Whether you’re a regular theatre goer missing their jazz hands fix, or simply looking for a more cultured alternative to endless Netflix streaming, the news that you can now watch West End musicals for free on YouTube should come as a welcome surprise.
And before you start guessing, we’re not just walking any old musicals here – on the newly launched channel, appropriately dubbed ‘The Shows Must Go On!‘, you’ll find full-length productions from none other than musical legend Andrew Lloyd Webber, the man behind Evita, The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, and Starlight Express.
The first show available for the nation to enjoy, which lands today at 7pm, is a performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat from the year 2000, starring Donny Osmond, Joan Collins and Richard Attenborough, which you’ll be able to stream for 48 hours.
From there, a new arrival will launch every Friday for the forthcoming weekend. The full schedule has yet to be confirmed, but we do know that next week, on Friday 10 April, we’ll be treated to Jesus Christ Superstar, with cast members including comedian Tim Minchin and former Spice Girl Melanie C.
‘Universal have come up with the idea of a whole series now called The Show Must Go On!, which is about musicals going from stage to screen, and they’re going to show one of mine every Friday for the next few weeks,’ Lloyd Webber explains in a short video clip introducing the project.
‘Sometime buried in the schedule later on, there’ll be my disaster musical, By Jeeves – I’m very very fond of it and so will you [be],’ he adds.
The videos are totally free of charge, but if you’d like to make a contribution, The Shows Must Go On! team suggests making a donation to various arts causes, such as Acting for Others in the UK, Broadway Cares in the US, and the Actors Benevolent Fund in Australia.