Australia’s biggest list of streaming theatre, cabaret, podcasts and artist opportunities for the week ahead, with a focus on the best independent productions in Australia and beyond.
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 email@example.com or complete the Google form.
Stage And Stream Links
Friday August 21st – 27th
Want our highlights list delivered to your mailbox?
Sign up to the Critical Stages e-news here.
AUSTRALIA / NZ BY DATE
Friday 21st August
- CHOOSE YOUR OWN VARIETY WITH ALI MCGREGOR
Your Friday night lockdown plans just got a bit more adventurous. Melbourne cabaret queen Ali McGregor is back to host a hilarious online variety show, with a bit of a twist. Guests this week include Thando, Cal Wilson, Lil Paskas, Otto (of Die Roten Punkte).
7.30pm AEST (available until 4th Sept)
- SIMON GLEESON & NATALIE O’DONNELL
Two internationally acclaimed musical theatre stars come together to delight you in a magical performance of stories and songs live – in your lounge room. Brought to you by Geelong Arts Centre.
- 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
- LET’S FRIDAY WITH THE LISTIES
Will there be remote Learning? No! Will it be informative? Unlikely! Will it be barely held together chaos? Probably! Kid’s favourites The Listies have a semi-weekly Friday show that is well worth a look even if you aren’t under 12. Stream previous eps on demand also. Do it, it makes Friday arvo drinks even better.
4:30pm AEST – please donate
Saturday 22nd August
- THE GLOVES ARE OFF – GEORGIE CARROLL
Treat yourself to a nonstop hour of hilarious stories from her twenty years on the frontline of Nursing. Filmed live at the beautiful Canberra Theatre, and brought to you by Comedy SOS.
- THE MERCHANT OF VENICE – STREAMED SHAKESPEARE
Shakespeare’s in turn dramatic, romantic and comic play of love, hate and revenge is the latest online production from StreamedShakespeare.com This contemporary interpretation of The Merchant of Venice incorporates video, music and special effects in a fully realised on-line production.
- SWING ON THIS – SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
Swing on This is an encore presentation paying tribute to the late Michael Falzon. The production brought together some of Australia’s leading stage and screen stars and the Sydney Symphony with their take on all-time swing classics.
- 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 23rd August
- WELCOME TO THE MASQUE – RIVERSIDE DIGITAL
The lockdown has been hard on everyone and award-winning actress Genevieve Lemon had a lot of time for self-reflection: Am I any good? Am I happy with my lot? Does my bum look big in this (mask)? These and many other burning questions will be examined by Genevieve and legendary composer and musical director Max Lambert.
- THERE’S A SEA IN MY BEDROOM
Weaving captivating storytelling with an original score performed by musicians from the Australian Chamber Orchestra, There’s a Sea in My Bedroom is an immersive introduction to live music, capturing the magic of a child’s fantasy world.
- THE MERCHANT OF VENICE – STREAMED SHAKESPEARE
Tune in for the matinee performance of Streamed Shakespeare’s latest offering. This contemporary interpretation of The Merchant of Venice incorporates video, music and special effects in a fully realised on-line production.
Tuesday 25th August
- SUNSET STRIP – QUEENSLAND THEATRE
A reading of Suzie Miller’s beautifully moving play Sunset Strip, directed by Daniel Evans. In the work, Miller, author of Prima Facie, examines love, family dysfunction, and making the best of awful situations and prosthetic breasts. Sunset Strip finds the humour in tragedy and creates an unlikely path for humanity to triumph.
- 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 26th August
- DREAM SEQUENCE – URBAN THEATRE PROJECTS
This is the third installment of UTP’s experimental live broadcast of Dream Sequence, their monthly series of digital artists residencies, live broadcasts, and artist conversations. Today… poet Evelyn Araluen explored her experience of ‘the dystopian surrealist state we currently live in’.
- A LIKELY STORY: PULLING OUT ALL THE STOPS
Sydney’s best storyteller gather with tales that are as funny and surprising as they are true. Performed live at the Giant Dwarf theatre, you can be there in person or stream it live. Hosted by Concetta Caristo. This edition features Patrick Lenton (JUNKEE), Bec Melrose (Raw Comedy), Challito Brown (Frayed), and more!
- AUSTRALIAN POETRY SLAM – SYDNEY
The Australian Poetry Slam lands in Sydney, hosted by Miles Merrill, on the hunt for the country’s best slam poet. Poets have 2 minutes to perform an original work – no props, no costumes, no music. Judges are randomly chosen from the audience. Only 2 will make it to the final.
Thursday 27th August
- 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.
6pm AEST – Also streaming at 6pm Friday 28th
- 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
- 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 inbox and click over to watch the previous episodes on-demand now.
- UNSUNG HEROES – BLACK SWAN THEATRE
Unsung Heroes is a collection of tour-de-force solo performances featuring 5 untold stories about 5 extraordinary Western Australians. Tonight is your last chance to see the works before they go offline.
- 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.
- FRANKENSTEIN – MANUAL CINEMA
A smash-hit at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe, Manual Cinema’s production is a seamless combo of shadow play, puppetry, and projection. It’s essentially the story you know, presented in a way that you’ve never experienced.
- WATCHING ROSIE – ORIGINAL THEATRE
Alice and her granddaughter Rosie were a team. Until Lockdown forced them apart. Starring BAFTA-winning actress Miriam Margolyes this heartbreaking and hilarious online short play highlights the incredible bond between Alice and Rosie as they face change, confusion and an unexpected arrival from Tesco.
- 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 THEATRE & PERFORMANCE PODCAST GUIDE
- On The Fringe – Sydney Fringe
- 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
- Story Club @ Giant Dwarf
- 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 the first audio-only entry to be selected by the illustrious Venice International Film Festival. Audio trickery, compelling storytelling, and a deliciously 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?
- 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!
- Friday 28th August – WHITEHORSE FAREWELL CONCERT
Join Marina Prior and special guest, Kane Alexander, for a performance to bid the Whitehorse Centre a fond farewell. These two powerhouse performers will be joined by pianist David Cameron.
- Saturday 29th August – KRISTINA BY THE SEA
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. Directed by Roz Riley for Factory Space Theatre Company.
- Wednesday 2nd September – COME TO WHERE I AM – AUSTRALIA
Critical Stages Touring, in partnership with the UK’s Paines Plough, have engaged 16 Australian writers to craft new short plays about the places they call home. Each story will be filmed by the artist and the second volume of four stories premieres on this day!
- Thursday 3rd September – WE, THE LOST COMPANY
Sydney Fringe Festival’s stellar line-up for Global Fringe sees new works come back to Sydney’s iconic Old 505 theatre for live, online and hybrid productions. We’ll be diving into each one soon, but get this online-only work from physical theatre makers Clockfire into your diary now.
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