Find the best streaming theatre, cabaret, and performance podcasts in Australia. Our weekly guide is just what you need to plan the week ahead.
Donation links take you directly to donations for those artists – please support them – and if you have something that should be on the list send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the Google form.
Stage And Stream Links
Friday August 28th – Sept 3rd
Want our highlights list delivered to your mailbox?
Sign up to the Critical Stages e-news here.
AUSTRALIA / NZ BY DATE
Friday 28th August
- WHITEHORSE CENTRE FAREWELL CONCERT
Join Marina Prior and special guest, Kane Alexander for a performance to bid the Whitehorse Centre a fond farewell, Accompanied by David Cameron on piano.This concert was pre-recorded on the Whitehorse Centre stage in July, prior to Stage 4 restrictions being introduced.
8pm – available to stream until Sunday 30th Aug
- CHOOSE YOUR OWN VARIETY WITH ALI MCGREGOR
Your Friday night lockdown plans just got a bit more adventurous. Zoë Coombs Marr shares a unique take on a TEDx talk, Gillian Cosgriff sings an ode to her silent crush, Dane Simpson gives a tour of his ‘House of Pun’, Holly Durant shares a performance from her garage and Sammy J treats us to some original songs.
7.30pm AEST (available until 4th Sept)
- CLEARWAY (CORONA) – VOICES OF WOMEN
Nine writers, three actors, two poets, two musicians, a composer and a visual artist create a collage of our lives. Shot on location at Articulate Project Space on the Parramatta Road Leichhardt.
- WEAR IT PURPLE YOUTH EXTRAVAGANZA
Wear it Purple and Facebook are bringing artists together from across the country for a live online festival of entertainment made for younger folks. Lineup includes Greg Gould, Courtney Act, Electric Fields and more.
Starts 6:45pm AEST
- SHORT MESSAGE SERVICE – Q THEATRE
This is theatre delivered directly to your mobile. Every Friday a new story will be delivered to audiences via a series of text messages over one hour and crafted by playwrights including Donna Abela, Monikka Eliah, Margaret Davis, Jonathan Biggins, and more.
- BIG FORK’S LIVESTREAM
Brisbane Comedy Festival award-winners Big Fork Theatre are hosting a new weekly comedy and performance series live-streamed from quarantine.
- SECOND WAVE CABARET
Live, Loose & Locked Down is the theme of this new live cabaret from Melbourne’s Sophie deLightful. Zoom-enabled, one hour Friday adult fun from the same team that brought us Cooped Up Cabaret. Guests are kept secret until your in too deep, just the way we like it.
Details on Facebook
Saturday 29th August
- THE LISTIES MAKE YOU LOL WATCH PARTY
The Listies are going global, virtually, with the show they would have taken to the Edinburgh Fringe. Tune in with kids 5-12 (although the editor of this blog will be there and he’s heaps old) and just LOL out. It’s going to be fun!
6:30pm AEST / 4:30pm WST
- KRISTINA BY THE SEA – FACTORY SPACE
A new and fascinating combination of “his life in art” containing short versions of 2 connected classic dramas by Henrik Ibsen. Set in the 1950s, but reflecting on today’s issues and absurdities. A live staged reading, directed by Roz Riley.
- A NIGHT AT THE LANEWAY THEATRE
Join Tim Ellis for a truly original journey through Melbourne’s most secret venue The Laneway Theatre. Tim guides you step by step, performing interactive miracles along the way, many of which happen in your own hands, despite the physical distancing of Zoom.
7:30pm AEST via Zoom
- SEQUIN SESSIONS
Cabaret star Michaela Burger’s trademark humour, huge repertoire and fabulous voice is a great way to spend Saturday night. Tune in again with the little ones for a children’s cabaret special on Sundays.
8pm AEST – please donate
Sunday 30th August
- INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE – SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
For too long Australia’s First Nations communities have suffered from systemic racism, present across many societal sectors. So how do we encourage workplaces and institutions to embrace diversity and create change from within? Join this poignant conversation to learn how we can move forward together.
