Wednesday, March 31, 2021

BLOOD IN THE WATER (DreamArts Performance Company)****

  

By Cal

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvzQ2zGhCUg

Available until: 10th April 2021

It’s 2050 and the world is all about social media. A lot of people can handle being a social media star, but put them into a real social situation and they doesn’t really know what to do.

Then a social media star dies. It’s an accident… isn’t it? Or is it murder?

HEADSPACE (Distanced Scenes/Two Bob Films/TwoFiveFour Productions)***


By Dave

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRq5L5Tu2Ds 

Available until: Unknown

The human brain can be very complex. We’re capable of feeling lots of different things at once. There can be great things in our life and there can be things which still make us sad and maybe always will. That doesn’t mean that the happiness is real or that the sadness isn’t real. It just means we’re human beings and we don’t feel the same way all the time.

THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE (PALACE THEATRE/STREAM THEATRE)*****

 

By Aashiq

Link: https://www.stream.theatre/season/16

Available until: Shows at 7.30 every night from 1st March-3rd April. Matinées at 2.30pm on 31st March and 3rd April and two further performances on Sunday 4th and Monday 5th April at 5pm.

This is an old review, but this gorgeous, funny, touching, romantic and out of this world production is streaming again so if you missed it last time, watch it now. If you did see it last time, watch it again. It gets better every time you watch it. (You see. I can be concise. When I want to.)

I absolutely adore this production with all my heart! I think I can honestly say with my hand on my aforementioned heart that I have officially fallen in love with a woman. So, listen, Mabel darling, as Frederic is technically still underage… it’s okay, don’t panic. I’m already married to a mostly wonderful man and after all, The Pirates of Penzance is only a story.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

ONE HAND TIED BEHIND US: MOTHER’S LITTLE HELPER (Old Vic)*****

 

By Emma 

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=520obrdEjU0 

Available until: Unknown

I’m not sure if the woman in this monologue makes me want to laugh or makes me want to rescue her but it’s very good.

THE DREAM (Royal Ballet)*****

 

By Megan

Link: https://stream.roh.org.uk/products/the-dream-2017 

Available until: 18th April 2021

The Dream is based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and it’s a beautiful ballet. It doesn’t tell the full story, there’s no Theseus and Hippolyta, and the Mechanicals (apart from Bottom) only have a very short appearance but you do get to see the Lovers and the Fairies.

PRIMA DONNA (Royal Swedish Opera/Kungliga Operan/OperaVision)****

  

By Aashiq

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1NdOy1-1uw&t=2s 

Available until: 5th May 2021

I went to the London premiere of Prima Donna! I dressed up and we walked down the red carpet and I looked SO much better than Rufus Wainwright, though you can’t say his outfit wasn’t eye-catching. Janis Kelly and Jonathan Summers were in it and they were both brilliant. I had a massive crush on Jonathan even though he was probably in his 60s, I'm not saying I had wedding dreams or anything like that, but his performances are just so on point emotionally and never overdone, he always makes me care about his characters. 

Monday, March 29, 2021

TYPICAL (Soho Theatre on Demand)*****

  

By Dave

Link: https://sohotheatreondemand.com/show/typical 

Available until: 48-hour rental.

Content warning: racism, violence, death

Typical tells a story which shouldn’t be typical at all. A story which we know too well.

A black man goes out for the night. He ends the night in jail.

SCARAMOUCHE JONES (Stream Theatre)**

 

By Cal 

Link: https://www.stream.theatre/season/54

Available until: Livestreams ay 7.30pm every night until Sunday 4th April, with matinées at 2.30pm on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. From 5th April-11th April it is available on demand and can be watched at anytime.

Scaramouche Jones is nearly one hundred years old. He has just given his last performance and he knows that today will be his last. So, for his very last performance, he tells us the story of his colourful life and how he got to be where he is today.

SNOW WHITE (Anton Benson Productions)****

  

By Lottie & Ricky

Link: https://www.antonbensonproductions.com/snow-white

Available until: Livestreams at 2pm and 6pm every day until Thursday 1st April. From Friday 2nd April until Monday 3th April. there are three shows a day at 11am, 3pm and 7pm. Then it’s back to two shows a day at 2pm and 6pm until Sunday 11th April.

 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

SHOWSTOPPER: THE IMPROVISED MUSICAL (27.3.21) (The Showstoppers)*****

 

By Sophie

Link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/showstopper-the-improvised-musical-livestream-tickets-143134658617?aff=OC (There are two shows on the same page. If you only want to see this one, make sure you don’t rent the 26.2.21 edition by mistake. Both are worth seeing, but renting the wrong show can be one of the most annoying things ever. And I should know.) 

Available until: 3rd April

The incredibly-talented Showstoppers return for their second show in two days and it’s definitely one of their best. Two ideas suggested by the audience at the start set the scene for this exciting and emotional musical, full of twists and turns with one or two tantrums as well.

PINK MIST (Bristol Old Vic)****

  

By Cal

Link: https://bristololdvic.org.uk/whats-on/pink-mist 

Available until: Thursday 22nd April

Warning: Contains violence, distressing themes, strong language. 12+

Pink Mist tells the story of three boys from Bristol (though Geraint, known as Taff, sounds quite Welsh to me). They all decide to fight in Afghanistan. At first, it’s a bit of a game to them, like the games they played when they were younger.

When they get there, they discover it’s very different from a game.

JINA AND THE STEM SISTERS (HMDT Music)****

 

By Alba

Link: http://www.hmdt.org.uk/hmdtmusic/stemsisters 

Available until:

Jina and the Stem Sisters is all about how girls should be scientists if they want. Lots of girls feel like they have to do girly jobs like teachers and hairdressers and librarians and if they want to be boring that’s fine but some girls wish they could do something else instead.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

SHOWSTOPPER: THE IMPROVISED MUSICAL (26.3.21) (The Showstoppers)****

  

By Dave 

Link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/showstopper-the-improvised-musical-livestream-tickets-143134658617?aff=OC 

Available until: This show will be available until 2nd April. There is another live, improvised Showstopper show today (27th March) at 7.30pm and another on 24th April. (If you book the 24th April show now you’ll be entered into a prize draw to have a song improvised for you live on air.)

