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27 Shows You Can Watch Online For Free

By Tom Sanderson
Last updated: November 2020
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Theatres across the country are streaming free performances you can watch from the comfort of your classroom. Here’s a round-up of 27 places you watch shows online for free and how to support learning with their free teaching resources and educational activities.

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Get the whole list.

Get the whole list of shows you can watch for free emailed to you so you can share it with your students, colleagues and go back to it later.

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Actors of Dionysus production shot of Medea

Actors of Dionysus

Actors of Dionysus (aod) are one of the UK’s leading theatre companies in the field of Ancient Greek drama. Their productions have been seen by over 750,000 people in theatres and arts festivals across the UK and Europe.

You can now stream their full productions of Lysistrata, Antigone and Medea online for free.

What’s on offer:

  • Free Online Productions

Suitable for:

  • Antigone & Media – KS3, KS4 & KS5
  • Lysistrata – KS5

Subject links: Classics, Drama & English

Dates available: Ongoing

Watch aod’s production of Antigone.

Watch aod’s production of Medea.

Watch aod’s production of Lysistrata.

Read more about the work of aod.

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Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads

Talking Heads is a series of 12 monologues written by Alan Bennett. The series of monologues returns to the BBC with an all-star cast, with all episodes available on the BBC iPlayer.

What’s on offer:

  • Free Online Productions

Suitable for: KS4 & KS5 (though dependent on monologue)

Subject links: Drama & English

Dates available: Ongoing

Read more about Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads.

Get the whole list.

Get the whole list of shows you can watch for free emailed to you so you can share it with your students, colleagues and go back to it later.

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Battersea Arts Centre

Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) are part of the BBC’s ‘Culture in Quarantine’ series,

Filmed in one continuous take, The Way Out is an immersive journey through Battersea Arts Centre’s labyrinth of rooms and corridors. On a rainy night, a young person escapes into a seemingly empty building and meets a mysterious guide, who offers them an alternative way out.

Follow actor and comedian Omid Djalili (His Dark Materials, The Infidel) as your enigmatic guide, and join Bláithín Mac Gabhann (Penance, Sally Rooney’s Normal People) on a journey of discovery.

Look out for performances from some of the most exciting, diverse artists working in the UK today: Lucy McCormick, Caleb Femi, Botis Seva, Le Gateau Chocolat, The Cocoa Butter Club, Sanah Ahsan, and Too Hot For Candy.

The Way Out is directed and co-written by Suri Krishnamma and produced by Battersea Arts Centre, in partnership with Arts Council England and BBC Arts.

Please note, this performance contains some strong language.

What’s on offer:

  • Free Online Productions

Suitable for: KS4 & KS5

Subject links: Drama & English

Dates available: Ongoing

View BAC’s performance’s on BBC iPlayer.

Bridge Theatre

You can watch the Bridge Theatre’s past production of Julius Caesar through the National Theatre Collection.

The Bridge Theatre also worked in partnership with the BBC to bring Alan Bennet’s Talking Heads back. The series of monologues returns to the BBC with an all-star cast, with all episodes available on the BBC iPlayer.

What’s on offer:

  • Free Online Productions
  • Teaching Resources

Suitable for: KS3, KS4 & KS5

Subject links: Drama & English

Dates available: Ongoing

Find out more about the National Theatre Collection.

Read more about Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads.

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Bush Theatre

Bush Theatre has launched a series of Monday Monologues. The series brings new work from some of the most exciting UK and Irish writers, including Travis Alabanza, Natasha Brown, Shaun Dunne, Sophie Ellerby and Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu.

Written and recorded during the lockdown, the monologues will be released fortnightly and will be available to watch for the next 12 months. The films are free to watch on their YouTube channel.

What’s on offer:

  • Free Online Productions

Suitable for: Dependent on the monologue. See their website for details.

Subject links: Drama & English

Dates available: Ongoing, with a new performance every two weeks.

View the Bush Theatre’s Monday Monologues.

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Cirque du Soleil

Enjoy the magical, world-renowned performances of Cirque du Soleil from the comfort of your home with #CirqueConnect. Take a front-row seat and enjoy moments from their awe-inspiring performances.

What’s on offer:

  • Educational Videos
  • Free Online Productions

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4 & KS5

Subject links: Dance, Drama & English

Dates available: Ongoing

Watch Cirque du Soleil’s #CirqueConnect Performances.

