn’t all sound the same. It is tuneful and fun and there are some sad and lyrical songs too.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

LOST LISA MARIE (Penny Dreadfuls from the Moth Sanctuary Productions)*****

 

By Cal

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4DIVULDVWQ 

Available until: Unknown

Lost Lisa Marie is the first in what I believe is set to be a chilling but wonderful series from Moth Sanctuary Productions. The company have uploaded a number of brilliant stories to YouTube, all beautifully read, but these are original stories from the Moth Sanctuary Productions team.

SHOWSTOPPER: THE IMPROVISED MUSICAL 23.4.21 (The Showstoppers)*****

 

By Alba

Link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/showstopper-the-improvised-musical-livestream-tickets-148209118463?aff=SSweb 

Available until: 30th April. There’s another livestream tomorrow at 7.30pm.

I think improvising is brilliant. It’s so much cleverer than just remembering stuff which other people made up and it means you never have to learn any lines. I’m going to be the prime minister and that’s a bit like improvising because I’ll get asked loads of questions I don’t know the answer to and loads of questions I don’t want to tell anyone the answer to so if I get bored of ruling the country maybe I’ll be a showstopper because they rule too!

ILLUSIONS OF LIBERTY (Applecart Arts/King's Head Theatre)****

 

By Sophie 

Link: https://kingsheadtheatre.com/whats-on/illusions-of-liberty-2021 

Available until: 5th May

Illusions of Liberty is about a cellist with a chronic incurable invisible illness. I didn’t write it myself, but I theoretically could have done because I am a cellist with a chronic incurable invisible illness. Bach’s first cello suite and The Swan from The Carnival of the Animals are two of my favourite cello pieces and they provide a gorgeous soundtrack for this important play.

Friday, April 23, 2021

DESERT ISLAND THEATRE WITH TOBY JONES (Bristol Old Vic)*****

 

By Megan

Link: https://bristololdvic.org.uk/whats-on/toby-jones 

Available until: 2nd May

Desert Island Theatre is a bit different from Desert Island Discs but it’s just as good.

Toby Jones is the guest and Desert Island Theatre was actually his idea. The guest has to choose seven theatre productions they’ve seen which had a big effect on them to take to a desert island with them. He got the idea when he was thinking about the different ways people remember theatre and what they remember.

TESTAMENT (Via Brooklyn)****

 

By Dave

Link: https://www.viabrooklyn.org/testament 

Available until: April 24th 2021. The rental lasts 24 hours.

Content warning: MATURE. This video contains mature, or explicit, or sexually suggestive content. It may not be appropriate for all viewers.

Testament is based on three stories from the Bible with a modern twist. I’m not a Christian myself, I’d probably call myself an agnostic of Muslim descent but they’re all characters I have a vague knowledge of. But even if you don’t know the Biblical characters, I don’t think that matters. Testament is a strong enough piece to stand up on its own.

ALL YOUR HOUSES (Barrel Organ/Guildhall School of Music and Drama/Silk Street Theatre)****

 

By Cal

Link: https://www.gsmd.ac.uk/spring_2021/all_your_houses 

Available until: 30th April

All Your Houses is the first (or at least the first we’ve watched) in a series of free events from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Judging from this performance, the standard is extremely high. Having seen some of their previous performances, I’m actually not very surprised.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

JEW…ISH (Unleash the Llama/King’s Head Theatre)****

 

By Cal

Link: https://kingsheadtheatre.com/whats-on/jewish-2021 

Available until: 5th May

It gets to the stage sometimes when you’re almost scared to laugh.

Jew…ish is a hilarious comedy about a couple who belong together. Probably. Whether they’re better as friends, friends with benefits, benefits without friendship, a committed monogamous relationship or if they’re simply better texting each other from opposite sides of the world, there is something about Max and TJ that makes them perfect for each other.

