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29 Apr 2020

The best plays, gigs, concerts, dance and live events to watch while you're in lockdown

You can't go to the theatre or a gig, but those things can come to you. These are the best events to watch and the best TVs to watch them on

Theatres are shut but the show must go on, which is why the likes of the National Theatre and Sadler's Wells are offering streams of their plays and performances.

And it's not just theatres: galleries and museums are also opening their virtual doors for people to peruse collections from home.

We've rounded up some of the best events, activities and exhibitions to watch on your TV during lockdown.

2019 TVs are as cheap as they are likely to get and we've reviewed more than 150 of them. Check our TV reviews to find the right model for you.

Read the latest coronavirus news and advice from Which?.

Watch a play

The National Theatre is streaming one of its plays for free on YouTube every Thursday during lockdown. It's then available for one week before a new play takes its place. Twelfth Night is coming to the end of its YouTube run and will be replaced by Frankenstein, starring Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Unlike other plays, Frankenstein will be streamed across two nights: Thursday April 30 and Friday May 1, because the two leads swap parts with each other, taking it in turns to play Dr Frankenstein and his monster.

On May 7 you can watch Sophie Okonedo and Ralph Fiennes in Anthony and Cleopatra.

Shakespeare seems to be a popular choice for the lockdown and you can watch a whopping 40 productions from the Globe's archives on its YouTube channel.

Award-winning British comedy-drama Fleabag was a big deal, wasn't it? And now you can see where it all began by watching Phoebe Waller-Bridge's original play on the Soho Theatre's website. Unlike the National Theatre's plays, you need to pay to watch Fleabag. There are several options for how much you want to pay, but the bulk of the money goes to charities, including the National Emergencies Trust, NHS Charities Together and Acting for Others.

If musicals are more your thing, you can watch one from Andrew Lloyd Webber's extensive back catalogue each Friday on YouTube. May 1 features a medley of hits from the Royal Albert Hall recorded 22 years ago to celebrate the composer's 50th birthday.

You'll want a well-rounded TV with access to apps, tremendous picture and sound to make the most of a streamed play or musical. Take a look at our top TVs for 2020 to see the best all-rounders.

Enjoy some dance

Sadler's Wells is the home of contemporary and flamenco dancing in London and it's streaming an array of performances throughout May for free.

Performances from the Alexander Whitley Dance Company, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre and others will be live streamed at 7:30pm each Friday on the theatre's Facebook page. All the shows are available for seven days after the live stream on YouTube.

Whether it's the slow grace of ballet, or the more frenetic strength of contemporary dance, you need a TV that can cope with motion. Our Best Buy TVs will keep your view free of jagged edge and smeared objects.

Tune in to a gig or concert

There's no shortage of performers doing low-key sets from their own homes, but what if you want the full experience of a proper gig or concert?

With so many genres we'd be hard pressed to include something to suit everyone, but we've included a few of the more interesting ones.

It's not easy to create a club atmosphere in your living room, but Club Quarantu00e4ne may be your best bet if you want to have a go. Its most recent YouTube livestream was on April 24, but it may not be the last and it's worth subscribing if you want to catch the next one.

For the metalheads among you, Metallica is releasing a gig each Monday on its YouTube channel, so you can start your week with a sore neck as you headbang your way through one of thrash metal's finest back catalogues.

If you prefer your rock a little more psychedelic and progressive, you can watch Pink Floyd concerts on YouTube, too.

Royal Albert Home is something to consider if your musical taste leans towards the classical side of things. There's a whole string of shows from top musicians, including mini concerts, interviews and lessons, all for free.

Anyone who likes their music electronic is no doubt familiar with Boiler Room, which was live streaming long before the lockdown. As a result, there are scores of events featuring top DJs to watch on its Facebook page or YouTube channel.

Unsurprisingly, sound is key when you're trying to enjoy music on your TV. Discover the best TVs for sound.

Tour a museum or gallery

Google Maps is needed for this, which means you'll need to connect your laptop or phone to your TV if you would prefer to view the content on a bigger screen. And while we're not sure how they got those camera-bedecked cars through the doors of the Guggenheim, Tokyo National Museum, the Uffizi Gallery and more, it doesn't matter. What matters is that you can use Google Street View, or Google exhibition view in this case, to tour some of the world's most famous galleries and museums at your leisure.

Even better, the exhibitions are completely empty, so you don't need to crane your head round the other fourteen people trying to get a glimpse of Klimt.

Not all the virtual tours are accessed through Street View, so it's worth checking the website of the gallery or museum you want to take a trip through to see how best to access the visual treats within.

Touring an art gallery on a TV that can't handle colour is like watching the new year fireworks on a black and white TV. And you don't need to spend a fortune to get a TV that does handle colour well - see our best cheap TVs.