Looking for theatre or cabaret online? We list the best 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the Google form.
Stage And Stream Links
Friday Sept 4th – Thursday Sept 10th
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AUSTRALIA / NZ BY DATE
Friday 4th September
- FRIYAY 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 are back with a weekly live-stream of the kind of madness that only they can make. Tune in and LOL out.
4:30pm AEST – please donate
- 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.
Until Sunday 6th Sept
- 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)
- ALEX UNEXPLAINABLE – LANEWAY THEATRE
This one is for the magic fans. Alex was a grand finalist on Australia’s Got Talent, and appeared by invitation on America’s Got Talent. He has performed at the Sydney Opera House, in Europe and across America, but since lockdown, Alex has been working his interactive magic on zoom.
7:30pm AEST via Zoom
- TWO QUEERS WALK INTO A BAR
After outgrowing (and regularly selling-out) their much-loved home in the heart of the Inner West, the rave-reviewed Two Queers Walk Into a Bar have moved to Giant Dwarf Theatre – and online. It’s comedy and storytelling from the freshet voices from Sydney’s LGBTQIA+ communities.
From 6:30pm AEST
- ISO-TREAT – WATERDALE THEATRE
North Melbourne’s indy theatre company are gathering their 3rd Wheel musical team for a live-stream treat featuring performers currently in lockdown.
- SHORT MESSAGE SERVICE – Q THEATRE
Final installment today of this innovative experience – theatre, delivered directly to your mobile. Every Friday a new story has been delivered to audiences via a series of text messages over one hour. 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 5th September
- AUSTRALIAN POETRY SLAM
The Queanbeyan Heat will be hosted by Andrew Cox and held online with two winners progressing to the Sydney Final. Join us as a performer or be part of the virtual audience.
- 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 6th September
- ODETTE: LIVE AT RIVERSIDE
A melting pot of cultures and influences, singer-songwriter Odette’s soulful voice and worldly-wise, poetic lyrics have seen her flourish in both the Australian and international music scene.
- HUMOUR US: GARY ECK & TsOMMY DEAN
Sydney Opera House presents a comedy double header – America vs Australia – as two powerhouse performers take to the stage for a show packed with pin-sharp banter, spellbinding charm and clever comedy.
Monday 7th September
- JEREMY FROM CENTRELINK
Cabaret star Adriano Cappelletta delighted the interwebs when he inhabited Jeremy for the first time during the first iso period – and now he’s back. Adriano has a host of fun clips and sketches to dive into.
Tuesday 8th 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.
Wednesday 9th 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, Isaiah Firebrace and Denise Scott, with Gretel Killeen and the Aussie Pops Orchestra.
Thursday 10th 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.
3 performances at 8pm, 9pm and 10pm
- FED FUNNY
Livestreamed, bite-size spoken word and comedy from Melbourne’s finest, in lockdown. Show is weekly, on Fridays, until September 11th. It’s a quick 30 minutes to end your working week smiling!
- KOANGA FESTIVAL
Tepou theatre brings new Māori storytelling directly to you. Over the month of Mahuru (September) we invite you Whakarongo mai, Mātakitaki Mai, Huihui mai as we bring you new Māori theatre experiences from their whare to yours.
From 2 – 27th September
- COME TO WHERE I AM – AUSTRALIA
The second volume of the Critical Stages & Paines Plough storytelling program is now on demand, bringing four new tales to the series. In volume 2: Tahli Corin & Joshua Tyler (Kyneton), Alison Mann (Hobart), Tessa Rose (Palmerston) and Jeanette Cronin (Caloundra).
- THE PACT – BITTEN BY PRODUCTIONS
A web series made in isolation by Melbourne artists. The story revolves around a young woman called Morgan (Rose Flanagan) who has moved to Berlin to escape a past, but when she finds out that her ex-boyfriend and partner in crime Brett (James Biasetto) has gone missing she pulls out every trick in her not unlimited emotional bag to find out what has happened to him.
- 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 20
- 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.
- 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
INTERNATIONAL TOP 5
- BY VIRTUE OF THE SAME MOVEMENT
A movement performance combining visual images and sound. It premiered at the ‘Acco festival’ of alternative theatre (Israel) 2019 and won the Best Performance Award, Director – Creator Award, Music and Sound Design Award, and set Design Award. Presented free as part of the Sydney Fringe’s Gala Week 2.
Thursday 10th – Sunday 13th Sept
- THREE KINGS – OLD VIC
The world premiere of a brand new play by Stephen Beresford written for and starring Andrew Scott, has been created especially for OLD VIC: IN CAMERA. This scratch performance will be streamed live directly from the iconic Old Vic stage with the empty auditorium as a backdrop for five performances only.
12:30am & 4:30am AEST
- MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE
The dress rehearsal archive recording of My Beautiful Laundrette, Curve Theatre Leicester’s acclaimed 2019 production of Hanif Kureishi’s play, adapted for the stage by the screenwriter himself. Directed by Nikolai Foster.
- ROCKY HORROR SHOW – PLAYHOUSE
This production, performed in 2015, was screened last year as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of the classic sex comedy musical. Starring Ben Forster as Brad, Haley Flaherty as Janet, and David Bedella as Frank’n Furter.
- THE TWITS – UNICORN THEATRE
One has mouldy cereal in his beard; the other has a possible case of the dreaded shrinks. Roald Dahl’s The Twits, a favourite with kids everywhere, will be presented as a theatrical reading, performed by storytellers Martina Laird and Zubin Varla, and directed by Ned Bennett.
From 5 September to 30 November.
SAVE THE DATE
These are the future streams that are high on our list – get them into your diary now!
- 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.
AUSTRALIAN/NZ THEATRE & PERFORMANCE PODCAST GUIDE
- On The Fringe – Sydney Fringe
- Alive Tonight NZ
- Waitangi (Maori Storytelling)
- 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)
- Was It Worth It?
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?
- MARDI GRAS GRANTS
Now in its third year, the grants provide financial funding for a wide range of LGBTIQ+ projects, including education and training, community development, creation, arts and culture. Applications close 4th October.
- KILL YOUR DARLINGS WRITERS PROGRAM
Kill Your Darlings Regional Victorian Writers Program is accepting pitches and submissions until 31 October Apply here.
- 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
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