Watch online theatre plays and musicals
The first two weeks of the Circuit Breaker were enough for most of us to exhaust our limited list of things to do. Now with an additional 4 weeks on top of the remaining 2, we’ll probably also run through our To-Watch list on Netflix quickly too.
If you’re in dire need for a break from your last Netflix binge, give these online theatre plays a try. From Shakespeare classics to Disney on Broadway and local productions, you’re bound to find a story that will make you laugh, cry, or break out in a combination of the two.
Check out other things you can do during CB:
- Best PS4 games to play
- Livestream concerts and and performances during COVID-19
- Gyms with free online classes
1. Romeo and Juliet
Image credit: Shakespeare’s Globe
What would this list be without Shakespeare’s most well-known play – Romeo and Juliet. Most people think that R&J is about a tragic romance, but in reality, it’s a satire where Shakespeare poked fun at how melodramatic, cliche and ridiculous young love was. Regardless, it’s still a play most of us can enjoy for free from now until 3rd May by Shakespeare’s Globe.
Fun fact: the theatre you’ll see is a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre built by Shakespeare’s theatre company and is just 750M away from where the original one burned down.
Watch Romeo and Juliet here until 3rd May.
2. The Two Noble Kinsmen
Image credit: Shakespeare’s Globe
If watching Romeo and Juliet has got you in a Renaissance mood, then mark your e-calendars for The Two Noble Kinsmen by Shakespeare’s Globe that will be released from 4th-17th May. It’s not his most performed play by a large margin but is believed to be the last he ever wrote before passing and also tells a compelling story.
It’s a tragicomedy about 3 queens who ask the rulers of Athens to help avenge their husbands’ deaths by waging war on the city of Thebes. Afterwards, a complicated love triangle – or square – worthy of modern-day dramas unfolds.
Watch The Two Noble Kinsmen here from 4th May.
3. The Winter’s Tale
Image credit: Johan Persson
This is the last Shakespeare play on this list – we promise. Unlike the tale of Romeo and Juliet which unfolds over 3 days, the timeline of The Winter’s Tale spans a whole 16 years.
Brace yourself for a hurricane of misguided accusations, tragic deaths and bad decisions. The synopsis might sound dreary but it does come with a happy ending. And if you’re the sort to spot the differences between productions, you can catch 2 this CB period – one by Cheek by Jowl and the other by Shakespeare’s Globe.
4. Love Never Dies
Image credit: The Really Useful Group Ltd
Diehard fans of The Phantom of the Opera who couldn’t get enough now have a sequel to watch during CB. Love Never Dies takes place 10 years after the first musical and is set in New York. Christine is there for her New York debut but doesn’t know it was the Phantom who drew her there – they inevitably reconcile which leads to a dramatic series of events.
Don’t worry if you haven’t watched the first one because the writer of the book-turned-musical said himself that there’s no need to watch the first to understand the second.
It’ll be available for viewing for 48 hours from 2AM on 25th April.
Watch Love Never Dies here from 25th April.
5. Treasure Island
Image credit: National Theatre
Starry-eyed dreamers longing for a sea voyage packed with adventure and treasure hunting will like this one. Treasure Island was originally a book first published in 1883 but has since been adapted into plays, television, comics like Marvel, and movies. In fact, one of my favourite movies by Disney, Treasure Planet, is based on this book!
In short, it’s about an innkeeper and her son, Jim Hawkins, who go on a quest to find treasures and riches hidden on an island but trouble ensues along the way.
Watch Treasure Island here until 2AM on 24th April.
6. Celebrating 25 Magical Years of Disney on Broadway
Genie, played by Michael James Scott
Image credit: Monica Simoes
Calling all Disney lovers and those young at heart – here’s the ultimate Disney musical for you. Jazz out to your favourite songs like A Friend Like Me from Aladdin, Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid and You’ll Be In My Heart from Tarzan.
This musical is actually a fundraiser to help entertainment professionals in the US with COVID-19-related financial issues. So if you’re feeling generous, you can make a donation here which will be matched dollar for dollar by Broadway producers.
Watch Celebrating 25 Magical Years of Disney on Broadway here until 24th April.
7. Tiger Country
Image credit: Hampstead Theatre
Fans of shows like Grey’s Anatomy and The Doctors will be able to appreciate Tiger Country, a play written and directed by Nina Raine. It revolves around the lives of several doctors in a hospital and beautifully portrays all the ins and outs of a hospital such as micromanaging bosses and the breaking of bad news to patients.
It’s also rather relevant during this COVID-19 period to help us better appreciate the hard work our medical frontliners are putting in.
Watch Tiger Country here until 6AM on 27th April.
8. #AIWW: The Arrest of Ai Wei
Image credit: Stephen Cumminskey
Most of us naturally gravitate to movies or books that are “based on a true story”. It’s intriguing when horrors, drama, and hardships aren’t just a figment of some director’s imagination.
Here’s a play adapted from a true story of Ai Wei Wei, played by Benedict Wong from Doctor Strange, who was arrested in Beijing Airport and held as a prisoner for 81 days. #AIWW: The Arrest of Ai WeiWei tells of his time in captivity and all that he was put through from surreal to terrifying.
It will be available to stream from 6PM on 27th April – 6AM on 4th May
Watch #AIWW: The Arrest of AI WeiWei here.
9. Emily of Emerald Hill
Image credit: Wildrice
Entertaining a crowd as a group of performers is nerve-wracking enough, but doing it alone? Terrifying. You’d never be able to tell from Ivan Heng’s solo performance of Emily from Emerald Hill though.
Not only does he command the stage with his impressive performance, coupled with the turbulent plot of a young orphan navigating life in the 1900s, you just might find yourself in fits of laughter and tears.
Watch Emily of Emerald Hill here from 24th April – 1st May.
Image credit: Wildrice
This local production might hit home for some of us. Supervision is about Teck who suffers a stroke and becomes wheelchair-bound. He’s looked after by Yanti, an Indonesian domestic helper. Issues arise when Yanti lets Teck indulge in his vices against the instructions of her employer and when she finds out she’s being watched at home.
The play explores questions like is it worth it to give up things we enjoy for a few extra years and whether domestic helpers are giving up their right to privacy. Overall, it’s a relatable play for most of us who have elderly in our care that helps us understand things from their perspective.
Watch Supervision here from 1st – 8th May.
11. Monkey Goes Home
Image credit: Wildrice
If you loved watching Journey to the West growing up, you’re in for a treat. Alfian Sa’at’s Monkey Goes Home draws inspiration from the OG but adds his own local and interactive twist. It’s chock full of Singlish slangs and features local culture. Overall it’s a cheeky, high-energy adventure that both young and old can enjoy.
If you’re confused about the play, you can head to their website where they’ll upload resources and activities you can do with your family on the Wild Rice website including interviews and discussion questions.
Watch Monkey Goes Home here from 8th – 15th May.
12. Those Who Can’t, Teach
Image credit: Crispian Chan
If you’re in the mood for some reminiscing, watch Those Who Can’t, Teach. It’s a heartwarming play about teachers who are trying to make a difference with their secondary school students. The play portrays incidents like upskirting to texting in class and comforting students who didn’t do well for O-levels that everyday teachers encounter.
At the end of the play, you’ll come out with a newfound respect for your old teachers who probably had to deal with a lot of similar issues from us too.
Watch Those Who Can’t, Teach here.
Free online theatre plays and musicals
Even if you’re not the artsy type, you might just end up finding something new to enjoy. This list of online theatre plays can also help to keep you occupied during this extended circuit breaker.
Check out other things you can do at home during this CB: