“Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” on World Theatre Day 2020

Every year on March 27th, the world comes together to celebrate World Theatre Day, but this year is like no other! Otherwise vibrant venues are eerily silent as the world attempts to slow the spread of the Coronavirus which has gripped it. Empty chairs at empty tables is now a familiar site for many cultural venues.

But in these most difficult times, culture can be the shining light glinting at the end of a long tunnel, a welcome distraction from the daily news updates and a powerful reminder that the human spirit will get us through this.

With almost all cultural venues closed in an unprecedented global movement, and millions of people staying at home, artists, musicians, theatre companies, authors, orchestras, comedians and many more alike have diversified and are offering free online performances. From live solo sessions to archive performances of fully staged operas and theatre productions, there’s a huge range to choose from so we’ve selected some highlights to share with you on this very unique and sombre World Theatre Day 2020!


Bolshoi Ballet 

Screenings from the world renowned Bolshoi Ballet are a regular feature in our programme. With upcoming screenings now cancelled, the company are streaming four archive performances for free on their YouTube channel. The first of those is Tchaikovsky’s beautiful “Swan Lake”, which will begin at 4pm today! Click here to view. 

Other performances include, “The Sleeping Beauty” (Saturday 28th March, 4pm), “Marco Spada” (Saturday 4th April, 4pm) and “The Nutcracker” (Friday 10th April, 4pm).


NT Live 

Another regular feature in the Whale Theatre is “National Theatre Live”, which brings the very best of British theatre to cinemas and smaller venues all over the world. NT Live will be screening a full-length play every Thursday at 7pm. These will then be free to stream for a week. The first performance will be the online premiere of One Man Two Guvnors on Thursday, 2 April. Click here to view. 


Tradoodle TV with Ceol Connected

Ceol Connected are a wonderful Irish theatre company who specialise in creating and presenting work for young children using the Irish traditional arts. Ceol Connected brought their beautiful production, Return of Spring to the Whale Theatre last year and now you can catch them performing music, songs and games for children every day at 2pm. Videos are also available to watch afterwards. Click here to view. 


A Wilde Fan – Bottom Dog Theatre Company

Bottom Dog Theatre Company is an award-winning company from Limerick. Their 15th production, “A Wilde Fan” is written and performed by the marvelous Myles Breen and features excerpts from Wilde’s own writings alongside Breen’s trademark wit and flair. The entire performance is available to view in full on the company’s YouTube page. Click here to view. 


Branar Téatar do Pháistí

Branar is one of the leading theatre companies making work for children in Ireland and their stunning productions regularly tour around Ireland and internationally. As their performances have all been cancelled, they are making some of their amazing shows available to view online. Today, for World Theatre Day they have released a video of Wooley’s Quest. Click here to view and don’t forget to follow them on Facebook & Twitter for new shows and video links.


Irish National Opera 

Recorded live at the National Opera House, Wexford on 2 March 2019, Irish National Opera’s performance of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice is also available to view on YouTube. This is a co-production with United Fall in partnership with the Irish Baroque Orchestra. Click here to view.


Happy World Theatre Day from everyone at the Whale Theatre.

We hope to see you back again very soon.


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