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Disney’s The Lion King

The Lion King’s ‘Getting Ready to Roar’ documentary gives a unique insight into the intense backstage preparation of the show. The film is perfect for students interested in backstage roles. The documentary is accompanied by supporting education packs for KS3 and KS4.

What’s on offer:

  • Educational Videos
  • Teaching Resources

Suitable for: KS3, KS4 & KS5

Subject links: Drama & English

Dates available: Ongoing

Watch Disney’s The Lion Getting Ready to Roar Documentary.

Get the whole list.

Get the whole list of shows you can watch for free emailed to you so you can share it with your students, colleagues and go back to it later.

We 100% respect your privacy and protect your data. For more details, please read our Privacy Policy.

Donmar Warehouse

You can watch past Donmar Warehouse productions through the National Theatre Collection. You can watch Coriolanus and King Lear – all for free!

What’s on offer:

  • Free Online Productions
  • Teaching Resources

Suitable for: KS3, KS4 & KS5

Subject links: Drama & English

Dates available: Ongoing

Find out more about the National Theatre Collection.

DV8

As a tribute to David Toole (1964-2020), DV8’s film The Cost of Living is available to watch, free of charge, until 13th December 2020.

Please note that this production features strong language and themes that may not be suitable for some students.

What’s on offer:

  • Free Online Productions

Suitable for: KS4 & KS5

Subject links: Drama & English

Dates available: Until 13 Dec 20

Watch DV8’s production of The Cost of Living.

Frantic Assembly

Take a look behind the scenes of the Frantic Method with their new Frantic Digital teaching resource hub. The hub shares insights into the creative and rehearsal process. Also practical, creative tasks and fun, production-related warm-ups.

The site shares educational videos, teaching ideas and resources from past Frantic Assembly productions. Current content includes activities from Beautiful Burnout, Othello and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

What’s on offer:

  • Educational Videos
  • Teaching Resources

Suitable for: KS3, KS4 & KS5

Subject links: Drama & English

Dates available: Ongoing

View Frantic Assembly’s Frantic Digital Hub.

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Gate Theatre

Watch the critically acclaimed Gate Theatre productions of Suzy Storck and The Unknown Island. 

What’s on offer:

  • Free Online Productions

Suitable for:

  • Suzy Storck – KS4 & KS5
  • The Unknown Island – KS2, KS3, KS4 & KS5

Subject links: Drama & English

Dates available: Ongoing

Watch the Gate Theatre’s Suzy Storck and The Unknown Island.

Gecko

Award-winning and internationally-acclaimed physical theatre company, Gecko, have made their production of The Time of Your Life available to watch for free.

You can also join their Teacher Facebook Group for free resources and videos to accompany the production.

What’s on offer:

  • Online Productions

Suitable for: KS4 & KS5

Subject links: Drama & English

Dates available: Ongoing

Watch Gecko’s The Time of Your Life.

Join Gecko’s Facebook Teacher Facebook Group.

Find out more about Gecko.

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Hamilton

The smash-hit Broadway production of Hamilton is streaming on Disney+. If you and your students have an account, they can watch this full-length, stage performance as part of the subscription. For those that do not yet have an account, there is a 7-day free trial available for new users.

What’s on offer:

  • Online Productions

Suitable for: KS4 & KS5

Subject links: Dance, Drama, English, History, Music & Politics

Dates available: Ongoing

Learn more about Disney+.

Get the whole list.

Get the whole list of shows you can watch for free emailed to you so you can share it with your students, colleagues and go back to it later.

We 100% respect your privacy and protect your data. For more details, please read our Privacy Policy.

Jacksons Lane

A series of mini-films featuring some of Jacksons Lane’s favourite supported artists. Artists will be posting a demonstration of what they do, followed by a simple, short exercise.

What’s on offer:

  • Educational Videos

Suitable for: KS3, KS4 & KS5

Subject links: Dance, Drama & English

Dates available: Ongoing

Watch Jacksons Lane’s JL Shorts

Kiln Theatre

Kiln Theatre’s ‘Kiln Insight’ is a new programme of ways to learn more about, and get involved in their work. The programme includes exclusive interviews, webinars and filmed content – all accessible for free.

What’s on offer:

  • Educational Videos
  • Teaching Resources

Suitable for: KS4 & KS5

Subject links: Drama & English

Dates available: Ongoing

Learn more about the Kiln Theatre’s Activities & Resources.

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Kneehigh

Kneehigh Theatre Company’s ‘Kneehigh Cookbook’ is a new hub sharing exclusive videos, documents, pictures and plans about their process and work.