The Showstoppers are a group of musical theatre performers who improvise shows live in response to suggestions from the audience. Usually it’s in a theatre but it all works very well online too. This is the eighth online show which has been watched and reviewed by the Mobile Theatre team.

INSIDE (Orange Tree Theatre/The Umbrella Rooms)***

 

By Emma

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

Available until: Livestreams on Saturday 27th March at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Inside is a set of three short new plays by writers who were first introduced to the theatre world by the Orange Tree Theatre. There is another set of plays called Outside which will be livestreamed next month.

ONE HAND TIED BEHIND US: IMAGINE THAT (Old Vic)*****

 

By Cal 

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVHxKOSJt8U

Available until: Unknown

Imagine That is the third monologue in the One Hand Tied Behind Us series, which celebrated National Women’s Day 2021.

Carmen has just finished a twelve-hour shift. Now, she’s getting ready to go out for her other job. The last thing she needs is to go out and vote. She’s tired. But it means a lot to her friend Rose.

Friday, March 26, 2021

THE YOU PLAY (Written on the Waves/Forty-Five North)****

  

By Aashiq 

 

Link: https://soundcloud.com/user-538797665/the-you-play 

 

Text version: https://www.forty-fivenorth.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/The_You_Play_small_acts.pdf


Available until: Unknown 

 

Content warning: If you have mental health problems, it’s possible that some of the things they ask you to do might trigger you. I wasn’t too happy about being told something was my fault and when I was asked to think of slicing something with a knife, I thought about self-harming. I didn’t do it, but you might want to be a bit careful.

 

The You Play is a play all about me. You have to listen and do as you’re told (two things I’ve never been very good at) and it tells you what you’re feeling and what’s happened to you and what’s happening to you right now. It’s actually really freaky. A lot of the things weren’t true for me, but I got so into it, I believed them! 

 

HOME, AGAIN (Boaty Theatre Company)

 

By

Link: https://www.boatytheatre.co.uk/tickets 

Available until: Livestreams on 26th and 27th March at 7pm

Home, Again is about a man called George returning home to his wife Anna. He has been fighting in the war and he’s suffered a traumatic head injury which is affecting his memory. 

 

Six years have past since George and Anna have seen each other. George wonders if his memory problems will allow him to recognise Anna. As she waits at home for him, making the house look beautiful, she wonders the same thing. 

 

BABE, THE SHEEP-PIG (Guildford School of Acting)*****

 

By Sophie 

Link: https://gsauk.org/events/babe-the-sheep-pig

Available until: Second livestream 26th March at 6pm

There aren’t many children’s books about sheep. Lots about dogs, cats and horses, but sheep seem to appeal to few children in the way they have always appealed to me.

Of course, the star of this book is Babe the pig, but sheep still play an important role and through the book, the reader comes to understand that sheep aren’t stupid. They understand the instructions perfectly, but if they’re conveyed in a rude manner, they choose not to comply. These sheep are, of course, fictional, but research into the intelligence of sheep has concluded that they’re actually very bright animals. They also have the ability to recognise others so if a farmer kicks them or a dog bites, them, the chances are they won’t have forgotten it all by next week.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

THE BLACK CAT (Threedumb Theatre/The Space)****

  

By Cal 

Link: https://space.org.uk/event/the-black-cat-livestream 

Available until: Livestreams 25th and 26th March at 8.30pm.

Warning: This show contains scenes of horror and violence (including towards animals) which some viewers may find disturbing.

Throughout lockdown, theatre companies have experimented with various different ways of telling a story. Most have gone with the tried and traditional way of acting out a script. It’s a format that works and I don’t think it’ll get old anytime soon. There have also been online readings of stories with actors as the narrators.

MOMENT OF GRACE (Backstory Ensemble/The Actors Centre)*****

  

By Dave 

Link: https://www.actorscentre.co.uk/theatre-on-demand/moment-of-grace/about 

Available until: Sunday 16th May

I’ve never been a big fan of Diana, Princess of Wales. I didn’t really get what all the fuss was about but from watching this film, I have discovered what she did for AIDS victims and the general perception of them and… yes she made mistakes as we all do and she made them publicly but in 1987, she raised awareness and understanding at a time when the world really needed to understand AIDS better. I think that was really important and a really positive, helpful and groundbreaking way of using her celebrity status and her popularity. I can think of a few young people who could learn from that. Anyone can attach their name to a cause, not everyone is willing to go the extra mile and get properly involved.

BIRDS AND BEES (Soho Theatre on Demand)****


By Louise 

Link: https://sohotheatreondemand.com/show/birdsandbees 

Available until: Sunday 28th March. You can rent Birds and Bees for 48 hours.

Age rating: 14+

Content warning: Birds and Bees contains direct and indirect discussion around panic attacks and suicide, flashing images, as well as infrequent swear words.

There has been a lot of information lately about sex education in schools. Things are changing and I’m very glad. I have learned about homosexual sex education as well as heterosexual sex education. A lot of students know everything already and they don’t need to learn it at school, but it’s still really important that it happens. Some students might not have all the accurate information and I think an important part of it is to provide validation and acknowledgement for students who are not heterosexual or don’t identify with the traditional genders.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

DON PASQUALE (Wiener Staatsoper)****

  

By Cal

Link: https://play.wiener-staatsoper.at/event/01176d5f-1be6-4b8c-af48-3291bd6a9c69

Available until: Available on demand until 25th April at about 6pm. There is another showing on 26th April followed by another two days on demand.

Don Pasquale is one of those operas where you have to get the balance right. If it’s too slapstick, it’s very difficult to care. If there’s too much emotion in it, it starts to look cruel.

