We all know it's a tough time for theatres. The industry thrives on having their seats filled with lovers of the arts. Without the ability to do that, the future looks uncertain and terrifying.
In this post I have rounded up what some specific theatres in, not just the West end, the country are doing to keep their names out there and hopefully generate some much needed income.
I'll start with one I've mentioned on my other streaming posts. The National Theatre is one of the most beautiful theatres in the West end. Opening in 1976, it has been home to spectacular productions including Follies, Hadestown and Angels In America.
Via their At Home service, each Thursday at 7pm you can stream a show from their archives for a week at https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/nt-at-home
While you have already missed some titles, there are some great ones still to come, including Gillian Anderson in the Young Vic production of A Streetcar Named Desire from Thursday 21st May and Tom Hiddleston in the Donmar Warehouse production of Coriolanus from Thursday 4th June.
While each title is available for free, the theatre is asking for people to donate if you can afford it to help with the theatres future.
TextNTATHOME 10 to 70085 to donate £10
Text NTATHOME 20 to 70085 to donate £20
The Bristol Old Vic have announced they will be putting a series of their past productions on YouTube, starting with The Encounter which is available now . Future titles are Messiah from 29th May and, most excitingly, The Grinning Man from 26th June. They are available from 7pm on the day at https://bristololdvic.org.uk/at-home.
Visit https://bristololdvic.org.uk/support-us to make a donation.
To the Old Vic in London now. Its artistic director, Matthew Warchus, has warned that the theatre is in a "seriously perilous" financial situation. The famed theatre has sat in its location for over 200 years and has been home to new and exciting theatre productions in that time.
The theatre have launched Your Old Vic https://www.oldvictheatre.com/whats-on/2020/your-old-vic which includes an education hub, taking you behind the scenes at the theatre, and a pen pals scheme, among other initiatives. On top of this, they are also putting one of their most incredible productions online to stream from 7pm on Friday 5th June for one week only. The adaptation of Patrick Ness' A Monster Calls wowed audiences (myself included) when it was on stage in 2018 and is a must watch when it comes online.
To donate to the theatre visit https://www.oldvictheatre.com/support-us/donate
One of my favourite theatre spaces in London, Southwark Playhouse have launched their 'Southwark Stayhouse' streaming service where you can watch some of their past productions online. Visit https://southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/streaming/
Four titles are currently available, including Wasted - the story of the three Bronte sisters. All streams are free of charge but you can support the theatre by donating here https://southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/support-us/
Soho Theatre have launched an On Demand service at https://www.sohotheatreondemand.com/. Titles you can currently view are the filmed production of the sold out Fleabag live show as well as a selection of stand up comedy shows from the theatre. Each title costs £4 to download.
More titles are due to be added to the On Demand service on Tuesday 26th May.
Chichester Festival Theatre are known for premiering incredible shows that eventually make it to the West end. Past productions include the 2016 revival of Half A Sixpence, Quiz and Caroline, Or Change.
You can currently stream their production of David Walliams' The Midnight Gang at https://www.cft.org.uk/ until Friday 29th May. You can also recreate the much missed theatre experience by purchasing an online programme for the show. Also available is the Youth theatres production of Beauty and the Beast from Thursday 21st May. You can donate to the theatre on the website.
Shakespeare's Globe have called for urgent funding to keep the theatre alive, as they, like so many others, are struggling since doors closed in March. By visiting https://www.shakespearesglobe.com/ you can donate or, alternatively, buy a gift voucher to redeem when the theatre reopens.
The website also offers a virtual tour of the theatre as well as a vast array of past titles to stream online.
Another one of my favourite venues. Since rebranding from St James Theatre, The Other Palace has been home to some incredible shows such as Heathers and, most recently, Be More Chill.
While the theatre has no official productions to stream online, the creators of Eugenius have put their filmed footage from the production at The Other Palace available for free on YouTube. The theatre are also hosting a virtual musical theatre pub quiz on Monday 15th June at 8pm. Details available at https://lwtheatres.co.uk/theatres/the-other-palace/
If your favourite theatre isn't on this list, you'll find most theatres are giving options on their website to donate by buying gift vouchers or memberships in advance. If you find any others I should add to the list, please let me know in the comments, on twitter.com/ATDazzles or facebook.com/ATDazzles
It is important we continue to support the theatres. While I will continue to post about all the various titles made available online for us to stream (often free of charge), it is important to remember each title was filmed in a theatre which has employees and bills to pay. To ensure the future of them, we need to help if we are in a position to do so.
I'll end the post with a look at this theatre in Germany which reopened for a performance this week, but with social distancing rules meaning the usually 1000 capacity venue had an audience of less than 200. Is this what theatres will look like when they reopen?