The best theatre to stream this month: Billie Holiday’s blues, McKellen’s Lear and Newsies | Stage

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill

Broadway star Audra MacDonald, who has won more Tony Awards than any other artist, flew to London’s West End for just one night at the Palladium in September, where she sang her own selections from “The Great American Songbook.” That concert is filmed for future distribution — and luckily, there’s already a movie for her stellar performance as Billie Holiday in Lanie Robertson’s musical Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, seen in London in 2017 and taped at Cafe Brasil in New Orleans. Available from BroadwayHD.


Maimona has been the talk of Edinburgh this summer with her award-winning Manic Street Creature show, closely curated as part of the Pines Bluff roundabout season. Here’s one I made earlier: Another piece of party scene looking at mental health issues, it has music and lyrics by Maimon and text by James Maytyard. The electrolyte is offered through the subscription service LIVR with 360° virtual reality technology.


It took 10 years for this Tony Award-winning Broadway musical to arrive in the UK; Mass production begins in Troubadour, London, in November. A tale of publishing, protest and passion – with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman and a book by Harvey Feierstein – it revolves around a gang of New York newspaper hawkers. This cast was filmed in Hollywood with original cast members including Jeremy Jordan. on Prime Video.

dance umbrella

The London International Dance Primal Online Festival kicked off in 2020 with a host of short films and talks still available in its archives. Under the leadership of new Artistic Director Freddie Opoku-Addaie, the 2022 edition of the festival also boasts an extensive digital program with the option to purchase pay-as-you-sswipe to see the entire collection. Film highlights include a pair of films by the brilliant Belfast choreographer Ona Doherty. Available Oct 7-31.

Francesco Gabriele Frola and Ida Praetorius in Nureyev: Legend and Legacy.
Francesco Gabriele Frola and Ida Praetorius in Nureyev: Legend and Legacy. Photo: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian

Nureyev: Legend and Legacy

Natalia Osipova, Francesca Hayward and Cesar Corrales were among the exceptional line-ups for this concert in honor of Rudolf Nureyev, presented by Ralph Fiennes and staged at the Royal Drury Lane Theater in London in September. Sanjoy Roy wrote an anthology of ballet related to the esteemed dancer, and she left the stage “ready to pop with all prospects”. Available from Marquee TV.

New Bible

One of the most dynamic and radical talents in European theater, director Milo Rau has a new book on the social impact of theater and the new season at NTGent, which he directed for five years, that includes his collaboration with author Edward Lewis on The Interrogation. Released last year, and still available online (with English subtitles), his new gospel is his dramatic representation of the story of the Crucifixion, filmed in Matera in southern Italy, whose local life is also documented as an essential part of the drama.


A stunningly ambitious week-long drama that unfolds in real time through live performance, TV, and social media, Jellwad (part of the Unboxed Festival) culminates on October 2 with a four-hour special from Sky Arts. The broadcast provides an opportunity to follow the story, which follows the journey of teenage Eva who believes she has traded her future, 30 years from now, as she travels from Swansea to Blaenau Ffestiniog in North Wales, where the final live broadcast takes place.


After all the industry talk during lockdown about the importance of reaching new audiences online, Orange Tree deserves to be recognized as the only major theater in London that consistently broadcasts new productions. They are usually made available online right after the stage run is over. The most recent is Dale Urlersmith’s Pulitzer-nominated Willowman. Available Oct 11-14.

King Lear

Recently added to the NT’s vast Home archive is the 2017 Chichester Festival Theater production of King Lear, starring Ian McKellen and directed by Jonathan Munby. Returning to the role nearly 10 years after his tenure at the Royal Shakespeare Company – and more than 40 after playing Edgar in Tragedy – McKellen delivered what Michael Billington called “a wonderfully detailed performance, an enduring close-up of a soul in agony”.

Mrs. Wickham

Audible, best known for its audiobooks and podcasts, has released a range of new theatrical productions including versions of Ali Stroker and Amber Iman’s one-woman plays and Koch Jumbo performing her own script, Jelly Jelly, directed by Phylida Lloyd. Playwright Sarah Page Mrs. Wickham, about Pride and Prejudice, stars Jesse Buckley and Johnny Flynn. Paige calls it a “romantic comedy, upbeat and seductive” that reminds us “to treat each other kindly.”