BKLYN (Lambert Jackson Productions/Ugly Duck/Stream Theatre)****

  

By Louise

Link: https://www.stream.theatre/season/51 

Available until: There are live shows every night at 7.30pm until Sunday March 28th with 2.30pm matinées on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. These shows must be watched live, but the production will be available on demand from 29th March-4th April and it can be watched anytime.

Rating: PG (drugs)

BKLYN is short for Brooklyn and it is the place where the story takes place and the name of the heroine. It was originally premiered in the USA in 2003, but it didn’t come to Europe until it was performed as Brooklyn at the Greenwich Theatre in 2019, which actually seems like quite a long time ago now.

BUMP (Half Moon Theatre/Lots of Odds)***

  

By Emma 

Link: https://www.halfmoon.org.uk/events/bump 

Available until: Screenings every day except Sundays till Thursday 4th April. The email arrives at 11am on the day of the performances and you have two weeks to watch it.

Bump could have been about a lot of different things and as Half Moon Theatre do a lot of plays for children, I thought it might be about a toddler who falls over sometimes. I wasn’t completely wrong as there will be a toddler in the future but for now, the only bump is a baby bump.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

GALATEA (Red Bull Theater/WP Theater)****

 

By Dave 

Link: https://www.redbulltheater.com/galatea-mj-kaufman 

Available until: Friday March 26th

Last week Red Bull Theater presented John Lyly’s Gallathea, first performed in 1588.

This week, Red Bull Theater and WP Theater present a more modern version of the show, Galatea, written by MJ Kaufman and first performed in 2018.

Galatea is said to be loosely based on Gallathea but it seems to me like it actually follows the story quite closely. The characters have the same names and Neptune is still causing trouble, demanding virgin sacrifices. The difference is more in the style – Galatea is written in modern language, it refers directly to modern terms like transgenderism and it’s very witty.

LETTERS LIVE (22nd March) (The Shows Must Go On/Union Chapel)****

 

By Emma 

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71G_imi-aBA 

Available until: 29th March at about 7pm

I only watched the first Letters Live a few days ago because we didn’t know about it (it’s hard keeping track of everything) but I’m so glad we found out about this because it’s really lovely.

THE REMOVAL SERVICE (Maltings Theatre/OVO Theatre)***

 

By Cal 

Link: http://maltingstheatre.co.uk/removal 

Available until: Saturday 27th March 2021

The Removal Service is about two removal men.

No, it isn’t. It’s about a robbery.

Or is it actually about something else?

Monday, March 22, 2021

DAMNED FOR DESPAIR (Gate Theatre)****


By Dave

Link: https://vimeo.com/521488855 

Available until: Unknown

Gate Generations is a series of works celebrating five past productions at the Gate Theatre. An extract from each of the five is being filmed as part of this series. It might be re-imagined, it might be rewritten. The only way of finding out is to watch.

FALSTAFF (Wiener Staatsoper)****

  

By Cal 

Link: https://play.wiener-staatsoper.at/event/52bb9a84-0a6d-4cf2-81f3-dda03a009ac1/play 

Available until: 23rd February, about 6pm

Giuseppe Verdi isn’t really best-known for his comedies. His second opera, Un giorno di regno, was a comedy, but that one bombed. Verdi really wanted another go at writing a comedy, but everyone wanted him to write tragedies. Gioachino Rossini even said he didn’t think Verdi was capable of writing a comedy.

SCOOP’S SPACE (Little Angel Theatre)****

  

By Lottie & Ricky 

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lvgtn6oytW4 

Available until: Unknown

Sunday, March 21, 2021

LOSS & HOPE: THE GIFT (Forty-Five North)***

  

By Emma 

Link: https://www.forty-fivenorth.com/loss-hope-the-gift 

Available until: Unknown

I think The Gift is one of those plays that seem really simple on the surface, though they are lovely but there’s a deeper meaning underneath.

LETTERS LIVE (Minky Productions/Grand Temple/The Shows Must Go Online)*****

 

By Cal 

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhrFCRTIKY4 

Available until: 22nd March at about 7pm.

Letters Live is a compilation of letters, written by people of different ages, genders and races, all in different situations. Some are from the century before last; one is very recent. The letters were originally presented in a couple of live shows with the same title and some of the best are compiled together here as part of a digital event.

CHWARAE OPERA: SANT FFOLANT/PLAY OPERA: VALENTINE’S SPECIAL (Welsh National Opera)****

 

By Lottie & Ricky 

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slqD0zvKeWM 

Available until: Unknown


Saturday, March 20, 2021

ON THE THRONE (Echo Chamber)*****

  

By Jack

Link: https://soundcloud.com/user-835875735-970582305/on-the-throne-a-short-audio-play 

Available until: Unknown

Not everyone will go for this. The throne isn’t exactly a monarch’s throne. It’s the throne in the bathroom. There are a few noises but mostly just flushing. If you don’t like noises you might not like this and you don’t have to listen. But before you give up on it… why don’t you want to listen?

ADVENTUROUS (Jermyn Street Theatre/Stream Theatre)***

 

By Louise

Link: https://www.stream.theatre/season/62 

Available until: Livestreams at various times every day except Monday until Sunday 28th March, including livestreams for USA and Australasia.

Adventurous is a romantic comedy set in lockdown. I do think it’s quite naughty, but probably not too naughty for someone my age. I don’t think many things are too naughty for most people my age.

UNCLE VANYA (Harold Pinter Theatre/iPlayer)****

 

By Cal 

Link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000qplz/uncle-vanya 

Available until: 30th September 2021

It’s only fair to say that if you’re familiar with Uncle Vanya, this play won’t be quite what you’re expecting.

It follows the story. It even follows the text very closely. I don’t know any of this play off by heart, but I occasionally had a look at the text to see how closely it was being followed and other than a few cuts, it seems as though they are mainly following the text. The gist of what they’re saying is the same as the gist of what’s in my translation of the play.

