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27 Shows You Can Watch Online For Free

Theatres across the country are streaming free performances you can watch from the comfort of your living room. 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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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.

Suitable for:
Antigone & Media – KS3, KS4 & KS5
Lysistrata – KS5

Dates available:
Ongoing

Watch aod’s production of Antigone.

Watch aod’s production of Medea.

Watch aod’s production of Lysistrata.

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, airing throughout June and early July. All episodes are also available on the BBC iPlayer.

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

Dates available:
Ongoing

Read more about Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads.

Battersea Arts Centre

Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) are part of the BBC’s ‘Culture in Quarantine’ series. Share the BAC’s innovative theatre, dance and spoken word with your students. All easily accessible on the BBC iPlayer.

Suitable for:
KS3, KS4 & KS5

Dates available:
Ongoing

View BAC’s performance’s on BBC iPlayer.

BBC’s Culture in Quarantine

The new Culture in Quarantine online hub offers a wealth of arts and culture from the BBC. The site includes theatre, dance, music, art and more to share with your students.

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

Dates available:
Ongoing

See all the content on the BBC’s Culture in Quarantine website.

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Bristol Old Vic

Get students of all ages involved in crafts, games, competitions and learning materials with Bristol Old Vic’s Family Arts Hub. The hub also includes three free productions – Ice Ice Baby, T**k You and The Tinderbox.

Ice Ice Baby is the interactive activity hub for EYFS using sound and music from their innovative show for ages 0-4.

T**k You is performed by the Bristol Old Vic Young Company and is a newly devised piece of contemporary political theatre. The show explores the relationship between youth and power.

Also performed by the Young Company, The Tinderbox is an adaption of a short story by Hans Christian Andersen, written by Silva Semerciyan. The production explores a range of themes from brutality and reasons for war, to the valuing of women based solely on their appearance. The show is also accompanied by activities and resources.

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

Dates available:
Family Arts Hub – Ongoing
Ice Ice Baby – Ongoing
The Tinderbox – Ongoing

Watch The Tinderbox.

Watch T**k You.

Take a look at the Ice Ice Baby Activity Hub.

Learn more about Bristol Old Vic’s Pilot Season.

Take a look at Bristol Old Vic’s Family Arts Hub.

ALSO SEE – Teaching Resources & Lesson Plans You Can Download For FREE

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.

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

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’s #CirqueConnect

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.

Suitable for:
KS2, KS3, KS4 & KS5

Dates available:
Ongoing

Watch Cirque du Soleil’s #CirqueConnect Performances.

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.

Suitable for:
KS3, KS4 & KS5

Dates available:
Ongoing

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

ALSO SEE – Disney Theatrical Launches a Free Resource & Activity Hub

Frantic Assembly's Frantic Digital logo

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.

Suitable for:
KS3, KS4 & KS5

Dates available:
Ongoing

View Frantic Assembly’s Frantic Digital Hub.

Gate Theatre

Watch the critically acclaimed Gate Theatre productions of Suzy Storck and The Unknown Island. Both productions are free to stream.

Suitable for:
Suzy Storck – KS4 & KS5
The Unknown Island – KS2, KS3, KS4 & KS5

Dates available:
Ongoing

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

Hamilton

The smash-hit Broadway production of Hamilton will be streamed 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.

Suitable for:
KS4, KS5

Dates available:
Ongoing

See Hamilton on Disney+.

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Jacksons Lane’s JL Shorts

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.

Suitable for:
KS3, KS4 & KS5

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.

Suitable for:
KS4 & KS5

Dates available:
Ongoing

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

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.

Suitable for:
KS3, KS4 & KS5

Dates available:
Ongoing

See Kneehigh’s Resource Hub.

Little Angel Theatre Jon Klassen Stories Post Image

Little Angel Theatre

Little Angel Theatre has launched a new ‘At Home’ resource hub. Get access to a library filled with stories and activities to keep Primary school-aged children educated and entertained.

Suitable for:
EYFS, KS1 & KS2

Dates available:
Ongoing

Visit Little Angel Theatre’s Resource & Activity Hub.

ALSO SEE – Free Little Angel Theatre Resources, Stories & Activities for Home Learning

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.

Suitable for:
KS2, KS3, KS4 & KS5

Dates available:
Ongoing

See all of the Matilda The Musical Teaching Resources.