For a fun activity, their ‘Windows to the World’ initiative aims to spark your student’s imagination. From puppet making to poetry, one of Kneehigh’s team will demonstrate a creative skill and set you a challenge every weekday at 9am on their YouTube channel.

You can also watch their online production of The Neon Shadow. Filmed in July 2020, The Neon Shadow is new short film created in isolation.

What’s on offer:

  • Educational Videos
  • Free Online Performances
  • Interactive Activities
  • Teaching Resources

Suitable for: KS3, KS4 & KS5

Subject links: Drama & English

Dates available: Ongoing

See Kneehigh’s Resource Hub.

Watch Kneehigh’s production of The Neon Shadow.

Production shot the the RSC's Matilda The Musical

Matilda The Musical

Get an in-depth insight into how to create a hit West End musical with the show’s creators Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly. Their teaching resources, educational videos and interactive games and activities cover character, plot, music & lyrics, dialogue and writing.

What’s on offer:

  • Educational Games
  • Educational Videos
  • Interactive Activities
  • Teaching Resources

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4 & KS5

Subject links: Drama & English

Dates available: Ongoing

See all of the Matilda The Musical Teaching Resources.

Production shot from the National Theatres Frankenstein on The National Theatre Collection

National Theatre

The National Theatre offers a wealth of free online productions, teaching resources, educational videos, insights and activities.

You can sign up (for free is a UK state school) to the National Theatre Collection and get access to 29 productions – all accompanied by free teaching resources.

Highlights include One Man, Two Guvnors (starring James Corden), Frankenstein (starring Benedict Cumberbatch) and A Streetcar Named Desire (starring Gillian Anderson).

What’s on offer:

  • Educational Videos
  • Free Online Productions
  • Teaching Resources

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4 & KS5

Subject links: Dance, Drama, English & Music

Dates available: Ongoing

Read more about the National Theatre Education Offering.

Read more about the National Theatre Collection.

Get the whole list.

Get the whole list of shows you can watch for free emailed to you so you can share it with your students, colleagues and go back to it later.

We 100% respect your privacy and protect your data. For more details, please read our Privacy Policy.

Royal Albert Hall

Over the summer, The Royal Albert Hall created a series of exclusive online sessions. All shows are still available to stream for free and include performances from top names in the music industry.

What’s on offer:

  • Free Online Productions

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4 & KS5

Subject links: Drama & Music

Dates available: Ongoing

View all of the Royal Albert Hall’s Upcoming Sessions.

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Royal Shakespeare Company

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has loads of resources, educational videos and activities that you can use in the classroom for free. 

Studying a particular text? Use their Learning Zone to find resources for specific plays. You’ll find key facts, key scenes, pictures from past productions, videos of actors and directors working on and performing the plays and find out about all the main characters and how they relate to each other.

What’s on offer:

  • Educational Videos
  • Teaching Resources

Suitable for: KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4 & KS5

Subject links: Drama & English

Dates available: Ongoing

Find out more about the RSC’s Educational Offering.

Take a look at the RSC’s Learning Zone.

Sadler’s Wells

Sadler’s Wells has launched ‘Digital Stage’, streaming full-length dance performances and workshops online. Productions feature companies from across the world, highlighting many different styles of movement and dance.

What’s on offer:

  • Educational Videos
  • Free Online Productions

Suitable for: KS3, KS4 & KS5

Subject links: Dance, Drama, English & PE

Dates available: Ongoing

View Sadler’s Wells Digital Stage.

Shakespeare’s Globe

Shakespeare’s Globe has made their 2019 production of Romeo & Juliet available to watch online for free.

Also, take a look at their ‘Teach Shakespeare’ site. The hub offers hundreds of free learning resources, educational videos and activities to bring Shakespeare to life.

What’s on offer:

  • Educational Videos
  • Free Online Performances
  • Facts, Insights & Trivia
  • Teaching Resources

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4 & KS5

Subject links: Art & Design, Drama, English & History

Dates available: Ongoing

Watch Shakespeare’s Globe’s production of Romeo & Juliet.

See all of Shakespeare’s Globe’s Free Education Resources.

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Southwark Playhouse

Southwark Playhouse has launched Southwark Stayhouse – a new online streaming service with full-length shows and exclusive video content. The site will be live until they can open their doors again to the public.

Currently playing are their productions of Wasted, Twelfth Night and Bound.