Friday, March 19, 2021

PUFFINS (Southwark Elders Company/Southwark Playhouse)***

 

By Dave

Link: https://soundcloud.com/southwarkplayhouse/puffins-by-sophie-ellerby

Available until: Unknown

Puffins is all about regrets. You don’t go through life without amassing a few of them and it’s often when you reach an ending of some sort that you look back on these regrets and wish you’d done things a bit differently.

ONE WOMAN (Cambridge Junction)***

 

By Sophie

Link: https://www.junction.co.uk/one-woman

Available until: 24th March 2021

Content warning: 14+, mental health, mentions of suicide

I didn’t realise until after I paid that I was expected to have headphones.

To be fair, the play description does say it’s produced using binaural sound. But I’d never heard of binaural sound and I didn’t look it up because it sounded technical and therefore uninteresting. ‘Bi’ means two and ‘aural’ means listening and there was nothing in that to suggest I might need extra equipment.

THE GREAT GATSBY (Wardrobe Theatre/Wardrobe Ensemble)***


By Cal

Link: https://thewardrobetheatre.com/livetheatre/the-great-gatsby 

Available until: 31st March 2021

Age rating: 12+

The Great Gatsby is quite a complicated book. There are lots of different characters and although they are all different, they do play similar roles. Almost all of them seem to be married to one person and involved with someone else, or involved with two people. It can get quite confusing keeping track of all the affairs.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

LOSS & HOPE: THIS IS A MAN (Forty-Five North)***

 

By Cal

Link: https://www.forty-fivenorth.com/loss-hope-this-is-a-man 

Available until: Unknown

Content warning: Terminal illness, animal cruelty, violence

This is a Man is all about being a man. What’s expected of you and what’s not expected. What’s allowed and what’s just wrong.

There is tragedy in this story. The main character, Greg, loses someone and it’s really sad, but he’s also forced to lose a part of himself. He’s a man – actually, he’s only a boy, but he’s still a man. He’s not supposed to have emotions. He’s just expected to get on it.

THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY (Lawrence Batley Theatre/Barn Theatre/New Wolsey Theatre/Oxford Playhouse/Theatr Clwyd)****

 

By Aashiq 

Link: https://www.pictureofdoriangray.com 

Available until: Performances every day until Wednesday 31st March. Access is for 48 hours.

Yes, I know I’ve already written one review today, but I needed cheering up. It didn’t work or anything, but I want to review it and if anyone tries to stop me, they’ll soon wish they hadn’t. I’m just not worth the stress.

Earlier in lockdown, Barn Theatre, the Lawrence Batley Theatre and New Wolsey Theatre did a play/film together called What a Carve Up!. Luckily, the public saw its brilliance, and its success meant that the theatres decided to team up again for a new project, only this time they let the Oxford Playhouse and Theatr Clwyd in on it. Which makes it a proper international production, but it did confuse me, going to the theatre websites and seeing that every theatre in existence had decided to do Dorian Gray all at the same time. It was like A Christmas Carol all over again, only without the turkey. It was only once they all started showing identical images for their productions that I realised the whole world hadn’t gone Wilde.

RED VELVET (Guildford School of Acting)*****

 

By Aashiq

Link: https://gsauk.org/events/15601ATMPBSJPVHGDQLTKHTGJDDNPRJJP/book 

Available until: There is another performance on Thursday 18th March at 7.30pm.

These actors are students? Seriously?

That’s my career done then. I can’t compete with this lot but as an audience member I will be in for serious treats in the future. These students are so talented and they perform this brilliant and very important play perfectly. (I’m not saying I’m not jealous, though.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

IMAGE OF AN UNKNOWN WOMAN (Guildford School of Acting)***

 

By Dave 

Link: https://gsauk.org/events/15401AGBHLPJQSLGSGPTPRKHBGTDKGKJN/book 

Available until: One more performance on Thursday 18th March at 2.30pm.

Some people say the world has changed. Others say it hasn’t changed at all, that people have always been people.

It’s probably fair to say they’re both right and the opening few scenes of Image of a Young Woman illustrates this very succinctly.

RIGOLETTO (Wiener Staatsoper)****

 

By Imogen 

Link: https://play.wiener-staatsoper.at/event/1c3e3dee-79a9-4114-a6f9-e497c66758d9 

Available until: 17th March at about 6pm

Rigoletto is about an ugly old hunchback, his adopted daughter and her really bad taste in men. He’s cute and everything but I really wouldn’t bother. I mean I’ve heard of students pretending to be dukes but dukes pretending to be students? Not in this lifetime.

HAMLET (Guildford School of Acting)****

 

By Cal

Link: https://gsauk.org/events/15201AJRGPHRLRVGVLSMBRKVQSJMVJBSH/book 

Available until: One more performance on Wednesday 17th March at 7.30pm.

Hamlet is a brave choice for a drama school production. It’s a challenging play, there are so many twists and turns and it’s the type of play where you discover more every time you read it.

But what a great experience for these students, especially after suffering such disruption to their time at university. The performances are of a high standard, but maybe the most exciting thing is that they played characters in ways I hadn’t seen before and really challenged my feelings and thoughts about the play.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

GALLATHEA (Red Bull Theater)****

 

By Cal

Link: https://www.redbulltheater.com/gallathea 

Available until: Friday March 19th 11.30pm GMT, 7.30pm EST

John Lyly’s Gallathea could have been a farce and it probably could be played as a farce. Two girls, Gallathea and Phillida, are forced by their fathers to disguise themselves as boys. Gallathea and Phillida meet and fall in love, each thinking the other is a boy. (And in the original production, which was performed for Elizabeth I, they really were boys – all the characters were played by men.)

