About Original Theatre Online

About Us

Screengrab of a two actors dressed as soldiers on a trench

We are the Original Theatre Company and we have been touring extensively all over the UK (and as far as the US) since 2004.

We love to make theatre. We love to tell stories. We love to tour our work across the UK. But most of all we love to thrill, excite and engage audiences.

We stage three productions a year and in 2019 we produced 4 shows in 29 venues across the UK and USA and played to over 53,000 audience members. And 2020 was looking to be an even bigger year with our brand-new production of The Croft, a new thriller by Ali Milles and re-tour of Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art.

However, the world became a very different place in March 2020 and, as all of our industry, our productions came to a standstill and as a company who operates with no Arts Council support and relies almost solely on box office takings, the closures are financially devastating for us and our colleagues.

We have set up Original Theatre Online to create and share our work digitally and hopefully bring some very needed income into the company and industry.

"An exceptionally impressive 2020... I’m still tipping my hat to a company that employed more than 100 freelances, and reached 30,000 households last year" Daily Mail

"Original Theatre are truly the connoisseurs of virtual theatre" WhatsOnStage

"Extraordinarily enterprising Original Theatre’" ★★★★ Daily Mail

“Original Theatre has done it complete justice. This is one of the most impressive theater webcasts”  Wall Street Journal on The Habit of Art streaming June 2020

"Best online play of lockdown... technologically accomplished, beautifully acted and emotionally riveting’" ★★★★★ The Telegraph on Birdsong Online streaming July 2020

"If enterprise awards are handed out at the end of lockdown, the Original Theatre Company will top my list… it’s ten minutes well spent'" ★★★★ Daily Mail on Watching Rosie streaming August 2020

"Strong acting across the board and mesmerising, at times out-of-this-world, visuals" -  ★★★★ The Telegraph on Apollo 13: The Dark Side of the Moon

"Gripping… A mastery of slow-burn tension" ★★★★ The Guardian on Apollo 13: The Dark Side of the Moon


Original Online so far…

Since March 2020:

  • We have produced 2 multi-camera streamings of our 2020 productions
  • We have produced 4 made for online productions (July, Aug,Oct & Nov 2020)
  • Streaming to 32 countries including America, India, Canada and Australia
  • Streamed to over 30,000 households worldwide
  • Employed over 110 freelance theatre and film workers
  • Created our own online steaming site


Two older men on a theatre set laughing across a room

From 26 March – 28 June 2020 we streamed both our closed stage productions of The Habit of Art and The Croft to almost 6,500 households.

JULY 2020

A British soldier embracing a woman against a painted sky scene

For two 72 hour limited releases on 1 July and 16 July 2020 we released a made-for-online production of Sebastian Faulks's Birdsong to over 4,000 households.


We streamed the short play 'Watching Rosie' by Louise Coulthard to over 10,000 households between August and September 2020.


We released a made-for-online production of 'Apollo 13: The Dark Side of the Moon' by Torben Betts, directed by Alastair Whatley and Charlotte Peters which was reviewed as 'Mesmerising, at times out-of-this-world' The Telegraph and 'A stunning feat' Daily Mail.


We released a made-for-online production of 'The Haunting of Alice Bowles' by Philip Franks, based on the short story by M.R James, which was has been selected as Critics' Pick by The Times, The Guardian, WhatsOnStage and Metro. 



“We hope people who have booked tickets and are now unable to attend, along with many thousands of others, can now access these videos and enjoy superb pieces of theatre in the comfort of their homes. Some small respite in these trying times.”


— Alastair Whatley, Artistic Director, Original Theatre Company