WHODUNNIT AT THE COLISEUM (Oldham Coliseum)*****

 

  

By Arran

Link: https://www.coliseum.org.uk/shows/whodunnit-at-the-coliseum-3601ab

Available until: 25th April. You’ll receive a link when you book. It becomes active on your chosen date and remains active for 48 hours.

Whodunnit at the Coliseum is an interactive murder mystery which is set in the Oldham Coliseum. You go through lots of different options and talk to the different characters and at the end you can decide who you think did the murder. At the end of your 48 hours access they send you a newspaper article about the murderer and you get to see if you were right.

NINE EXPERIMENTS TO CHANGE THE WORLD (Southwark Playhouse Young Company/Southwark Playhouse)***

 

By Emma

Link: https://www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/show-homepage/nine-experiments-to-change-the-world 

Available until: 22nd April

Nine Experiments to Change the World is a Zoom play which was written (apart from the bits by Shakespeare, Tony Kushner and maybe other people I didn’t notice) and performed by the Southwark Playhouse Young Company.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

VESPERTILIO (King’s Head Theatre/Shoot Media)****


 By Dave 

Link: https://kingsheadtheatre.com/whats-on/vespertilio

Available until: 5th May

I always thought bats were cool. I used to have a bat detector. It was mostly pipistrelles - sopranos and altos. I looked for Daubenton’s bats, flying low over the river but I never saw any. Or noctules. They were supposed to be around but they must have run off when they heard the bat detector clicking.

PERFECT (Northern Comedy)***

 

By Cal

Link: https://northerncomedytheatre.com/perfect

Available until: Shows on 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th April at 8pm

Perfect is about education minister, Daniel Lewis, and the questionable decisions he makes. He begins with an idea for education reform. He’s very enthusiastic about it and he believes in it, but soon, he finds himself getting distracted by other things, unfailingly choosing to do whatever is likely to get him into the most trouble.

HENRY IV PART II (Shake-Scene Shakespeare)****

 

By Louise

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5n0NLGPQaA

Available until: Unknown

At the end of this play, book holder Lizzie Hughes said Henry IV Part II wasn’t like one big play, it was like lots of little plays, one after another. I was so glad to hear her say that because I was thinking exactly the same thing, but I wasn’t sure if I was brave enough to write it in my review.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

UNMATERNAL INSTINCT (Coronavirus Theatre Club)***

 

By Emma

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfZWH3QJfMg

Available until: Unknown

Not everyone wants to be a mum and that’s completely okay. They should never be pressured or guilt-tripped into it. They should be allowed to live their own life.

A TOUCH OF THE POET (Irish Repertory Theatre/Stream Theatre)****

  

By Cal

Link: https://www.stream.theatre/season/100 

Available until: On demand until Sunday 25th May at 11.59pm

There are a lot of unusual things about A Touch of the Poet, but one thing that stands out in particular is the fact that there’s a very important character who is never seen.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (Lawrence Batley Theatre)***

  

By Dave

Link: https://www.thelbt.org/shows/the-importance-of-being-earnest-2

Available until: Tuesday 4th May. You’ll be sent a link on the day of your chosen performance and you have access for 48 hours.

Content warning: Contains some strong language. 14+

This isn’t the Oscar Wilde play. Let’s get that right of the way right now. It’s set in the modern world with vloggers and followers and cancel culture. It follows the main basic story of The Importance of Being Earnest and most of the characters correspond to an equivalent character in the original play but it’s not Oscar Wilde.

Monday, April 19, 2021

GEORGE (Gate Generations/Gate Theatre)****

 

By Cal

Link: https://www.gatetheatre.co.uk/gate-generations

Available until: Unknown

Gate Generations is a series of short works inspired by past Gate Theatre productions. George is based on Down and out in Paris and London, which is by George Orwell.  A stage adaptation by Lou Stein was performed at the Gate Theatre in 1979.

HENRY IV PART I (Shake-Scene Theatre Company)*****

  

By Louise

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Im4apMJwwU 

Available until: Unknown

I find the history plays quite difficult so even though I knew Shake-Scene would do a brilliant performance of this play, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to appreciate it as much as it deserved. But this really is a great production with so many fun moments and it’s very easy to follow.