Monday 31st August
- KIDS COUCH CONCERT WATCH PARTY
Join Emily Who and her amazing friends for a Facebook Live watch party of Kids Couch Concert Vol2. The concert, made just for preschoolers, features all-new songs from some of your favourite acts including YouTube sensations the Mik Maks, indie-kindie bank TipToe Giants, world-renowned bubble artist Dr Hubble and special guest Fairy Mary along with Lizzy Loo, Van Sereno and BMinor Music!10:30am AEST
- FOR YOUR PLEASURE – ELLEN.GIF
Surprising, heartwarming and almost always funny, TikTok takes note of where you linger, what you ‘like’ and feeds you quick hits of dopamine just ‘for you’. The twelve artists in For Your Pleasure use sound, video, performance, dance, collage and pop culture to celebrate the connectivity, intimacy and relatability of 2020’s most downloaded app.
On-Demand – FINAL DAY TODAY
Tuesday 1st September
- THE WHOLESOME HOUR
The Wholesome Hour is a brand new, wild and raucous sketch comedy show for kids aged 5-10. What happens when a bunch of award winning physical comedians get locked down in their costume-filled sharehouse together? Songs, puppetry, mischief and fart jokes of course! Jubilation and utter mayhem. Produced by award winning queer physical comedy ensemble PO PO MO CO.
New episodes 3:30, and on-demand
Wednesday 2nd September
- COME TO WHERE I AM – AUSTRALIA
The second volume of the Critical Stages & Paines Plough storytelling program brings four new plays about the places we call home to the world for the first time. Join host Chris Bendall as we livestream volume 2’s stories, read by the artists themselves. In this series: Tahli Corin & Joshua Tyler (Kyneton), Alison Mann (Hobart), Tessa Rose (Palmerston) and Jeanette Cronin (Caloundra).
7:30pm AEST / 5:30pm WST
- A MURDER STORY – RE-TOLD – NINEFOLD
A Murder Story, Retold is the telling and retelling of a suburban murder story performed to Max Richter’s musical re-compositions of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, from Sydney’s celebrated Ninefold Theatre Co. See it live at the 505 Theatre, or stream it live at home.
7:30pm AEST – runs nightly until 6th September
- THE BIG NIGHT IN WITH JOHN FOREMAN
Big Night In is back! While the crew is busy producing a second season with a brand new line-up of all-stars, they’ve got two special Encore Episodes to enjoy. Tonight, live, Casey Donovan and Human Nature, plus the Aussie Pops Orchestra perform ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ and ‘When You Say You Love Me’.
Thursday 3rd September
- WE, THE LOST COMPANY – CLOCKFIRE
Physical theatre company Clockfire present their new Australian production we, the lost company, an adaptation, a moving poetic tribute to mother nature’s most mysterious element. Inspired by artist Brett Whiteley’s beach paintings, it will be a wildly inventive gallery of physical theatre.
From Thurs 3rd to Sunday 6th Sept
- BLEED – CAMPBELLTOWN ARTS CENTRE & HOTHOUSE
Digital smorgasbord Biennial Live Event in the Everyday Digital – BLEED – is a ten-week long festival presenting fascinating digital works via artistic collabs. As well as living online, these works also question what effect our increasingly digital focus means for all of us. Dive into this huge festival and enjoy before it ends on August 30!
- DON’T LET YOURSELF GO – CEMENT FONDU
Cement Fondu have created this art-driven care package that we all need. Journey through 13 artworks that were created during the pandemic to reflect on new possibilities for personal growth, from fitness and self-care to feeling sensual and staying connected – created by artists for all of us.
- BAMBERTS BOOK OF LOST STORIES – BARKING GECKO
Since delighting families in 2017, this Helpmann Award-winning production has gone on to charm audiences around the globe. This special online season brings Bambert to you in your home in what is a timely reminder of how stories connect us to the world and ultimately, the power of kindness. Music, puppetry and beautiful storytelling for the whole family.
www.artscentremelbourne.com.au until Sept 5th.
- NIDA DIGITAL THEATRE FESTIVAL
The prestigious arts college premiered six new works created specifically for the online world, kicking off with Roundabout by Sean Stewart. If you missed the initial festival run here’s your chance to dive into the works before they disappear.
On-Demand until September
- GEELONG ARTS CENTRE
Geelong Arts Centre has had one of the best streaming seasons in Oz, and they lineup regularly features a mix of music, comedy, spoken word and cabaret. You should be checking in with weekly to see what’s new.
- DECAMERON 2.0 – STCSA
100 Stories. Each week, 10 South Australian writers will create 10 new characters and 10 new stories, which will be performed by 10 actors, recorded on film and digitally delivered to you over 10 weeks. Presented by the State Theatre Company of SA.
