Shook (Online 5-28 Feb)
Winner of the 2019 Papatango New Writing Prize, Samuel Bailey’s Shook is set in a young offenders institution where teenagers Cain, Riyad and Jonjo are taking part in parenting classes. A short, sharp shock of a play, it unobtrusively deserves the lump it brings to the throat not just because of the canny use of narrative hooks but in the understated way that its relationships take root and blossom. The original production at Southwark Playhouse boasted three extraordinarily winning but utterly unsentimental performances from Josh Finan, Ivan Oyik and Josef Davies, as young men set up to fail and fail again. They reprise them for this digital production available through the Papatango website. Highly recommended.
Grimm Tales (Online until 14 Feb)
Creation have certainly been digital pioneers over the last 10 months with their productions on Zoom, and it’s a smart move to turn their attention to tales of wonder. Fairy tales teach us how to live and solve problems in troubled times so these “Grimm tales for fragile times and broken people” may be just what we all need. The shows are performed live and are rough and ready but that is part of the charm. I’m delighted to see that they are not just concentrating on the usual suspects such as 'Hansel and Gretel' but are looking at some of my grisly favourites including the lesser known 'The Juniper Tree' and 'Godfather Death'.
Falling Stars (Online 1-14 Feb)
Two great world events of a century ago—WW1 and the Spanish flu pandemic—provide the shadow from under which this melodic jukebox-style musical emerges. Two wonderful musical theatre performers (Peter Polycarpou and Sally Ann Triplett) team up to explore the English and American songbooks of the interwar years, reminding us along the way that hope often does eventually emerge out of even the most despairing times. There are songs from Charlie Chaplin, Irving Berlin and more, in a show that reminds that you can smile even when your heart is breaking.
You can find lots of streaming theatre shows - many of them available for free - in our Streamdoor guide