JACK AND THE BEANSTALK (Nottingham Playhouse)****

 

By Lottie & Ricky

Link: https://nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk/events/jack-on-demand-2021

Available until: 28th May 2021. You have access to the recording for five days. You can watch it with captions, sign language or audio description.

 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

FAKE (Elysium Theatre Company)***

   

By Emma

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVWP265YLvA 

Available until: Forever

There are a lot of conspiracy theories going around at the moment. I think there always have been. It’s probably not just recently that people have been saying the moon landings are fake. But now it’s got a bit more dangerous. Some people don’t believe the coronavirus is real and that means they’re risking people’s lives.

A SPLINTER OF ICE (Cheltenham Everyman Theatre/Original Theatre Online)****

 

By Cal

Link: https://originaltheatreonline.com/productions/20/a-splinter-of-ice

Available until: 31st July 2021 at 11.55pm

The reviews say you’ll get more from the play if you know about the Cold War. It’s impossible to be sure whether this is true or not, but my lack of knowledge certainly didn’t prevent me from enjoying the play. Perhaps I even had an advantage as everything in the play was new to me. I also haven’t read any Graham Greene and spent part of the play mentally confusing him in my head with Graeme Garden, but I still had no difficulty in enjoying it.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

THE MUSIC OF ERICH ZANN (Moth Sanctuary Productions)*****

  

By Louise

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qll2WqvKgbM 

Available until: Unknown

The Music of Erich Zann is quite a frightening story, but it is very different from a lot of horror stories I have read and heard.

A lot of horror stories tell similar sorts of stories, but I don’t think I’ve read about creepy music before. I love music and I think it is beautiful, but even though a lot of people think of ugliness when it comes to horror stories (especially when they are about zombies), I think beautiful things can be very frightening too. The Picture of Dorian Gray is another really good story which shows this but The Music of Erich Zann is about beautiful, scary sounds.

CRUISE (Aria Entertainment/Lambert Jackson Productions/Shoreditch Town Hall/Stream Theatre)*****

 

By Dave

Link: https://www.stream.theatre/season/61 

Available until: Livestreams every day at 7.30pm until Sunday 25th of April, with matinées at 2.30pm on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Cruise is a sad story but it’s also a story that’s full of love and hope. The play is being streamed live over the next week and then it’s transferring to the Duchess Theatre where it will be played to a live audience. I really hope that, on at least one occasion, the audience will include me.

ON BECKETT/IN SCREEN (Irish Repertory Theatre/Stream Theatre)****

 

By Cal

Link: https://www.stream.theatre/season/84 

Available until: On demand until 18th April

On Beckett/In Screen manages to be really difficult and very reassuring all at once. Difficult because… well, it’s Samuel Beckett! Reassuring because I did get the feeling all the way through that it was okay to find it difficult.

Friday, April 16, 2021

MURDER (Future Voices/Southwark Playhouse)

 

 By Aashiq

Link: https://www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/future-voices

Available until: Unknown

I do like a bit of murder. Not personally, no-one’s actually murdered me yet, though I think a few people have thought about it. Not in a bad way. Just an ‘Aashiq is so annoying’ way. But on a psychological level, the subject is really fascinating. There are so many different types of murder and reasons for murder and so many different ways of telling the stories.

OUTSIDE (Orange Tree Theatre)****

 

By Louise 

Link: https://orangetreetheatre.co.uk/whats-on/outside/about

Available until: Livestreams Friday 16th April at 7.30pm, Saturday 17th at 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Outside is a sort of sequel to Inside, which was streamed on the Orange Tree site three weeks ago. Both are made up of three short plays. The first three plays have the theme of Inside and the second three have the theme of Outside.

