Theatres may still be closed, but there is no shortage of great shows streaming online to get you through February.
From the winner of the 2020 Alfred Fagon Best Play Award to the premiere of Lolita Chakrabarti’s latest play, TBB is here to satisfy your theatre fix.
Twenty Twenty by the Young Vic Taking Part project
In November 2019, the Young Vic announced Twenty Twenty, a year-long collaboration with Blackfriars Settlement, Certitude, and Thames Reach, with the aim of fostering in-depth creative relationships with people in Lambeth and Southwark’s local community. The three new plays developed by the groups were originally due to be performed by the Young Vic’s community companies at the end of 2020. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, however, the three plays have moved online.
They are respectively: Tapestry, written by Nessah Muthy and directed by Audrey Sheffield; Even At Our Age, written by Tolani Shoneye and directed by Jade Lewis and Home(body), written by Jasmine Lee-Jones and directed by Milli Bhatia.`
Currently available to watch via the Young Vic’s Youtube Channel. Find out more here.
Ribena by Daniel Ward
Part of Theatre Royal Stratford East’s series of performances gathered under the title Press Play Here, Ribena combines a reflection on 2020 with the realisation that “Vimto is still around” even though you basically “never see someone drink it, ever”. Ward offers a charismatic ode to Ribena while offering a poignant monologue on the events of 2020.
Other performances in the series include Le Cabaret De Rien by Alex Luttley, Romani Girl by Ambreen Razia, a Jack and the Beanstalk Pocket Panto performed by Nick Holder, and Meet Mo performed by Jenny Galloway.
Currently available to watch via Theatre Royal Stratford East’s website. Find out more here.
The Whip by Juliet Gilkes Romero
The Royal Shakespeare Company presents an audio dramatisation of The Whip, Juliet Gilkes Romero which won the Alfred Fagon Best Play Award in 2020. Set at the dawn of the 19th century, The Whip explores the human cost of the multi-billion slavery compensation bill, which contained a provision for the financial compensation of slave owners – rather than of slaves themselves – by the British taxpayer, for the loss of their “property” following the abolition of the slave trade in 1833.
You can currently stream the audio play via the Royal Shakespeare Company’s YouTube channel. A live listen-along event will also be hosted on Thursday 11 February at 7pm, marking one year since the production’s original press night. Find out more here.
The Colour Purple: At Home at Curve Theatre
Based on the novel written by Alice Walker, The Color Purple is told over the course of 40 years and follows courageous heroine Celie (played by T’Shan Williams), as she journeys through racially divided southern America and learns to stand up for who she is and what she believes in. Drawing inspiration from jazz, ragtime, gospel, and blues, a band of incredible musicians will bring the Tony award-winning score to life with songs including Push Da Button, Too Beautiful for Words and I’m Here.
Streaming from 16th February – 7th March. Find out more here.
Hymn by Lolita Chakrabarti
Originally due to play to socially distanced audiences, the world premiere of Lolita Chakrabarti’s Hymn will now be streamed live from the theatre. The play follows Gil (Adrian Lester) and Benny (Danny Sapani): two men who form a deep bond after meeting at a funeral. When cracks begin to appear in their fragile lives, however, they start to realise that true courage comes in different forms.
Livestreaming from the Almeida Theatre from 17th-20th February. Find out more here.
Typical by Ryan Calais Cameron
First performed in 2019 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival before transferring to Soho Theatre for a sell-out run, Typical uncovers the man and the humanity behind the tragic true-life events of Black British ex-serviceman Christopher Alder and the injustice that still remains twenty years since his story emerged. The specially filmed performance stars Richard Blackwood and is directed by Anastasia Osei-Kuffour.
Streaming via Soho Theatre on Demand from 24th February. Find out more here.
Stay Awake, Jake by Tim Gilvin
Winner of multiple awards, this one-act musical follows Jake (Ahmed Hamad) as he drives from London to Carlisle in the middle of the night in a frantic bid to save his relationship. As we learn about Jake’s life, his past, and what it was that made him decide to get in his car and drive the length of the country at 2am in the morning, the musical reflects on love, responsibility, fatherhood, and ultimately what it means to be a man in the 21st century.
Streaming from 28th January – 11th February via Southwark Playhouse’s website. Find out more here.
Jazz re:freshed has announced the return of their iconic weekly show. Each week, discover different artists in a series of weekly residencies that shine a spotlight on the talent, vibrancy, and diversity of UK Jazz. The shows have been recognised as being one of the key Jazz nights for talent discovery, so you may even get to witness a rising star.
Live streaming every Thursday at 9pm via Jazz re:freshed’s YouTube Channel and on Facebook Live. Find out more here.
Monuments by the Donmar Local Project
Monuments is a Donmar Local Project led by Resident Assistant Director Sara Aniqah Malik which explores how the legacy of the Empire continues to impact our community. Working with Sara, writer Nessah Muthy, director of photography Fẹ́mi Awójídé and movement director Kane Husbands, a company of twelve Black, Brown and multiracial young Londoners have produced a bold short film exploring their own experiences of everyday racism.
Available to watch via the Donmar Warehouse’s YouTube Channel from 9th February. Find out more here.