National Theatre

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

National Theatre At Home is a way of seeing some of the NT’s famous work from the comfort of our homes, each Thursday from 7pm. The series kicked off with their hit production of One Man, Two Guvnors. Continuing with Jane Eyre, Treasure Island, Twelfth Night, Frankenstein, Antony & Cleopatra, Barber Shop Chronicles, A Streetcar Named Desire, This House, Coriolanus, The Madness of George III and Small Island.

Currently showing is Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus. Lucian Msamati plays Salieri in Peter Shaffer’s iconic play, directed by Michael Longhurst with live orchestral accompaniment by Southbank Sinfonia.

In addition to the weekly performances, UK state-funded schools have access to the National Theatre Collection. The Collection brings the best of British Theatre to all state-funded schools for free. From Shakespeare and Greek tragedy to contemporary literary adaptations, the Collection supports the primary and secondary curriculum. Teachers can get access to high-quality recordings of 24 world-class productions, plus a range of tailored learning resources.

Suitable for:
KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5 (dependent on the production)

Dates available:
Ongoing, with a new performance each Thursday for 1 week.

Watch the National Theatre At Home production of Amadeus.

Read more about the National Theatre Collection.

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Official London Theatre

Official London Theatre is the official ticket agent of the Society of London Theatre (SOLT). SOLT represents West End theatre and also runs the annual Olivier Awards and Leicester Square’s famous TKTS Discount booth.

Their family site hosts theatre-related videos, insights and activities for all ages.

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

Dates available:
Ongoing

See all of the Official London Theatre Family Activities.

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 workshop and guides.

Suitable for:
KS2, KS3, KS4 & KS5

Dates available:

  • Education Hub – ongoing

Read more about The Old Vic’s Education Hub.

Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall is bringing exclusive sessions to your home. All shows are available to stream for free and include performances from top names in the music industry.

The Royal Albert Hall’s ‘For Kids’ sessions are an accessible way to introduce younger students to different styles of music. Their programme includes ‘Classical for Kids’, ‘Jazz for Kids’, and ‘Opera for Kids’.

All sessions can be watched live or streamed on-demand in full. 

Suitable for:
KS2, KS3, KS4 & KS5

Dates available:
Current sessions have been announced up to 12 August

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

Royal Court

The Royal Court’s new ‘At Home’ site includes free productions, writing exercises and resources.

The theatre has also teamed up with BBC Bitesize to create GCSE Drama Resources. Activities explore a range of GCSE Drama topics including Devising, Theatre Design and support for exams.

Suitable for:
KS3, KS4 & KS5

Dates available:
Ongoing

See all of the Royal Court’s At Home Activities & Resources.

Royal Shakespeare Company

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has launched ‘At Home with Shakespeare’. The hub includes free online streams of their past performances, fun activities and learning resources.

Their accompanying live lessons give students an in-depth look into classic Shakespeare plays. Their lessons on Romeo & Juliet and Macbeth are still available and can be watched on-demand through their YouTube channel.

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

Dates available:
Ongoing

See all of the RSC’s Home Learning Resources.

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.

Suitable for:
KS3, KS4 & KS5

Dates available:
Ongoing

View Sadler’s Wells Digital Stage.

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s ‘Museum From Home’ gives an insight into the life and work of Shakespeare.

Activities are suitable for all ages, ranging from colouring in Shakespeare’s house to interviews and Shakespeare Shorts.

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

Dates available:
Ongoing

See all of Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s Museum From Home Activities.

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.

Suitable for:
KS3, KS4 & KS5

Dates available:
Ongoing

Watch Wasted.

Watch Twelfth Night.

Watch Bound.

Read more about the Southwark Stayhouse productions.

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.

Suitable for:
EYFS & KS1

Dates available:
Until 27 July

Watch the Unicorn Theatre’s Anansi the Spider.

Production shot from Vamos Theatre's production of DEAD GOOD

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.

Suitable for:
KS3, KS4 & KS5

Dates available:
Ongoing

Read more about Vamos Theatre’s productions & resources.

ALSO SEE – Drama Teaching Resources You Can Download For FREE

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

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Conclusion

Even though Theatres are currently closed to the public, that doesn’t mean we still can’t enjoy their performances.

For more free teaching resources, news, tips and guides to help you connect arts & culture with the curriculum – sign up to our free weekly newsletter.

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More free teaching resources, teaching ideas & educational activities!

For more free resources see our Complete Guide of Free Teaching Resources, Teaching Ideas & Educational Activities. The list features over 100 resources broken down by subject, Key Stage and opportunities.

See our full list of Free Teaching Resources & Teaching Ideas.

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.

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