THE AFTER DINNER JOKE (Greenwich Theatre)****

 

By Emma 

Link: https://greenwichtheatre.org.uk/events/the-after-dinner-joke-online 

Available until: On demand until 11.59pm on 31st March

The After Dinner Joke wasn’t anything like what I was expecting based on the title. There isn’t very much about dinner and all the humour is very dark. But it was still really good.

THE BAND PLAYS ON (Sheffield Theatres)****

 

By Dave 

Link: https://www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk/the-band-plays-on

Available until: On demand from Tuesday 16th-Sunday 28th March

We’ve seen quite a lot of monologues in lockdown (and I’ll happily see a lot more) and pre-lockdown a lot of us will have been to quite a few gigs. Both are enjoyable activities and I know quite a few people who enjoy both.

Monday, March 15, 2021

LOSS & HOPE: WE HAVE SINNED (Forty-Five North)*****

 

 By Louise

Link: https://www.forty-fivenorth.com/loss-hope-we-have-sinned 

Available until: Unknown

We have Sinned is the first in a series of three plays in the Loss & Hope Series. They are all short audio plays, but I haven’t listened to the others so I’m not sure if there’s a common theme.

We Have Sinned is about a fifteen year old girl called Esther who goes to an all-girls Catholic school. She wants to be good, but she can’t help getting into trouble so she usually has quite a lot to say when she goes to Confession.

DREAM (Royal Shakespeare Company)***

 

By Dave 

Link: https://www.rsc.org.uk/whats-on 

Available until: There is at least one livestream every day except Monday until Saturday 20th March. Performances times very a lot, ranging from 10am to 8pm.

Dream is a stunning and extraordinary production based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream which makes use of technology and the power of movement. It can be enjoyed for free as a member of the audience or you can buy an Audience Plus ticket and have some influence on what is seen onscreen.

ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND (Chickenshed Theatre)****

 

By Lottie & Ricky 

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94JF6GB67mE 

Available until: Unknown

Sunday, March 14, 2021

A WHOLE ****ING CASE OF YOU (Coronavirus Theatre Club)***

 

By Dave 

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Y3haFGm2Gk

Available until: Unknown

One thing I’ve learned in lockdown is how versatile monologues are. They can be used in almost any situation, in almost any way. But one of the most common monologues are the ones by people who need to get something off their chest.

CHATROOM (Northern Comedy)***

  

By Cal

Link: https://northerncomedytheatre.com/chatroom-1 

Available until: Livestreams Sunday 14th March at 7pm and 9pm, Monday 15th March at 8pm

Content warning: Mental health, suicide and eating disorders. 12+, but I would advise caution.

Chatroom highlights the dangers of chatrooms and the powers they can hold in an unsettling production from Northern Comedy.

Online safety has always been a concern, even now when we’re not really allowed to go out and meet all the people who tempt us from behind their computers. This play shows that the people you meet in chatrooms can be dangerous even if all they do is talk to you.

PARTY (Half Moon Theatre)****

 

By the Toad and the Little Monkey age 4 & 5 

Link: https://www.halfmoon.org.uk/events/party 

Available until: Screening tickets available at 11am every day except Sundays until Thursday 1st April.

What happened in the play?

There’s a man called Alfonso and he’s going to a party and he’s got balloons and he’s wearing a nice dress and lots of different things happen.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

LEAVE A LIGHT ON CONCERTS (Lambert Jackson Productions/Stream Theatre/Theatre Café)*****


By Aashiq 

Link: https://www.stream.theatre/geners/59/12

Available until: Concerts available most days over six weeks at 5pm, 8pm or both. Only available to watch ‘live’ (though not really live as they’re pre-recorded).

Early in our very first lockdown, which feels like absolute centuries ago, one of the first organisations to start producing work online was Lambert Jackson Productions. They joined up with the West End’s celebrated Theatre Café, who agreed to host Lambert Jackson’s concerts. Lambert Jackson got probably nearly 100 West End stars together (they must have been too shy to ask me) and they each performed a concert in their own home. The concerts were somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour and each performer did up to ten songs, chatting to their fans in between songs, talking about their songs, their lives in lockdown and their careers.

TREASON (Cadogan Hall)****

  

By Dave 

Link: https://cadoganhall.com/whats-on/treason-the-musical-2021-stream

Available until: Performances at 2.30pm and 7.30pm on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th March.

Treason is a very exciting new musical with real West End potential. The recent successes of Hamilton and Six have shown that musicals based on historical incidents do very well at the moment and Treason has a lot going for it.

CHARACTER SOLOS EPISODE 2 (Effort Productions/Tristan Bates Theatre/The Actors Centre)****

 

By Cal 

Link: https://www.actorscentre.co.uk/theatre-on-demand/character-solos/about 

Available until: Probably for a couple of days (today is 11th March 2021)

This is the second episode of Character Solos, a very exciting and unusual series of monologues from The Actors Centre. Usually, in a monologue, the characters are speaking their thoughts out loud and nobody hears them or they’re speaking to an imagined audience who makes no interruptions.

Friday, March 12, 2021

COWBOY BREAKFAST (Compacts)****

  

By Emma 

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myH90nb91NA

Available until: Unknown

Content warning: Contains themes of suicide

Cowboy Breakfast is really sad. It’s not all sad because the main character is really amazing but it made me think about my own life and the people in it. This play is creative, clever and fictional but it’s not just a story. It’s about real life.

TIME LAPSE (Southwark Elders Company/Southwark Playhouse)****

 

By Cal

Link: https://soundcloud.com/southwarkplayhouse/time-lapse-by-stewart-melto 

Available until: Unknown

Time Lapse is the story of four sisters – Lucy, Angela, Minnie and Sophie. They’re very close. But they’re not all still alive. One of them has died.

The others are sad. Of course they are. They miss their sister. But they also don’t want to suffer as she did. They don’t want to die.