Wasted is a new rock musical about the Brontë siblings in 2018. It’s directed by Adam Lenson with music by Christopher Ash and book and lyrics by Carl Miller.

Their production of Twelfth Night is a fun take on Shakespeare’s classic, set at a music festival.

Bound by Jesse Briton premiered in their old Vault space at London Bridge and went on be nominated for an Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright. The show also received five stars from the Evening, describing it as ‘one of the most accomplished pieces of debut playwriting that I’ve seen in a long time.

What’s on offer:

  • Online Performances

Suitable for: KS3, KS4 & KS5

Subject links: Drama & English

Dates available: Ongoing

Watch Wasted.

Watch Twelfth Night.

Watch Bound.

Read more about the Southwark Stayhouse productions.

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The Old Vic

The Old Vic has launched a new education hub providing resources for teachers, students, parents and young creatives. The new hub includes behind-the-scenes insights, careers advice, education packs, educational videos, online workshops and guides.

What’s on offer:

  • Career Advice
  • Educational Videos
  • Online Workshops
  • Teaching Resources

Suitable for: Upper KS2, KS3, KS4 & KS5

Subject links: Art & Design, Citizenship, Drama, English, Music & PSHE

Dates available: Ongoing

Read more about The Old Vic’s Education Hub.

Get the whole list.

Get the whole list of shows you can watch for free emailed to you so you can share it with your students, colleagues and go back to it later.

We 100% respect your privacy and protect your data. For more details, please read our Privacy Policy.

Unicorn Theatre

Watch the Unicorn Theatre’s Anansi the Spider – a unique digital theatre experience for students aged 3 – 8 years old.

This is their first entirely digitally created theatre experience. It’s being streamed for free in partnership with The Guardian on their YouTube channel and on The Guardian’s website.

The digital experience is Inspired by their 2019 five-star hit show, Anansi the Spider. The show is about the infamous mischief-maker and master spinner of yarns adapted with classic West African and Caribbean tales for Unicorn Online. Made with their film partner, Illuminations, the Unicorn Theatre creatively responded to the current situation – the cast filmed themselves in their own homes so that they can bring them to yours.

This fun online performance, featuring music, song and humour is an exciting new adventure especially created for EYFS & KS1.

What’s on offer:

  • Online Performances
  • Teaching Resources

Suitable for: EYFS & KS1

Subject links: Early Years, Drama & English

Dates available: Ongoing

Watch the Unicorn Theatre’s Anansi the Spider.

Vamos Theatre

Vamos Theatre, the UK’s leading full mask theatre company, has made an extensive range of content, videos and their performance of DEAD GOOD available to teachers for free.

The vast library of free educational videos and learning resources include everything from character development to storytelling.

What’s on offer:

  • Educational Videos
  • Free Online Productions
  • Teaching Resources

Suitable for: KS3, KS4 & KS5

Subject links: Art & Design, Drama & English

Dates available: Ongoing

Read more about Vamos Theatre’s Productions & Resources.

Young Vic

You can watch past Young Vic productions through the National Theatre Collection. You can watch A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Yerma – all for free!

What’s on offer:

  • Free Online Productions
  • Teaching Resources

Suitable for: KS3, KS4 & KS5

Subject links: Drama & English

Dates available: Ongoing

Find out more about the National Theatre Collection.

Get the whole list.

Get the whole list of shows you can watch for free emailed to you so you can share it with your students, colleagues and go back to it later.

We 100% respect your privacy and protect your data. For more details, please read our Privacy Policy.

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Get access to more free teaching resources, teaching ideas & virtual school trip ideas.

The School Trip Community is here to help you bring school trips into the classroom.

We work with thousands of teachers across the UK to help them bring arts & culture to life. We share free teaching resources such as this, as well as news, teaching ideas, tips and guides.

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For more free resources, see our Free Teaching Resource Library. It features hundreds of resources broken down by subject, Key Stage and opportunities that you can download and use for free!

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Virtual School Trip Ideas You Can Do For FREE!

Also, see our complete guide of 40+ Virtual School Trip Ideas You Can Do For Free. The list features virtual school trips broken down by subject, Key Stage and opportunities.

See the full list of 40+ Virtual School Trip Ideas You Can Do For Free.

More free teaching resources, teaching ideas & educational activities!

For more free resources see our Free Teaching Resource Library, complete with hundreds of education packs, educational videos, teaching ideas and other activities – all available for FREE!

See our Free Teaching Resource Library.

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