P/REVIEW: View From The Sofa 12

Brian Butler June 12, 2020

More and more film and theatre organisations are realising the lockdown power of streaming and long may it continue. This week there’s a veritable banquet for sofa-sitters.

The weekly National Theatre  at home offering is the 2018 Nottingham Playhouse production of  Alan Bennett’s magically funny The Madness of George III, starring Mark Gatiss. Written in 1991, it deals brilliantly with the ideas of madness and sanity, political intrigue and personal tragedy. It’s on for a week from Thursday night , June 11 on YouTube. Watch now:

The Shows Must Go On this week has an airing of the 2015 TV special of The Wiz, the all-black version of the Wizard of Oz which opened new doors to BAME performers in 1975. It stars Queen Latifah and Mary J Blige, and is on for 48 hours from Friday night on YouTube.

Leonard Bernstein’s tricky musical Candide is free to view now until 3 July in a scaled-down concert version filmed at the Grange Festival. It features Rob Houchen and Katie Hall and is accompanied by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra . Again it’s on YouTube.

Jason Robert Brown’s wonderful musical The Last Five Years lends itself to being filmed in isolation. Its two main characters fall in and out of love over  five years but Jamie ( Danny Becker) tells their story forwards and Cathy ( Lauren Samuels) tells it backwards. The two characters only interact for one song mid-point.This version was filmed with each actor separately then edited. Sounds like fun. It costs ÂŁ8 and has to be watched in real time on one of 3 nights, 25-27 June. It’s Another Palace production – tickets at

The BBC’s remakes of the iconic Alan Bennett monologues Talking Heads will be available on iplayer from 23 June. Stars appearing include Jodie Comer, Imelda Staunton and Lucian Msmati.

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London is offering a range of productions and other treats, including The Merry Wives of Windsor – go to globe

The ground-breaking Paines Plough, together with Open Clasp Theatre, have released plays by emerging female writers from Newcastle  upon Tyne . Check them out at

And finally the British musical Eugenius by Ben Adams and Chris Wilkins is still on Facebook at eugeniusthemusical

Happy viewing – next time an exciting octopus recipe from Texas !