FATHER THE FATHER (The MAC /Prime Cut Productions/Upstairs Theatre at the MAC)*****

 

By Cal 

Link: https://themaclive.com/event/father-the-father

Available until: 17th April

Father the Father tells the story of a woman trying to trace the man who is biologically her father. He knew about her, but she’s never met him. She’s grown up, not knowing what to say about who her dad is. She’s grown up wanting to know who he is. But she’s also angry with him because… where was he?

Thursday, April 15, 2021

WINNINGS (Compacts)*****

 

By Dave

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P03qjE7QShw 

Available until: Unknown

We’ve kind of been putting off watching the last Compacts play. Once you’ve watched the last one, it’s over. It’s silly really. But it’s such a great series with an unbelievable range of stories, characters and ideas so it's been good having one more to look forward to. But Rick Allden's been waiting long enough!

DR SEUSS’S THE LORAX (Old Vic)****

 

By Alba

Link: https://www.oldvictheatre.com/whats-on/2021/old-vic-in-camera/dr-seusss-the-lorax

Available until: Thursday 15th April at 7pm. Friday 16th April and Saturday 17th April at 3pm and 7pm.

The Lorax is an American children’s story by a guy called Dr Seuss. I asked Megan about him because she’s read everything. She has even read Shakespear and Jane Austin. But she says she’s never read Dr Seuss. That shows there are always good writers you haven’t read yet even if your Megan.

RICHARD II (Shake-Scene Theatre Company)*****

 

By Cal

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-SjuLPDLb8 

Available until: Unknown

Richard II marks the beginning of a long history cycle which has sadly skipped King John, but he did reign quite a long time before Richard II. The other history plays more or less move from one King to the next. Judging from Shake-Scene’s performance of Richard II, it’s going to be a very exciting cycle. Richard III will not officially be part of this cycle as Shake-Scene have done this play already, but as we haven’t watched it yet, we will be sticking it on the end after Henry VI Part III.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

A PASSION PLAY (Written on the Waves/Forty-Five North)****

  

By Cal

Link: https://soundcloud.com/user-538797665/a-passion-play 

Available until: Unknown

A Passion Play is the story of two girls in Cork in 2015. The title refers to the fact they’re putting on a passion play at their local church, but perhaps one of the girls is starting to feel a passion for the other. Or perhaps they both are.

SUSAN, BILL AND THE FORGOTTEN PROMISE (Red River Theatre)****

 

By Louise

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npQLouHZjUA 

Available until: Unknown

A lot of people wonder what will happen to their favourite fictional characters after the end of the book. That’s why a lot of people like to write fanfiction. Some people look down on fanfiction a bit because people aren’t creating their own characters, but I think the ability to write someone else’s characters shows a different kind of creativity because they are able to use their imaginations within someone else’s limits. It’s also a compliment to the original book that we are still thinking about what happens to the characters long after we read the last page.

DON GIOVANNI (Liceu Opera Barcelona/Gran Teatre del Liceu/OperaVision)*****

 

By Megan

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1MNN-d87CE&t=2s 

Available until: 4th June 2021

Don Giovanni is a sad opera but it has lots of really beautiful music, some really interesting characters and a great story. There are lots of really good productions which are available to watch online or on DVD but the Liceu Opera Barcelona’s production is extra special because it was filmed in the pandemic.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

THE HANG OVER (Coronavirus Theatre Club)****

  

By Emma

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6CTlxYcfnI 

Available until: Unknown

I’m not going to say ‘we’ve all been through it’ because some people haven’t and I actually haven’t been through it properly because so far, it’s always turned out to be my boyfriend (this was before I got married and decided I’d better start pretending to be a grown-up) but I think it probably is a situation we’d all recognise as a nightmare.

PARADISE LOST PART 1: THE FALL OF LUCIFER (Red Bull Theater Company)****

  

By Cal

Link: https://www.redbulltheater.com/paradise-lost

Available until: 12.30am GMT on Saturday 17th April/7.30 EST on Friday 16th April. Part 2 is on Monday 26th/Tuesday 27th April and will also be available for 4 days.