CHARACTER SOLOS EPISODE 1 (Effort Productions/Tristan Bates Theatre/The Actors Centre)****

 

By Sophie 

Link: https://www.actorscentre.co.uk/theatre-on-demand/character-solos/about 

Available until: 16th May 2021. You can buy each stream separately or save money by purchasing them together. The videos are available for 48 hours after purchase.

Character Solos 1 is a set of seven monologues, written and performed by the actors. We’ve watched a lot of online monologues over the past year and in most of them, the character is alone, or at least not with anyone who’s going to interrupt. If another character is mentioned, the monologue informs us of who they are and what they say. They do not appear in person.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

ONE HAND TIED BEHIND US: CONTACTLESS (Old Vic)***

  

By Cal

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3U0WIQRBbY  

Available until: Unknown

The thing about monologues is that they can be about anything. Literally anything. And because they’re so short, there’s not much of a blurb so you don’t know what it’s about until the actors start talking. Even then, it can take a while to be completely sure.

THE MECHANICALS (Crew of Patches)****

  

By Dave

Link to Episode 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkJ6JLqMLw4&t=30s

Link to Episode 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrWuvxv8BkI

Link to Episide 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XffD3TFuLLQ 

Available until: Unknown

The Mechanicals is a retelling of the Mechanicals’ scenes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. But it’s not just any retelling. They’re in the middle of a pandemic and their rehearsals at least need to be conducted online. Not easy when one of them is ‘slow of study’ and hasn’t figured out the Zoom camera yet and Bottom is still Bottom even in 2021.

LE NOZZE DI FIGARO (Royal Opera)*****


By Sophie 

Link: https://stream.roh.org.uk/packages/the-marriage-of-figaro-2015/videos/the-marriage-of-figaro-2015 

Available until: 4th April 2021

Le nozze di Figaro can be very difficult to classify as an opera. It’s not a tragedy, though some of the characters feel that way at times. It’s certainly romantic as there is at least one happy couple at the end (I’m not admitting to any more than that, but I’m not ruling it out). Many would call it a comedy, though it is possible to put on a production of Figaro that focuses on the more serious elements and although it’s compelling as both a romantic and a dramatic piece, it’s not necessarily always overwhelmingly funny.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

DYKE SHOES (Echo Chamber)*****

 

By Aashiq 

Link: https://kite.link/DykeShoes 

Available until: Unknown

Content warning: sexual themes, in the podcast and the review.

A play can achieve many things. It can entertain, in many different ways. It can educate. It can make you feel enriched and fulfilled. It can even get you quite… excited, if it’s rude enough. It’s not very often it makes you want to travel back in time and turn into a lesbian (which, by the way, would completely ruin my marriage), but Dyke Shoes is very special.

GEOMETRY OF FEAR (Matsena Productions/Stream Theatre)***

 

By Dave 

Link: https://www.stream.theatre/season/41 

Available until: Livestreams at 7.30pm every night until 14th March with matinées at 2.30pm on 13th and 14th March.

Content warning: Contains adult themes.

Geometry of Fear is a piece of physical theatre created in response to two of the really big issues of 2020, which remain big issues today – the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement.

TONY AND THE YOUNG ARTISTS (Royal Opera)****

 

By Imogen 

Link: https://stream.roh.org.uk/packages/tony-and-the-young-artists/videos/tony-and-the-young-artists 

Available until: 21st March 2021

Tony and the Young Artists is a concert performed in the Crush Room and the Royal Opera House. Tony is Antonio Pappano, the Music Director of the Royal Opera House. Three of the current Jette Parker Young Artists appear in this concert, soprano Alexandra Lowe, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Wake-Edwards and tenor Filipe Manu.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

DADDY LONG LEGS (Boulevard Productions/Smock Alley Theatre/Stream Theatre)*****

 

By Louise 

Link: https://www.stream.theatre/season/32 

Available until: Performances every night at 7.30pm until Sunday 14th March. Matinées at 2.30pm on Wednesday 10th, Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th.

I hadn’t even heard of this musical before, but it is so lovely. The pandemic is so sad, but Stream Theatre has been so wonderful to introducing me to musicals and plays I might never have seen otherwise.

RED TIDE (Southwark Elders Company/Southwark Playhouse)****

 

By Tommy 

Link: https://soundcloud.com/southwarkplayhouse/red-tide-by-justina-kehinde 

Available until: Unknown

Southwark Playhouse’s Plays For Today series, which I believe is written and performed by members of the Southwark Elders Company, has encompassed a wide variety of subjects. Although there has been a strong focus on family relationships, the stories told have been very different.

BARNES’ PEOPLE: LOSING MYSELF (Original Theatre Online/Perfectly Normal Productions/Theatre Royal Windsor)****

 

By Cal 

Link for Losing Myself: https://originaltheatreonline.com/productions/16/barnes-people-losing-myself-starring-matthew-kelly

Link for complete series: https://originaltheatreonline.com/productions/14/barnes-people-complete-series 

Available until: 31st July 2021

Losing Myself is the final monologue in the set of four that were recorded and released by Original Theatre Online. It’s been a fascinating series and one thing that has stood out is that they’re actually not that dramatic. There is certainly drama, but it’s not of the kind you get in soap operas. It’s not all affairs and fist fights. There’s nothing hugely controversial or taboo. It’s just four relatively ordinary people speaking about an aspect of their lives – and it’s great.

Monday, March 8, 2021

LA TRAVIATA (Wiener Staatsoper)*****

  

By Louise 

Link: https://play.wiener-staatsoper.at/event/9cf2fd88-22e0-429f-bd18-1fbb01629585/play

Available until: 9th March at about 6pm

Most of the productions Wiener Staatsoper have been making available on their website are old productions which have been filmed, but every so often, they’ve been putting on new productions which are streamed live. Their Le nozze di Figaro a couple of weeks ago was really brilliant and so is La traviata.

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

 

By Cal 

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

Available until: 12th March 2021

In the Blood covers many of the same themes as Yen did last night, yet the two plays are very different. It’s another story about a mother struggling to look after her kids. Another story that ends in tragedy.