Sign up to receive each new episode in your inboxand click over to watch the previous episodes on-demand now.
- DEAR AUSTRALIA – PLAYWRITING AUSTRALIA
50 Playwrights nominated by 25 theatre organisations have created short monologues performed by 50 actors from their own homes. A powerful response to, and record of, this extraordinary time.
On-Demand until September 1st
- SOIREE LIVE – THE GENTLEMAN MAGICIAN
Fans of magic take note – The Gentleman Magician is producing a limited season of private magic shows that are performed live, just for your household (or office). Interactive, fun and beamed at you via zoom, skype or your favourite video call platform.
- THE RESERVOIR ROOM
Filmed live at Sydney’s iconic Paddington Town Hall, The Reservoir Room has been streaming the best of Australian cabaret and music weekly, and every show is now available on demand. Big names, local stars, including Phil Scott (Wharf Revue), Mark Treverrow, James Arno, and iOTA to name a few.
- ENSEMBLE CONVERSATIONS
Sydney’s Ensemble Theatre has been producing a weekly Facebook Live series hosted by Artistic Director Mark Kilmurry. Each week they feature interviews with prominent actors and creatives, exclusive scene reads, interactive Q&A’s and more. Lots to watch!
On-Demand – please donate
www.ensemble.com.au & FACEBOOK LIVE
- KEEP HEART PENRITH
The new online program Keep Heart Penrith delivered by Penrith Performing and Visual Arts will help guide audiences and community to the new changed arts world via Creative Care Packs; a series of arts-based content & learning delivered to your email address.
- QUEEN HAVE & MISS HAVEN’T – THICK & TIGHT
Thick & Tight present a monstrous modernist, high-camp mix of ballet, melodrama and lip-syncing, featuring Queen Victoria and Miss Havisham; the ultimate widow and the eternal bride. Bitter antagonists united in “a black hole of heartbreak”. Part of Sydney Fringe’s global fringe program.
On-Demand Thurs 3rd – Sun 6th September
- SMART PEOPLE – DISRUPT THEATRE
It is the eve of Obama’s first election. Four of Harvard University’s brightest; a surgeon, an actress, a psychologist, and a neuro-psychiatrist, are all interested in different aspects of the brain, particularly how it responds to race. But like all smart people, they are also searching for love, success, and identity in their own lives. Lydia Diamond brings these characters together in this sharp, witty play about social and sexual politics
9am AEST – Saturday August 29th through Sunday August 30th.
- VIRAL MONOLOGUES – 24 HOUR PLAYS – The LAB Theatre
All participants will meet on Zoom and sign up to either write or act. Writers will then work into the night, creating brand new, original monologues for actors to rehearse and film the next morning, which LAB! will post on our social media… all within 24 hours!
10am AEST 29th-30th August
- TIMPSON: THE MUSICAL – GIGGLEMUG
Can the warring houses of Montashoe and Keypulet be united by a pair of star-crossed lovers? Journey to Victorian London where Monty Montashoe and Keeleigh Keypulet, two young inventors bursting with ambition, strive to break free from their humdrum lives and follow their dreams all the way to the 50th annual ‘Invention Convention’!
- GOODNIGHT TYLER – DUMONT MILLENIAL
Actor Jelani Alladin (“Frozen,” “Hercules”) has created a company to amplify “the unheard voices of first-generation Americans.” Its first initiative is a reading of B.J. Tindal’s “Goodnight, Tyler” — about loss and legacy in the aftermath of a police killing.
On-Demand until Aug 31st
- THESE FOLK – BOULEVARD THEATRE
These Folk is a fully improvised show, complete with folk-inspired improvised songs and music. Everything is discovered in the moment, using suggestions from the audience. It’s a quick, half hour version of their usual one hour show, recorded in January 2020.
- SHEDINBURGH FRINGE FESTIVAL
From August 14th until September 5th, this new online festival is presenting some of the best fringe works across theatre, music and comedy, and much of the program is streamed live in the moment, from sheds across the UK.
- EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL
The international arts festival is more accessible than ever with a huge array of productions moving online for global enjoyment. From Hope Dickson Leach’s Ghost Light to new work from the Scottish Ballet and Traverse Theatre Co, there’s lots to enjoy over the month of August.