Paradise Lost is known as an epic poem in blank verse by John Milton about the story of Adam and Eve, also featuring various other characters which most people will recognise. The Red Bull Theater present an adaptation by Michael Barakiva, who also directs this production.

JULIUS CAESAR (Royal Shakespeare Company/The Shows Must Go On)****

 

By Alan

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvFe9HZOhew  

Available until: 16th April, probably 7pm

I have never seen Julius Caesar in the list of Shakespeare’s history plays but he was a real person. He was a Roman consul general and statesman who was born in 100 BC and was assassinated 55 years later. He really was married to Calpurnia (and three other women, sometimes to 2 at the same time) and she apparently really did dream he was going to die. Caesar really was assassinated by a group that was led by Brutus and Cassius on the Ides of March which is March 15th

Monday, April 12, 2021

EVERYBODY (Richard Burton Company/Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama)***

 

By Dave

Link: https://rwcmd.ticketco.events/uk/en/e/everybody

Available until: It’s hard to be sure when the site’s down but judging from the other RWCMD plays, it’ll probably be available till 24th April.

Everybody is based on the 15th century morality play Everyman by an unknown author. It is probably the most confusing play I’ve ever seen so just to warn you, this might be a terrible review. But I do think this play is worth seeing because it’s an opportunity to see some really talented and versatile performers.

CHARLEY’S AUNT (Proud Haddock at Home)****

  

By Louise

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-z1GPKlu9E 

Available until: Unknown

Charley’s Aunt is a really lovely farcical comedy about falling in love. I think it’s somewhere between Oscar Wilde and pantomimes so if you like one of them (or both), you’ll probably like Charley’s Aunt too.

FABLES AT THE KITCHEN TABLE (Stute Theatre/PH Production Services/Manchester Central Library)*****

 

By Lottie & Ricky

Link: https://www.stutetheatre.co.uk/fables 

Available until: 22nd April

 

Sunday, April 11, 2021

ALL THAT I AM (Richard Burton Company/Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama)****

 

By Cal

Link: https://www.rwcmd.ac.uk/events/all-i-am 

Available until: 23rd April 2021

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama have been producing some fascinating plays recently. Yen and In the Blood in March and now The Writer and All That I Am. I’m really looking forward to seeing Everybody tomorrow. It really could be about anything.

DISENCHANTED! (West End Musical Productions/Stream Theatre)****

 

By Imogen

Link: https://www.stream.theatre/season/96 

Available until: Final performance Sunday 11th April at 7.30pm.

Content warning: Disenchanted! contains adult language and content. It tackles difficult subject material including misogyny, race and sexuality. It may not be suitable for people under the age of 16 who aren’t as mature as I am and parental discretion is advised.

Disenchanted! is enjoying a very short run on Stream Theatre starring some of the very best of West End female talent. It has already been seen off-Broadway but I don’t think it’s got any further than that. It’s ridiculous really. It’s a really good musical.

THE FLYING SEAGULL (Flying Seagull Project/Applecart Arts)****

 

By Lottie & Ricky 

Link: https://applecartarts.com/in_the_theatre.php?id=1775&title=the-flying-seagull-spectacular 

Available until: Unknown

 

Saturday, April 10, 2021

PHAEDRA’S LOVE (Gate Generations/Gate Theatre)****

 

By Louise

Link: https://www.gatetheatre.co.uk/gate-generations 

Available until: Unknown

The story of Phaedra is really sad, but it is also really interesting because there are lots of different versions of the story. There is a traditional version and an alternative version and lots of other writers have written their own versions. In all of them, Phaedra falls in love with her stepson Hippolytus.

THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (Moth Sanctuary Productions)****

 

By Cal

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNbftZw7AUg 

Available until: Unknown

Sometimes we have things planned in the schedule and for whatever reason they don’t work out so we have to bring in another production to replace it so we can keep up with our three reviews a day. After the brilliance of Moth Sanctuary Productions’ Company of Wolves, I couldn’t resist sneaking in another one. And I did say a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to get to know more of Edgar Allan Poe’s work…

AS YOU LIKE IT (Shake-Scene Theatre Company/Cream Faced Loons)*****

 

By Emma

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnxD1zy6g88 

Available until: Unknown

This production of As You Like It was the first ever collaboration between Shake-Scene Theatre Company and the Cream Faced Loons. I’ve watched productions from both of them and really enjoyed them. I’ve seen quite a few Shake-Scene productions and I reviewed their The Merry Wives of Windsor which I loved. But they’re equally good at tragedy, their Macbeth was actually quite emotional and The Winter’s Tale is a beautiful story with a bit of everything and Shake-Scene’s production was lovely.

Friday, April 9, 2021

MASKING THE TRUTH (Distanced Scenes/Two Bob Films/TwoFiveFour Productions)****

 

By Sophie

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNeZYUoDj1U 

Available until: Unknown

Masking the Truth is about a daughter who speaks to her elderly mother on Zoom. Her mother is clearly becoming very confused. She forgets who people are and that her husband is dead. She becomes angry about things which have been done which were clearly intended as a kindness.

THE WRITER (Richard Burton Company/Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama)****

 

By Dave

 

Link: https://www.rwcmd.ac.uk/events/writer 

Available until: 22nd April 2021

The Writer isn’t an easy play to review. There’s a lot I can’t say because I don’t want to ruin the surprise. But I’ll start off and let’s see what happens.

The play begins in a theatre. A young woman enters the circle. A man comes onto the stage and sees her. He actually looks like a young man but he’s not that young. That did confuse me for a bit but then I realised this is a student production so it’s going to be ageblind. He asks her what she thought of the play and she tells him.

THE BEE-EATERS (Foliate Head Films/iTunes)****

  

By Cal

Link: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/movie/the-bee-eaters/id1548549255 

Available until: Rent for 48 hours or buy

Age rating: 15

Content warning: Mentions of grooming, a rather upsetting death, violence

Bee-eaters are brightly-coloured birds related to kingfishers. The ones that (occasionally) visit the UK are red, green, yellow, blue and brown. No bee-eaters actually appear in this film, but there are characters who hope to see bee-eaters and they do become symbolic. There are a lot of things in this play which are possible but most likely just out of reach.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

ANGELA CARTER’S THE COMPANY OF WOLVES (Moth Sanctuary Productions/Scenesaver)*****

 

By Cal

Link on Scenesaver: https://www.scenesaver.co.uk/production/angela-carters-the-company-of-wolves-full-readthrough 

Link on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4fqHKK2YSI

Available until: Unknown

I hadn’t actually read any Angela Carter before, though I’ve seen Emma Rice’s incredible musical adaption of Wise Children. After watching this, I will be seeking out more Angela Carter… though not necessarily to read. Not if I can get Chloe Gorman and Andrew Bate to read it for me!

L’HEURE ESPAGNOLE (Grange Park Opera/Wigmore Hall)****

  

By Emma

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUfUg7_bbJc 

Available until: Unknown

L’heure espagnole is really quite a naughty opera but there’s something really sweet and funny about it too. I think maybe the characters are deep enough for us to be interested in them but not so deep we’re actually going to feel bad for Torquemada?

RICHARD III (Guildford School of Acting)*****

 

By Tommy

Link: https://gsauk.org/whats/richard-iii 

Available until: One more livestreamed performance on Thursday 8th April at 7.30pm.

Age rating: 15+

Richard III is the fifth play to be streamed by Guildford School of Acting which has been watched and reviewed by Mobile Theatre and it is an absolute privilege to watch these incredible young performers, still students but already giving performances at the very highest level.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

PUTTING A FACE ON (Old Vic)*****

 

By Louise

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcpaHs-edY0 

Available until: Unknown

Putting a Face On is a really sad and moving monologue, but I think it is also a hopeful and inspiring monologue. It’s also a really important monologue because it draws your attention to a lot of things which people don’t realise. I know that’s a bit vague, but I don’t want to give anything away.