Hester might not be a candidate for Mother of the Year, but she tries to look after all her kids. She’s living in poverty, she can’t read and she doesn’t have support from any of her children’s fathers. I’d be lying if I said she didn’t have a scarily aggressive side, but she cares and she tries. That is evident all the way through, but each of her children presents their own challenges and there are also adults in her life putting pressure on her, challenging her and making her life even more difficult.

ONE HAND TIED BEHIND US: BETSY (Old Vic)***

 

By Sophie 

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4Bsf_PcLKs 

Available until: 31st March 2021

Monologues don’t have to be about nice people. A monologue from an awful person can be really compelling, especially if it’s well-acted, and this certainly doesn’t apply only to monologues. We’re transfixed by Macbeth and it’s not till the end when Macduff and Malcolm realise the true situation and start fighting back that we really have someone to support and care about. Until then, we’re happy to watch the Macbeths cracking under the strain of their own actions, as Lady Macbeth slowly deteriorates and Macbeth murders one person after another in an effort to secure his continued presence on the throne. This could be enough to class Macbeth as a problem play, but instead, it’s seen as one of Shakespeare’s great tragedies. We don’t need to like Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. All we need to do is watch and admire.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

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

 

By Cal 

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

Available until: 10th March 2021

Content warning: Animal cruelty, sexual assault, homophobia, racism

Yen is a painful play which not everyone will like to watch. It’s also a brilliant play, which is performed by a really strong cast so it is definitely one to watch if you possibly can, but I do urge you to read the content warnings before making a decision. It really is a very good play, but it definitely won’t be for everyone.

Yen tells the story of a family and one outsider. Brothers Hench and Bobby were living with their Mother, but she’s moved in with her boyfriend, leaving the brothers to look after themselves. Neither attends school and Bobby has behavioural difficulties. They also have a dog and I was initially quite excited to find he was called Caliban. I misheard the name, but it definitely wasn’t their lack of literary knowledge that made me feel so concerned to realise he was actually called Taliban.

THE HOUSE THAT JACKSON BUILT (Half Moon Theatre)****

 

  

By Lottie & Ricky 

Link: https://www.halfmoon.org.uk/events/thehousethatjacksonbuiltfilm 

Available until: Friday 12th March, all days except Sunday. You get two weeks’ access from 11am on the date of your chosen performance.

 

Saturday, March 6, 2021

CICERO (Snoozedays Theatre Company)****

  

By Cal 

Link: https://www.snoozedays.com/cicero 

Available until: 28th March 2021

Content warning: mental health, adult themes.

It can be difficult getting into theatre when you’re a young person. There’s a feeling you’re not quite welcome. There’s definitely a feeling you can’t quite afford it (or a lot more than ‘quite’). I only got into theatre because I happened to be adopted by a family of theatre nuts. I could easily have gone to another family and never realised how much I love plays. I am writing this review today because I was lucky.

BROTHER (Southwark Playhouse)*****

  

By Louise 

Link: https://www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/livestream/brother 

Available until: Remaining performances on 6th March at 3.15pm and 7.45pm. It’s possible the musical might become available for livestream in the future.

Southwark Playhouse have been really wonderful during the pandemic. Most theatres haven’t been able to put on performances, which is completely understandable, but that means the fact Southwark Playhouse have done so much is like a miracle. I think they’ve done six live performances which we’ve reviewed and probably others before we started reviewing. They’ve also managed to run their Future Voices scheme and put the finished works online and now they’ve started uploading the Southwark Elders Company’s work as audio dramas.

Friday, March 5, 2021

BARNES' PEOPLE: BILLY & ME (Original Theatre Online/Perfectly Normal Productions)****

 

By Tommy

Link for Billy & Me: https://originaltheatreonline.com/productions/15/barnes-people-billy-me-starring-jon-culshaw

Link for complete series: https://originaltheatreonline.com/productions/14/barnes-people-complete-series 

Available until: 31st July 2021

The third monologue in the astounding inventive Barnes’ People is a conversation between a ventriloquist and his dummies.

The ventriloquist is feeling depressed, as he often does, and he has difficulty in believing a conversation with Billy – who is, after all, a character of his own creation – can be of any particular benefit to him. Billy is loquacious and has strong opinions, particularly when he is accused of being merely a ventriloquist’s dummy. Billy believes that he is considerably more than that.

THE DROWNED WORLD (Guildhall School of Music and Drama)****

 

By Cal 

Link: https://www.gsmd.ac.uk/about_the_school/view_all_events/?tx_julleevents_pi1%5BshowUid%5D=6877 

Available until: 10th March

Imagine a word where you’re either accepted or you’re not. Where worth is decided on how you look. Beautiful people rule the world. People who are not beautiful must be disposed of

HANSEL AND GRETEL (Scottish Opera)*****

  

By Megan 

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHFQpXzL6PI 

Available until: Unknown

Scottish Opera’s production of Hansel and Gretel is really fun and magical. It was only posted on YouTube last month but it is obviously a really Christmassy production and even watching it in March still feels very exciting. There are trees and Christmas jumpers and for one hour and fifty-five minutes it’s like it’s Christmas again.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

DIGITAL SHARING 6 (KickItDown Productions)****

 

By Megan & Cal 

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-R1vxZBaYU 

With captions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZJ4kHnPKU8

Available until: Unknown

By Megan

Love in Lockdown has some mentions of grown-up things so maybe I shouldn’t be watching it but it’s really good. It’s about a lady who is working from home in the pandemic. It is difficult talking to her workmates on Zoom because they have got pandemic brain and they can’t remember how to use their computers but it’s okay because the lady has the perfect housemate and that makes it easier for her to deal with everything. She and her housemate have so much in common and they agree on everything. But then things start to go wrong.