AUSTRALIAN/NZ THEATRE & PERFORMANCE PODCAST GUIDE
- On The Fringe – Sydney Fringe
- Alive Tonight NZ
- MerringongX Conversations
- Behind the Scenes with Joel Bray
- Bell Shakespeare
- Stages with Peter Eyers
- From Inspiration to Stage with Drew Lane
- Fantastic Fantastix
- Chats With Creatives
- Creative Connections with Adam Dear
- Matt Young’s The Story Chunder
- Form Dance Theatre
- Griffin Theatre Company
- Run The Show – Milke
- The Stage Show – ABC Radio National
- Producing Heroes – Circa
- Sydney Theatre Company
- Theatre Mates Melbourne
- Citizen Theatre Podcast
- The Aside Podcast
- The Green Room
- Talking Sock
- Check In With Chapel
- SOH Arty Farty (for kids)
AUDIO & RADIO PLAYS
- DOUBLE – DARKFIELD RADIO
The creeping chill of Darkfield Radio’s terrifying immersive show is tOn-he first audio-only entry to be selected by the illustrious Venice International Film Festival. Audio trickery, compelling storytelling, and a delishly macabre experience awaits all who are brave enough.
- BEGOTTEN – MINOLA THEATRE
A sceptic. A paranoiac. A criminal. A migrant. A hostage. Begotten is the 100-year history of a family, told through the eyes of five women. This powerful new work by award-winning playwright Bianca Butler Reynolds explores the changing role of women over time, the fight for female autonomy, the complexities of motherhood, and the echoes of the past that resonate in the present.
- TOP SECRET VIOLIN CASE – VARDOS
Romania, 1970 something, in the grip of Ceaușescu’s oppressive regime. Brad from Chicago arrives on the scene, hoping to escape his American closet to learn Romanian folk music, and encounters an ambitious violinist who’ll stop at nothing to succeed. Can they escape the Secret Police?
- KILL YOUR DARLINGS WRITERS PROGRAM
Kill Your Darlings Regional Victorian Writers Program is accepting pitches and submissions until 31 October Apply here.
- ART IN ISOLATION – SYDNEY FRINGE RESIDENCIES
The program will see new work made by four playwrights, four visual artists and eight performing artists at our Fringe headquarters in Newtown thanks to our Sydney Fringe Donors and Inner West Council. The residencies include space and some financial support. ww.sydneyfringe.com/art-in-isolation/
- QUEER SCREEN PITCH OFF
Queer Screen have $10,000 to award to Australian filmmakers to produce a short film through a Pitch Competition to be held at Queer Screen Film Fest. Applications close 30th August. www.queerscreen.org.au
- GREEN ROOM AWARDS
Registrations are open for digital shows presented in 2020. Range of awards on offer will be slightly reduced due to the fewer number of shows across most genres, but a few special commendations will be introduced. Registration is free this year. https://www.greenroom.org.au/register/
- PLATFORM LAB – PLATFORM ARTS
Platform LAB offers time, space, mentorship and financial investment for up to four individuals or collectives to undertake new works, research, experiments and collaborations. Applications close Friday 28th August. https://platformarts.org.au/lab
- REGIONAL ARTS WA RESILIENCE GRANTS
Awards a young disabled artist aged 16 – 30 with $3,000, in recognition of their impact on disability activism and culture through their artistic practice. Applications close September 14th. www.regionalartswa.org.au/funding/resilience
- CAMPFIRE STORIES
Campfire Stories is a queer and trans peer support project created by Teddy Darling and Artemis Munoz to facilitate online connection and community among queer people through storytelling and sharing. Submissions for the October gathering close on 15th September. More info here.
- OPEN AIR – QUEENSLAND
Open Air will support the activation of outdoor and non-traditional settings and the production and delivery of a program of works by artists and arts organisations in these spaces. Up to $80,000 co-funding can be awarded to support these programs and activities. Closes 10th September. www.arts.qld.gov.au/aq-funding/open-air
SAVE THE DATE
These are the future streams that are high on our list – get them into your diary now!
- 9th September – (You Don’t Have to Put On Your) Red Light
Three beloved authors have hopped into bed with Brisbane theatre collective The Good Room to create three intimate audio experiences, pre-recorded by some of Brisbane’s most alluring voice actors and direct-dialled to your phone. Get comfortable in your PJ’s but be prepared to get a little hot under the elastic when the phone rings each Hump Day of the Brisbane Festival. Strictly for Adults.
