Matinee or Evening, Pit or Circle, some online resources


A number of performing arts organisations, artists and practitioners have conducted live streams, posted recorded shows or are creating new work for the online space. These are available to anyone with an internet connection and the list below represents what the Culture Diary team has found or been notified about. This is an ongoing list.

Please send suggestions to for us to consider and add to this list.

ROYAL OPERA HOUSE – Now that the ROH is closed, they are streaming past and live broadcasts of performances and other opera-related content for free from its YouTube and Facebook pages. Read more on what’s being broadcast here.

THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS – One for families, this long-running West End show is up here for free. Just register and consider donating to their suggested theatre charities before watching. 

ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY – First Encounter is the RSC’s way of making Shakespeare accessible for younger audiences. This version of King Lear is available to watch at any time now. The RSC already has 17 productions available on Marquee TV (currently offering 30-day free trials), and will be premiering their 2017 production of Twelfth Night on Saturday 11 April at 7.15pm, encouraging people to ‘watch along’ with them. #AlmostLiveFromtheRSC

NATIONAL THEATRE – From 2 April, National Theatre at Home will broadcast live streams every Thursday at 7pm of previous productions and will be available for 7 days before the next broadcast. Shows for April include One Man, Two Guvnors, Jane Eyre, Treasure Island and Twelfth Night.

SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE – Six full productions, the full Globe to Globe 2012 programme and the Complete Walk films are all available for free via Globe Player during from 6 April 2020.

FREE BERLIN PHILHARMONIC ONLINE SHOWS – The Berlin Philharmonic is giving free access to its online Digital Concert Hall for one month.

 JOIN THE SOFA SINGERS – an at-home choir you can sing with or enjoy through streaming

BBC Arts announces Culture In Quarantine programme

25 March 2020

Jonty Claypole, Director BBC Arts, explains how keeping public access to art and culture is paramount for the BBC – and how it will support artists and institutions in this period of quarantine. I want to talk now about our output, because the single most important thing the BBC can do at this time is simply ensure that audiences continue to have access to great art and culture.

Despite the immense restrictions now placed on production, all of our radio stations, and particularly Radio 3 and Radio 4, are continuing to keep culture alive in every household across the country with music, books, ideas and updates from across the sector.

Radio 4’s Front Row continues to be on-air each weeknight with live performance, arts news and in-depth conversations with performers, critics and creators. Over the coming days and weeks the show will feature special interviews with major figures like Martin Scorsese, Anoushka Shankar and Nitin Sawhney; and a regular Culture Clinic has experts giving consumer advice about what activities to do at home.

BBC’S Museums in Quarantine

On BBC Four, a new series called Museums in Quarantine explores national collections – whether virtually or with new footage – at a time of enforced closure. A few days ago, we were able to get Alastair Sooke into Tate Modern for a last look at the Warhol exhibition with its curators. In ensuing programmes, unless events force further changes to output, Dr James Fox will present individual works from Tate Britain that speak to our times, Janina Ramirez will bring to life personal and public favourites from the British Museum and Simon Schama will present a guide to the critically-acclaimed Young Rembrandt exhibition at the Ashmolean in Oxford.

 We are also presenting Titian: Behind Closed Doors on BBC Two. Filmed both before and during the lockdown at the National Gallery, it gives unprecedented access to an exhibition that has reunited a suite of Titian’s paintings for the first time in three hundred years. We see Gabriele Finaldi, the director of the gallery, locking up the exhibition for the duration of the closures. And, in a few weeks’ time, BBC Arts will work with the Museum Association and NMDC (National Museum Directors’ Council) for #MuseumsAtHome: a celebration of UK museums and galleries with archive content and social media.

Theatre, Dance and Classical Music on BBC iPlayer & BBC4

Theatre: With all our theatres closed, the BBC is taking on the role of a repertory theatre for audiences at home. We are launching a huge carousel of shows on BBC iPlayer and BBC Four that feature the best of both the BBC’s and UK recent performances, as well as new never-seen-before titles. This includes Mike Bartlett’s Albion from The Almeida, Emma Rice’s Wise Children, Battersea Arts Centre’s Frankenstein and six recent titles from the Royal Shakespeare Company: Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing and Othello.

DANCE includes Crystal Pite and Jonathan Young’s Revisor, Northern Ballet’s Dracula and the new series of DanceWorks with Sadler’s Wells featuring the work of Sharon Eyal, María Pagés, Ballet Black and Firedance. Many of these titles have been selected to reflect the syllabus and help home education. Revisor: Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young’s intense dance theatre adaptation of Gogol’s 19th century farce

CLASSICAL MUSIC will continue through Radio 3’s schedules, and BBC Four is regularly broadcasting concerts. These include Tobias Kratzer’s new production of Beethoven’s Fidelio, conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano, which was captured at the Royal Opera House only days before the building was closed to audiences.