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27 Shows You Can Watch Online For Free

By Tom Sanderson
Last updated: May 2021
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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 can watch shows online for free and how to support learning with their free teaching resources and educational activities.

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We’re here every step of the way to help you find the best teaching resources, activities, virtual school trip ideas & more.

Shows You Can Watch For Free Download

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Looking for something in particular? Get in touch!

We’re here to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. If there’s a particular type of virtual school trip or virtual session you need – we can help you find it.

Let us know what you’re looking for, and we’ll send you back some options. We love helping teachers like you find suitable virtual school trip ideas and resources based on Key Stage, subject or topic – so do get in touch!

Shows You Can Watch For Free Download

Download your free guide!

Get our Complete Guide to Shows You Can Watch Online For Free emailed to you so you can share it with your students, colleagues and go back to it later.

All available for FREE!

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 production of Lysistrata online for free!

What’s on offer:

  • Free Online Productions

Suitable for: KS5

Subject links: Classics, Drama, English

Dates available: Ongoing

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.

Shows You Can Watch For Free Download

Download your free guide!

Get our Complete Guide to Shows You Can Watch Online For Free emailed to you so you can share it with your students, colleagues and go back to it later.

All available for FREE!

Almeida Theatre

The Almeida Theatre are offering schools exclusive access to recordings of their productions of Mike Bartlett’s Albion, and Rebecca Frecknall’s production of The Duchess of Malfi.

They’ve also made their teaching resources of past productions available for you to download and use for free.

What’s on offer:

  • Free Online Productions
  • Teaching Resources

Suitable for: KS4, KS5

Subject links: Drama, English

Dates available: Ongoing

Find out more about Almeida Theatre’s recordings for schools.

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.

Cirque du Soleil #CirqueConnect Main image

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.

Shows You Can Watch For Free Download

Download your free guide!

Get our Complete Guide to Shows You Can Watch Online For Free emailed to you so you can share it with your students, colleagues and go back to it later.

All available for FREE!

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.

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.

Shows You Can Watch Online For Free Hamilton Production Image

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+.

Shows You Can Watch For Free Download

Download your free guide!

Get our Complete Guide to Shows You Can Watch Online For Free emailed to you so you can share it with your students, colleagues and go back to it later.

All available for FREE!

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.

Little Angel Theatre

Little Angel Theatre is a home for puppetry. Since its doors first opened in 1961 the theatre has been dedicated to creating and sharing inspiring stories. Puppetry is at the heart of this innovative theatre, from igniting the imaginations of the youngest minds to equipping tomorrow’s puppeteers with the tools they need to succeed.

Since March 2020, Little Angel Theatre has created a host of free activity guides and video stories to help keep children entertained.

All can be accessed for free on their YouTube channel and enjoyed by children of all ages.

What’s on offer:

  • Educational Videos
  • Online Performances

Suitable for: EYFS, KS1, KS2, KS3 (though can be enjoyed by all ages)

Subject links: Art & Design, Drama, English

Explore Little Angel Theatre’s Educational Videos & Online Performances.

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.

Newsies

Disney offering a FREE virtual theatre trip to see the Tony® award-winning musical NEWSIES.

To support your class’s virtual trip, you’ll also have access to a Teachers’ Toolkit which includes a Study Guide consisting of six lesson plans, a video dance workshop and a video Q&A with members of the Disney team who brought NEWSIES to the stage.

To watch the show, you must register by the 14 June. The screening will then be available from 14 June – 23 July.

What’s on offer:

  • Free Online Production
  • Teaching Resources

Suitable for: KS3, KS4, KS5

Subject links: Citizenship, Dance, Drama, English, PSHE

Dates available: Register by 10 June. Screening available until 23 July.

Find out more about Disney’s exclusive school’s screening of Newsies.

Register your interest to take a virtual school trip to see Newsies.

Shows You Can Watch For Free Download

Download your free guide!

Get our Complete Guide to Shows You Can Watch Online For Free emailed to you so you can share it with your students, colleagues and go back to it later.

All available for FREE!

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.

The RSC is also broadcasting productions, for free, for schools. Currently showing is Michael Morpurgo’s Tales from Shakespeare available to use for remote learning until 7 May 2021.

What’s on offer:

  • Educational Videos
  • Online Performances
  • 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.

Find out more about the RSC’s School Broadcasts.

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

Watch Shakespeare’s Globe’s performance of Macbeth for free! You can request access to an exclusive schools link that can then be watched in school or shared with students to watch at home.

Also, take a look at Shakespeare’s Globe’s ‘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
  • Facts, Insights & Trivia
  • Online Performances
  • Teaching Resources

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5

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

Dates available: Ongoing

Find out more about Shakespeare’s Globe’s Macbeth.

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

Shrek The Musical

The greatest fairy tale never told comes to life in this colourful, song-filled, Tony Award-winning Broadway production based on the hit movie.

Shrek The Musical is free to stream as part of a Netflix subscription.

What’s on offer:

  • Online Performances

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5

Subject links: Drama, English

Dates available: Ongoing

Watch Shrek The Musical on Netflix.

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Swinging The Lens

Stream the full production of Swinging The Lens’ Richard II – the Bard’s great Play of England. Enjoy the critically acclaimed first all women of colour Shakespeare on a UK stage – from the 2019 Globe Season.

What’s on offer:

  • Online Performances

Suitable for: KS3, KS4, KS5

Subject links: Drama, English

Dates available: Ongoing

Watch Swinging The Len’s Richard II

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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.

Shows You Can Watch For Free Download

Download your free guide!

Get our Complete Guide to Shows You Can Watch Online For Free emailed to you so you can share it with your students, colleagues and go back to it later.

All available for FREE!

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.

Shows You Can Watch For Free Download

Download your free guide!

Get our Complete Guide to Shows You Can Watch Online For Free emailed to you so you can share it with your students, colleagues and go back to it later.

All available for FREE!

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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.

Get access to all these free learning resources and more, by signing up to our weekly newsletter – it’s free!

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!

See our library of Free Teaching Resources & Teaching Ideas.

Looking for something in particular? Get in touch!

We’re here to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. If there’s a particular type of virtual school trip or virtual session you need – we can help you find it.

Let us know what you’re looking for, and we’ll send you back some options. We love helping teachers like you find suitable virtual school trip ideas and resources based on Key Stage, subject or topic – so do get in touch!

Get your personalised ideas.

Want more FREE resources, tips & guides?

We’re here every step of the way to help you find the best teaching resources, activities, virtual school trip ideas & more.

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