The show must go on! Live performances to stream right now

Take your virtual seat before theatres reopen and raise the curtain on these unmissable stage to screen performances


If you’ve been your missing trips to the West End for a musical fix or date night at the ballet, you’ll be pleased to know some of your favourite shows have gone online.

Seasoned show-goers might already know that the National Theatre is streaming some of their most popular plays from the archives in full every Thursday. It’s become a regular weekly gathering for many, streaming everything from One Man, Two Guvnors with James Corden, and Twelfth Night with Daniel Ezra and Tamara Lawrance.

Black stories on stage

Small Island
Leah Harvey and Johann Myers in Small Island

What’s extra special is that they’ve ensured a brilliantly diverse schedule, and have already screened an adaptation of Andrea Levy’s bestseller Small Island to coincide with Windrush Day 2020, and given a wider audience a taste of the runaway hit Barber Shop Chronicles. There’s even more mouth-watering entertainment to come; don’t miss forthcoming shows including Lorraine Hansberry’s Les Blancs on 2 July about colonialism in Africa starring Shelia Atim and Gary Beadle. The roster of plays has clocked up more than 12 million views so far, and when theatres begin to reopen in July, NT’s Lives will come to an end - so savour them while you can!

Capturing the beauty of African dance

Dancing at Dusk
Dancing at Dusk: A Moment with Pina Bausch's The Rite of Spring [Image by Florian Heinzen-Ziob]

Elsewhere, Sadler’s Wells is not to be upstaged. As part of their Digital Stage offering, they’re releasing a new film capturing an adaptation of The Rite of Spring, which features a specially assembled company of 38 dancers from 14 African countries. It’s a beautiful and rare glimpse behind the scenes at a dance production just before we all entered lockdown. Pina Bausch’s performance was due to go on a global tour before the pandemic, and the company took the opportunity to film their last rehearsal on the beach near their base at Ecole des Sables in Toubab Dialaw in Senegal.

Salomon Bausch, Executive Director, Pina Bausch Foundation, said: “Bringing The Rite of Spring to the beach and shooting it just after sunset was a spontaneous reaction to the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was the last moment of being together within a crisis surrounded by uncertainty. A moment of strength and self-empowerment but also fragile and of unique awareness, dancing on sand and with costumes for the very first time. I think we have all experienced Pina in a way we’ve never done before."

The National Theatre Live streams plays live every Thursday for one week. Go to

Dancing at Dusk - A moment with Pina Bausch’s The Rite of Spring is available to rent online via Sadler’s Wells Digital Stage from 1 July for £5

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