During the current period three YouTube Channels are broadcasting entire theatrical shows for free. They generally start at 7PM BST on certain weeknights but the videos will remain on the channels for 7 days afterwards before being taken down as something else is uploaded.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre: Performances of Shakespeare’s plays, at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in London, done in the theatrical style used in his time.
So far: Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, The Two Noble Kinsmen.
The Show Must Go On: Performances or film versions of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals.
So far: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, Love Never Dies, Phantom 25th Anniversary concert, By Jeeves.
National Theatre Live: Usually you have to pay to see these broadcasts in the cinema. Performed by the Royal National Theatre in London.
So far: Twelfth Night, Jane Eyre, Treasure Island, Frankenstein (both versions with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternating the roles of Victor Frankenstein and the Creature), Anthony and Cleopatra.
The lists I’ve provided, of what have been shown so far, are by no means conclusive. They are only the ones I know have been shown recently. There are many clips on the channels if you wan to check out other productions by the organisations and, at least for the National Theatre, interesting ‘behind the scenes’ videos about the production process.
The organisations offer these broadcasts, for free, in hope of donations to support the theatre community.
She came in out of the frost,
her cheeks glowing,
and filled my whole room
with the scent of fresh air
and resonent chatter
that did away with my last chance
of getting anywhere in my work.
she dropped a hefty art journal
onto the floor
and at once
there was no room any more
in my large room
was somewhat annoying,
if not absurd.
Next, she wanted Macbeth
read aloud to her.
Barely had I reached
the earth's bubbles
which never failed to entrance me
when I realized that she,
no less entranced,
was staring out of the window.
A large tabby cat
was creeping along the edge of the roof
towards some amorous pigeons.
What angered me most
was that it should be pigeons,
not she and I,
who were necking,
and that the days of Paolo and Francesca
were long gone.
by Александр Александрович Блок
(Alexander Alexandrovich Blok)
translated by Robert Chandler
‘The earth’s bubbles’ in this poem references a line from Act I, scene 3 of Shakespeare’s play Macbeth “The earth hath bubbles, as the water has, / And these are of them.” which Banquo says to Macbeth when the witches disappear after their encounter. Between 1904 and 1905 Blok wrote a poem cycle he titled ‘Bubbles of the Earth’, incorporating motifs from folk magic. In 1907 he wrote of Shakespeare, ‘ I love him deeply; and perhaps, most deely of all – in the whole of world literature – Macbeth’.
Paolo and Francesca refers to the affair between Francesca and her brother-in-law Paolo Malatesta, both of who were married, but fell in love nonetheless. Their tragic adulterous story was told by Dante in his Divine Comedy, Canto V of the Inferno, and was a popular subject with Victorian artists and sculptors, especially with followers of the Pre-Raphaelite ideology, and with other writers.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no, it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
by William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)
There’s holy holy people
They are in capel bach –
They don’t like surpliced choirs,
They don’t like Sospan Fach.
They don’t like Sunday concerts,
Or women playing ball,
They don’t like William Parry much
Or Shakespeare at all.
They don’t like beer or bishops,
Or pictures without texts,
They don’t like any other
Of the nonconformist sects.
And when they go to Heaven
They won’t like that too well,
For the music will be sweeter
Than the music played in Hell.
by Idris Davies
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st;
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
by William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)
A dusty waste-plot by the cemetery,
Behind it, a river flashing blue.
You said to me: ‘Go get thee to a nunnery,
Or get a fool to marry you…’
Well, princes are good at such speeches,
As a girl is quick to tears, –
But may those words stream like an ermine mantle
Behind him for ten thousand years.
– by Анна Ахматова (Anna Akhmatova) (1909, Kiev)
– from Вечер (Evening, 1912), translation by D. M. Thomas
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
– by William Shakespeare