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Canberra Theatre Centre’s top tips for getting your theatre fix in lockdown

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Missing the cultural touchstone that is live theatre? Me too. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get your theatre fix in iso.

The buzz of the audience as they slowly find their seats, laughter and discussion as everyone mills around the bar at intermission. The wave of applause that sweeps across the rows as the curtain falls.

I love the theatre, and it’s one of the cultural experiences I’m missing most.

Yes, there’s a certain satisfaction to immediately hitting ‘Play Next Episode’ during a Netflix binge. But there’s nothing quite like the thrill of live theatre.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get your live theatre fix in iso—and Canberra Theatre Centre has pulled together a selection just for Canberra theatre-lovers.

“As we all continue to spend time at home, we encourage you to stay connected with live performances in your lounge room,” says Director of Canberra Theatre Centre Alex Budd. “We’ve assembled a list of streaming options from arts companies both in Australia and across the world, including some that are dear to Canberra Theatre Centre patrons.”

“We trust they will keep you and your family entertained and engaged with the performing arts until a time when we can again enjoy gathering en masse at the Canberra Theatre Centre!”

So, what’s on the list? Oh, I don’t know—only a selection of some of the most celebrated live performances from the last decade. No big deal.

Australian Companies

Missing your favourite comedians? Stream their past gigs on A-List VOD! These full-length comedy shows are available to rent or buy on the A-List Entertainment website.

While Arts Centre Melbourne’s curtains are drawn, the show will go on with a series of free archival recordings and digital experiences in their digital program Together with You, available on their website.

At Home with Ballet TV is The Australian Ballet’s 2020 Digital Season, featuring a hand-picked selection of their most beloved and inspiring ballets. Each ballet will be available to stream for two weeks at a time on the Australian Ballet’s website.

Australian National Theatre Live is releasing full-length Australian theatre productions from their archives and making them available for streaming on their Facebook page including The Wharf Revue, Griffin Theatre’s The Emerald City and more.

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra has made a number of full-length concerts available on YouTube including performances of Scheherazade, Schumann, Beethoven and more.

Each day at 10:30 am AEST, The Metropolitan Opera will release a different encore presentation from its Live in HD series for free streaming on its website for 23 hours. The schedule will include complete performances from the past 14 years, starring all the opera’s greatest singers.

From our House to yours is Sydney Opera House’s new digital program of weekly live recordings, full-length performances and never-before-seen footage, as well as podcasts, articles, videos and more, including Bangarra Dance Theatre’s acclaimed Bennelong (pictured above).

Stay tuned for Sydney Theatre Company Virtual, a series of exciting interviews, readings, performances and more.

Brisbane’s The Tivoli will be curating a series of live-streamed concerts, in-conversation events and more as part of their Shutdown Series. The gigs will be live-streamed on Facebook at various times. View the first video in the series with Sahara Beck here.

The IsoLate Late Show is a live concert series raising money for Queensland’s creative workforce, streaming live from 8 pm every Friday on The Little Red Company Facebook page. Tune in for sets from Australia’s best musicians, music theatre stars and performers, hosted by The Voice alumni Luke Kennedy and Naomi Price.

International Companies

Broadway HD, an online service providing access to full-length Broadway productions on-demand, is offering a weeklong free trial to new customers. Shows available on Broadway HD include Orlando Bloom’s run in Romeo and Juliet, Falsettos, Swan Lake, She Loves Me and more.

Famous New York City live music and performance venue Joe’s Pub has launched a FREE streaming initiative, Joe’s Pub Live! From the Archives. They are streaming archived performances every weekend.

Keep up to date with upcoming live streams here.

New York’s Lincoln Centre’s new portal enables families and communities to keep the performing arts front and centre with streaming programs including: archival footage, home-made footage, documentaries and previous broadcasts.

National Theatre (UK) have launched National Theatre at Home, streaming classic National Theatre Live titles on their YouTube channel for one week, re-releasing behind-the-scenes content and more:

  • 9 – 16 April: Jane Eyre
  • 16 – 23 April: Treasure Island
  • 23 – 30 April: Twelfth Night

Paris Opera will be releasing shows from its archives for streaming on its website, including:

  • 6 – 12 April: The Barber of Seville (2014)
  • 13 – 19 April: Tribute to Jerome Robbins (2018)
  • 20 – 26 April: The Tales of Hoffmann (2016)
  • 27 April – 3 May: Carmen (2017)
  • 17 March – 3 May: Cycle of Tchaikovsky’s six symphonies played by the Orchestra of the Paris National Opera, conducted by Philippe Jordan

The Royal Opera House, London will be offering a free programme of curated online broadcasts, musical masterclasses and cultural insights that get under the skin of both ballet and opera and offer everyone a unique look behind the scenes at one of the world’s most famous cultural institutions.

  • Peter and The Wolf, the Royal Ballet 2010 –watch now on Facebook or YouTube
  • Acis and Galatea, The Royal Opera, 2009 – watch on Facebook and YouTube from 4 April, 4 am AEST
  • Così fan tutte, The Royal Opera, 2010 – watch on Facebook and YouTube from 11 April, 4 am AEST
  • The Metamorphosis, The Royal Ballet, 2013 – watch on Facebook and YouTube from 18 April, 4 am AEST
  • Gloriana, The Royal Opera, 2013 – watch on Facebook and YouTube from 25 April, 4 am AEST
  • The Winter’s Tale, The Royal Ballet, 2014 – watch on Facebook and YouTube from 2 May, 4 am AEST

In London, Shakespeare’s Globe offers free virtual tours as well as free and paid performance footage on their streaming platform, Globe Player.

Icon of musical theatre Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber is releasing full-length, smash-hit music once a week on YouTube for 48 hours. The musicals will be released 5 am on Saturdays.

For the whole family

AYTP On Demand is a free platform which offers world-class productions of Australian stories, tailored specifically to each age bracket of young Australians (aged 8-18), as well as drama classes, curriculum links, and interactive learning resources.

All you need is an education email account (your school-aged child should have one of these!) to sign up on their website.

In addition to their performance video content, Lincoln Centre is also offering a daily pop-up classroom for children and families

Included in The Royal Opera House’s programme of curated online broadcasts is the classic children’s ballet Peter and the Wolf: watch now on Facebook or YouTube

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati has launched TCT Everywhere, a collection of full performances, study guides, podcasts and craft projects for children, available on their website.

Windmill at Home is a new online platform for kids and families that includes storybooks read by Windmill performers, full Windmill Pictures films, interactive journeys, work-out videos, craft activities and more.

Feature image: Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Bennelong, which is being shown as part of the Sydney Opera House’s From our House to yours streaming service. Photo: Daniel Boud. 

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