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The free documentaries and musicals you can stream on YouTube right now

by Lauren Heskin
20th Apr 2020

Andrew Lloyd Webber opens his back catalogue and Netflix share their documentaries in this round-up of the best free shows on YouTube right now

As we seem to fall deeper and deeper into this never-ending lockdown hole, big entertainment companies are realising that we need, well, entertainment.

While some households can afford multiple subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney + and more traditional TV services, others might not have TVs or simply can’t afford the cost during this sudden period of economic uncertainty.

To offset this, the likes of Netflix and Universal are releasing content to the free video site YouTube for everyone to enjoy.

Netflix’s Educational Documentaries

The subscription giant have dropped loads of documentaries on to YouTube with the idea that they can be an educational watch for the entire family as people grapple with home-schooling and filling the afternoons and evenings.

Sit down to the likes of David Attenborough’s Our Planet, or Vox’s short doc series, Explained, which tackles a wide variety of topics from the imbalance in gender pay to the art of cricket. They’ve also made the series Babies available, following an insightful look at the development of a child from birth to toddlerdom.

For something a little longer, director Ava DuVernay’s 13th, a feature-length series on the American prison system or Knock Down the House, which followed five women running in the 2018 primaries, including a woman from Queens who went on to be elected as the youngest congresswoman in history, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.

Click here to see them all.


Universal’s The Shows Must Go On

Following on from the success of Easter Weekend’s celebration of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat, Universal has teamed up with the famed musical genius for The Shows Must Go On, a series of viewings of all of his stage shows every Friday at 7 pm, when they’ll be made available for 48 hours of free viewing.

Last weekend saw the Albert Hall production of The Phantom of the Opera, and while nothing has been announced yet for this Friday’s show, keep an eye on the YouTube here for updates.

Featured image courtesy of Netflix Babies

Read more: Fancy a science lesson from David Attenborough? He’s just one of the teachers on BBC’s virtual school

Read more: At-home kids’ activities guaranteed to keep them busy for more than 5 minutes

Read more: 10 free resources (from dancing and music to kid’s activities and audiobooks) to try while you’re in lockdown

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