THE FISHERMEN (New Perspectives/Radio 3)***

 

By Cal 

Link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000sqxq 

Available until: 4th May 2021

The radio play The Fishermen is based on the play of that name by Gbolahan Obisesan which is based on the book of that name by Chigozie Obioma. The play was staged by New Perspectives Theatre Company and then had a run in London at the Trafalgar Studios. Recently, the cast was reunited and a new production was produced for Radio 3. I understand some changes were made for the radio audience, but these were minimal and I think they were made more to clarify the story rather than to alter it.

CELINA AND THE SPIDER (HOME MCR)***

 

By Lottie & Ricky 

Link: https://homemcr.org/event/celina-and-the-spider-storytime-sessions 

Available until: 30th August 2021

 

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

HYSTERICAL! A HILARIOUS HISTORY OF HYSTERIA (Theatre Royal Stratford East)****

  

By Sophie

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0Tp1nYqSZw

With audio description: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBmv98RxZjc

With BSL interpretation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oE-MUHcGfo

With captions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2pGJ0_ekH4 

Available until: Unknown

There are many ways in which Hysterical! A Hilarious History of Hysteria might be described. It could be described as ‘hilarious’ though it resonated so personally with my own emotional and physical pain, I personally didn’t find it amusing, though it is undeniably witty.

SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW (Musical Theatre Academy/Bridewell Theatre/Stream Theatre)****

  

By Imogen 

Link: https://www.stream.theatre/season/91

Available until: Livestreams at 7.30pm Monday-Friday with a matinee on Wednesday at 3pm. On Saturday there are shows at 3pm and 8pm and on Sunday it’s 2.30pm and 8pm. The final shows are on Sunday 18 April.

The Musical Theatre Academy is a drama school in London which has been named Stage School of the Year twice. Something Old, Something New is a showcase for the graduating class of 2021 but all the students feature.

SOME GIRL I USED TO KNOW (Home House/The Umbrella Rooms)****

 

By Emma 

Link: https://somegirl.co.uk/ 

Available until: Saturday 1st May. You have access for 72 hours.

Some Girl I Used to Know was inspired by the film of Shirley Valentine. I’ve never seen it but Sophie said the play was good so I read it and it is really good. I wouldn’t say I identify with it exactly because Shirley is quite a lot older than me but she’s a really great character and a nice person and when actors started filming monologues I did think how nice it would be if one of the theatres put on Shirley Valentine.

Monday, April 5, 2021

POWER OF THE MIND (Coronavirus Theatre Club)***

 

By Cal

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vV0lsqpBwY 

Available until: Unknown

The best comedies have at least a little bit of truth in them and that is definitely true of Power of the Mind.

THIS IS THE PLAY WITHOUT A TITLE (The Far Away Plays)****

 

By Dave

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23fpdOl28lk 

Available until: Unknown

We’ve known about The Far Away Plays for a while but this is only the second time we’ve actually watched one. I doubt it will be the last. Judging from the standard of this play, we’ve missed some really great performances.

This version of This is the Play Without a Title was written by Simon Harris but it’s actually based on a play by Anton Chekhov. Chekhov didn’t much like it, it was never performed in his lifetime and he thought it had been destroyed but his sister had hidden it. After Chekhov’s death the play was rediscovered and performed. The work was untitled but an article in the Sydney Theatre magazine suggests it might have originally been called Fatherlessness, and it has been presented under many titles including A Long Play Without a Title, Chekhov’s First Play, Platonov, which is the name of the character at the centre of it all, and rather more confusingly, Wild Honey in an adaptation by Michael Frayn. Chekhov’s other works include A Story Without a Title so maybe that influenced the sort of title this play is usually given.

What to Watch Now

I JUST CALLED TO SAY (The Covid-19 Monologues/Elysium Theatre Company)*****

  By Emma Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sng2hPgYvE&t=4s   Available until: Unknown I Just Called to Say is a really emo...