How to watch quality theatre from your sofa

Regrettably I have not seen as much theatre this summer as I had hoped. So to make up for this, I have been watching live performances in the comfort of my own home.

Sky Arts has been my saving grace this week, as I have been taking advantage of Hot Ticket Mondays. Hot Ticket Mondays mean that you can get a front row seat to some of the best arts events and live performances from your sofa.

Last week I was lucky enough to catch choreographer, Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man live at Sadler’s Wells on my TV screen. It was a nice experience to watch a piece of theatre with my family, who usually wouldn’t see a dance show. It opened their eyes to the work of Bourne and they realised what they were missing when they didn’t go to the theatre.  

I had seen The Car Man at Theatre Royal Newcastle but was excited to see it again from my living room. Although I wasn’t at the theatre this time, I still got the shiver down my spine that I always get when I watch a dance piece choreographed by Matthew Bourne.

That is what is so valuable about live screenings of shows, the accessibility of it. It allows audiences who may not be able to see a show due to the cost of tickets or who may have anxiety of being in a big space with other people can see a show in a relaxed environment. 

The cons of home viewing

However there are a few limitations to theatre screenings, you won’t get that full experience of being in a theatre and being taken to your seat by an usher unless you turn your living room into the Noel Coward Theatre. And of course there is bound to be disturbances in the house, so you won’t get that full silence and feeling of being in a theatre.Yet you still get to witness a live performance of high credibility. 

I remember when a few of my non theatre friends went to a National Theatre live viewing at local cinema, it was their first time seeing a show and they enjoyed it. It’s that new experience that it gives to people who normally don’t go to the theatre.

National Theatre Live broadcasts productions from the National Theatre audiences in cinemas. Launched in 2009, over 3.5 million people in more than 1,1000 venues around the world have experiences performances such as Danny Boyle’s Frankestien, War Hose and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Obviously watching theatre from a cinema isn’t the same, but it encourages and inspires audiences to see more productions at a theatre. 

 Understandably watching it from your front room isn’t the same as being in the theatre, but it’s the next best thing. 

What do you think? How does seeing the theatre from your own home compared to seeing it in person? Have your say in the comments section below.