MELANCHOLY (Southwark Elders Company/Southwark Playhouse)****

 

By Emma 

Link: https://soundcloud.com/southwarkplayhouse/melancholy-by-abraham-adeyemi 

Available until: Unknown

A lot of plays especially modern ones have a really big and clever idea which you’re supposed to figure out or some kind of really major issue which is really important. I think these plays are really enjoyable too and they’re a great way of getting people to think about the important things in the world. But sometimes you don’t want to use your brain in order to understand the story. Sometimes you just want to enjoy the play and let your brain kind of figure things out in the background.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (Shake-Scene Shakespeare)*****

  

By Cal 

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

Available until: Unknown

It’s easy to think of a play as something that’s there to entertain the audience. The cast and creatives do their job. We enjoy ourselves. But actually, acting can be a lot of fun for the performers too and that’s something you really notice with Shakes-Scene Shakespeare. They’re having an absolutely brilliant time.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

BARNES’ PEOPLE: ROSA (Original Theatre/Perfectly Normal Productions)****

  

By Emma 

Link for Rosa: https://originaltheatreonline.com/productions/17/barnes-people-rosa-starring-jemma-redgrave

Link to set of four monologues: https://originaltheatreonline.com/productions/14/barnes-people-complete-series

Available until: 31st July 2021

Rosa is a sad story but it really makes you think. You hear a lot of horror stories about people whose job it is to help the vulnerable. They speak to the elderly and the disabled as though they’re stupid. They take children away from parents who love them and leave children with their abusers. They make decisions on other people’s behalf and if anyone dares to argue that just proves they weren’t fit to make the decision in the first place.

OTELLO (Wiener Staatsoper)*****

  

By Megan 

Link: https://play.wiener-staatsoper.at/event/734c2237-ebe1-4cdd-91e5-498327ce194a/play

Available until: 4th February at about 6pm

I don’t always know why I like this story so much when such terrible things happen but I do love it a lot and I think Verdi’s opera tells the story of Shakespeare’s play really well.

MISS JULIE (International Actors Ensemble/Circle in the Sand/Alex Theatre)***

 

By Cal 

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmvB4heou2c

Available until: Unknown

There are a lot of plays which just seem to be about people treating each other badly. It’s become especially common in modern times and it can be seen not just in plays but in films, TV programmes, books, any media that contains stories also contains nastiness.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

NO ILLUSIONS (Distanced Scenes)***

 

By Cal 

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z032twTjIMg

Available until: Unknown

Lockdown must be so difficult for the people who have just started a relationship. It’s obviously way too soon to move in and it’s not always practical to bubble so what are you left with? A meeting at a two-metre distance, shouting your personal business in the street? At one time, even that wasn’t allowed.

THEY ALSO SERVE (Southwark Elders Company/SoundCloud)*****

  

By Louise 

Link: https://soundcloud.com/southwarkplayhouse/they-also-serve-by-wendy-buckley-and-john-mcrae

Available until: Unknown

They Also Serve is a beautiful, inspiring and important play. It is dedicated to Leslie Gay, one of the founding members of the Southwark Elders Company. It is so wonderful that the Southwark Elders Company have managed to create something so special in his memory. They can be so proud of this play.

WERTHER (Teatro Sociale di Como/AsLiCo/OperaVision)***


By Dave 

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sGir07KhVY

Available until: 13th June 2021

Sometimes it’s not obvious which productions were filmed during the pandemic. There are no masks in sight and if the cast are in a bubble, there’s no social distancing. Even if social distancing is considered necessary, it’s often worked around so skilfully, you probably wouldn’t guess it was filmed in the pandemic if you didn’t know.

Monday, March 1, 2021

BARNES’ PEOPLE: A TRUE BORN ENGLISHMAN (Original Theatre Online/Theatre Royal Windsor)*****

 

 By Dave

Link: https://originaltheatreonline.com/productions/15/barnes-people-billy-me-starring-jon-culshaw Also available as a set with the other episodes in the Barnes’ People series: https://originaltheatreonline.com/productions/14/barnes-people-complete-series

Available until: 31st July 2021

If any actor’s going to know what it’s like to serve a monarch, it’s probably Adrian Scarborough.

In 1994, he served King George III when he played Fortnum in the film The Madness of King George. In 1999, he appeared in a series entitled Let Them Eat Cake. In 2003, he was in the vicinity when Oliver Cromwell overthrew Charles I in To Kill a King. In 2007, he appeared in Elizabeth: The Golden Age, when Elizabeth I was on the throne. He played a BBC Radio Announcer in 2010 in The King’s Speech, a film about George VI. He played King Lear’s fool in 2014, and in 2018, he returned to serve George III in the play on which the film was based, The Madness of George III, this time playing one of the King’s doctors.

So who better to spill the secrets about working for our current Queen, Elizabeth II?

THE SECRET SOCIETY OF LEADING LADIES (Barn Theatre)***


By Imogen

Link: https://barntheatre.org.uk/secret-society-240221

Available until: Performances every night at 7.30pm until Sunday 7th March.

The Secret Society of Leading Ladies is like a private concert just for you. The Barn Theatre has gathered together fourteen musical theatre stars, each singing a showstopping song from a hit musical. There are songs from modern classics like Waitress and Mean Girls (nothing from Six though despite having two Queens in the cast) but they’ve also got musicals like The Wizard of Oz and Fame for old people (though I quite like Fame to be fair, I saw Keith Jack in that and he is to die for.)

THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE (Southwark Playhouse/Stream Theatre)***

 

By Cal

Link: https://www.stream.theatre/season/25

Available until: Livestreams Monday-Saturday at 7pm, with matinées on Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday at 2.30. Final performance Sunday 14th March.

Stream Theatre has come such a long way since its first weeks of concerts in the London Coliseum. They’ve progressed from streaming concerts to full-scale musicals and plays and it’s a great opportunity to see shows that are completely new, whether it’s a show that (unless I missed it) hasn’t made it to the UK yet, hasn’t been performed in the UK for a long time or is a very new musical.

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...