- 25th September – Macbeth – The Installation
Presented by Barestage Theatre generously supported by the City of Sydney and Darlo Drama. A surreal take on Shakespeare’s story of the warrior who would be King. Filmed live, socially distanced, moving to different settings in one theatre space and streamed live to YouTube. 3 nights from the 25th.
EDUCATION / ACTIVITIES
- WOW Festival At Home
Casula Powerhouse’s popular Way Out West Festival moves online with a collection of activities, videos, stories, tours, and arts links that will keep kids busy and creative.
- THE POP PROJECT – LA MAMA
The Pop Project is a weekly workshop series run over six weeks facilitated by Cassandra Fumi. You’ll develop and complete a collective story and learn the technical side of stop-motion animation. This can be paper, clay, object, or body animation, and then compose an original score. Perfect for kids 8+.
- Jump Start Youth Theatre
Some great online workshops planned for the school holidays, suitable for students in years 5-12 (ages 10-18). This dynamic young company is helmed by award-winning actor Emma Wright and New Ghosts Theatre Artistic Director Lucy Clements.
- Curious Legends Workshops
Newcastle’s Curious Legends have a series of free, previously live-streamed, workshops for kids available on their site. Workshops explore performance, puppetry, clowning, making, dance, storytelling, and much else besides! Supported by Create NSW, Orica, and Newcastle Region Library. www.curiouslegends.com.au/out-of-the-box
- Poetry In Action – this NFP touring company has brought their popular education program online to stream into homes and classrooms. There are 4 performances in line with curriculum for Years 5-12. Visit www.poetryinaction.com.au for more info.
- Storyville Live – Storyville’s in-school program sends performers to read much-loved storybooks to children. For the next couple of weeks they’ll be trialling live storytime via Facebook, and it’s well worth it for those with little ones at home. 11am and 3pm AEST daily – free www.facebook.com/theStoryville/
- Slingsby by Request – South Australian theatre company Slingsby has created an online resource of live performances in line with curriculum. Teachers and home-teachers should check out this great resource. www.slingsby.net.au/slingsby-by-request/
- Audioplay – This is unlike any other activity out there at the moment. An immersive play experience for kids (ages 6-12) where they download an audio story in which they play one of the characters using ordinary household items for props. Creative play just got so much better! www.audioplay.me
- Shake & Stir Interact
Since 2006, shake & stir drama classes have been a regular extra-curricular activity adored by tens of thousands of students, and now their latest program has moved online. Your child will engage with a carefully-planned, professionally-produced and, most importantly, super-fun 30 minutes of creative play, at home with drama activities and performance-based games that will get them acting and keep them active. www.shakeandstirinteract.com.au
- ATYP Online
Australian Theatre for Young People have brought made their drama programs virtual just in time for term 2. A selection of their regular programs will be facilitated live each week via Zoom and Google Classroom. Participants will work with a skilled ATYP tutor and classmates in an interactive online space from the safety of their homes. It’s just one of several programs teachers and home teachers should discover. www.atyp.com.au
- ATYP Home Theatre Plays – With help from the ATYP Foundation, Australian Theatre for Young People have commissioned 10 brilliant Australian playwrights to each write a 5-minute script that you can download and perform with your family and friends (when visitors are allowed at your place or try it with your friends over Zoom!). Each script features 2-6 characters, with a mix of some young people and some adults. All the details at www.atyp.com.au
- Patch Theatre
Patch Theatre has been making shows for 4–8 year old children and their families from our home in South Australia since 1972. In nearly 48 years, Patch has made 110 much loved theatre works and performed to over 1.8 million children around the world. They’re posting regular updates to arts activities for little ones online, and via Facebook and Instagram. www.patchtheatre.org.au/activities
- Polyglot Theatre
Children’s theatre makers Polyglot have developed a series of new arts activities that will keep young ones busy and thinking during creative play. There’s heaps of fun stuff to explore and if you don’t have kids we highly recommend doing them anyway because a) they’re fun and b) home-grown hilarity is needed right now. www.polyglot.org.au/polyglot-at-home/
- Riverside Theatres
Parramatta’s Riverside Theatres has always had a fantastic education team and resources to match – and now a directory of teacher resources from past performances is available on their website. There’s also a super-handy (and HUGE) listing of other online resources that teachers and parents should not miss. www.riversideparramatta.com.au