Bristol Old Vic’s THE GRINNING MAN

A recording of the original Bristol version of hit musical The Grinning Man is now available online to watch for free for a week.

A strange new act has arrived at the fairground. Who is Grinpayne and how did he get his hideous smile? Helped by an old man, a lone wolf and a blind girl, his story must be told.

The epic tale of an abandoned child with a terrible secret. A disfigured youth who is desperate to hide and a sightless girl who longs to be discovered. Let the darkness seduce you.

Based on The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo and brought to life by director Tom Morris (Touching the Void) and writer Carl Grose (Dead Dog in a Suitcase), don’t miss this digital revival, captured during its original Bristol run by TVPP, and featuring a sensational original score by Tim Phillips and Marc Teitler and puppetry from Gyre & Gimble – the original puppeteers of War Horse!

First seen at the Bristol Old Vic as part of its 250th anniversary season, the show then transferred to the West End late in 2017 to critical and audience success.

GUIDANCE: Suitable for ages 12+ Contains some sexual references and swearing.

The show lasts approximately two hours. The show is available until Friday 3rd July at 6pm.

Although this production is free to watch, please strongly consider making a donation to Bristol Old Vic to enable them to keep operating after this crisis has passed.

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THE HIRED MAN

Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, Oldham Coliseum and Hull Truck Theatre’s accalimed co-production of THE HIRED MAN will be available to watch online from Monday 15th to Sunday 21 June.

The well-received musical production was originally adapted from Melvyn Bragg’s novel, and has music by Howard Goodall. It is set in Thurston between the 1890s and 1920s and is a poignant story of betrayal, love and loss.

The show (from last year) will be free to watch but donations are requested to help continue the Queen’s Theatre’s creative community work when it reopens. This is the first time the theatre has broadcast one of its shows.

The show will be available from Monday 15 June at 7.30pm BST until Sunday 21 June at midnight BST.

Although the show is free to watch, please consider making a donation to the Queen’s Theatre’s community arts fund.

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Watch Now: Graeae’s REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL

Available until 3 August is the part gig, part play, REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL, which tells a coming of age tale that rejoices in the infectious and enduring music of Ian Dury and the Blockheads. Featuring stone-cold classic songs including Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick; Plaistow Patricia; Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll; Sweet Gene Vincent; What A Waste and the titular Reasons to be Cheerful (Part 3). 

Filmed live at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, Graeae Artistic Director Jenny Sealey’s production is loud, bold and jubilant.

Graeae is a long-established and much-celebrated company which works in training, empowering and showcasing the talent of D/deaf and disabled artists, both across the UK and internationally.

You can read more about the company here

GUIDANCE: Age Recommendation 14+. With captioning and audio description.

Although this production is free to watch, please strongly consider making a donation to Graeae – to enable them to keep operating after this crisis has passed.

To watch REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL, click here


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Watch Now: ONLY THE BRAVE

New musical fans may well enjoy ONLY THE BRAVE, which recounts the raw courage and determination of those who fought and felt the physical and emotional pain of the Second World War.

It tells the story of a group of brave soldiers embarking on a dangerous mission that holds the key to the success of the D-Day Landings.

This rousing and original musical interweaves the soldier’s stories with that of their families and loved ones.

Based on true events, ONLY THE BRAVE evokes the camaraderie and bravery of the second world war generation.

This archive version was filmed in 2016 by AdVision TV Ltd at Wales Millennium Centre , co-produced with Soho Theatre, Daniel Sparrow Productions and Birdsong Productions with a cast of Welsh musical stars led by Caroline Sheen and David Thaxton. Written by Rachel Wagstaff, with music by Cardiff born composer Matthew Brind and directed by Steve Marmion.

The show runs 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Watch ONLY THE BRAVE here


Colchester Mercury Theatre’s PIECES OF STRING

PLEASE NOTE: ONLY AVAILABLE UNTIL MIDNIGHT on Friday 8th May BST

To celebrate VE Day 2020, Colchester Mercury proudly present their hit 2018 production, PIECES OF STRING, online. This new British musical, which premiered on the Mercury stage, explores three generations of one family, alternating between the 1940s and the present day, telling the story of a World War II soldier who returned with a secret that he would carry until the day he died.

With hauntingly beautiful music and a heart-rending human story, PIECES OF STRING is a tender, funny, emotionally-charged exploration of how three generations of one family learn to deal with a story that nobody’s been brave enough to tell until today.

Times may have changed but some battles still need to be fought.

Written and composed by Gus Gowland, PIECES OF STRING was developed by Perfect Pitch and co-produced by the Mercury Theatre Colchester and TBO Productions. The musical was a hit with audiences in Colchester and went on to win the Stage Debut Award 2018 for Best Composer or Lyricist and was nominated for Best Musical Theatre Bookwriting – Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and Best Musical Production – UK Theatre Awards.

Although this production is free to watch, please strongly consider making a donation to the Mercury Theatre to help it to reopen its doors after this crisis has passed.

Age guidance 14+. Contains adult themes. The show runs approximately two hours.

To watch a trailer for the show, click here

To watch a short interview with the writer/composer, Gus Gowland, click here

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You can find PIECES OF STRING available to rent or as part of a subscription at the Digital Theatre website