The best local arts to stream right now!
Looking for your cultural fix whilst in lockdown? Enter stage left, my roundup of the best virtual happenings, all from brilliant venues in Bucks & Oxon.
The House Never Wins (10 – 11 Nov)
This live interactive theatre game in collaboration with Kill The Cat Theatre invites you to play a game of blackjack in a casino, with a twist – you’re trying to win the game, but keep the House alive too. It’s interactive in more ways than one, as during the show you’ll get messages, surveys and puzzles sent to you over WhatsApp to solve. Recommended for ages £16+, tickets cost £10 per device.
An hour-long talk from author, broadcaster and the London Olympics’ official poet, Lemn Sissay. You’ll hear excerpts from his Sunday Times bestselling memoir about a childhood spent in care, before having the chance to ask questions in an exclusive Q&A at the end of the session. Not bad for a £5 ticket price per device! Recommended ages 14+.
Rich Kids – A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran (17 – 18 Nov)
Sounds niche, but bear with it! This dark comedy play created by Javaad Alipoor and Kirsty Housley was a sell-out hit at last year’s Edinburgh Festival, winning Fringe First for outstanding work, and was due to transfer to the London stage this year (which didn’t go ahead for obvious reasons). Now it’s back in digital form, exploring how technology has only served to heighten the poverty gap.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (19 Dec – 3 Jan)
The Christmas panto may be a write-off this year, but this clever alternative from the geniuses at Creation is the next best thing (‘oh no it isn’t!’ etc etc). Live matinee and evening performances of the classic show will take place online from 19 Dec, including Christmas Eve, with an interactive audience (so if you dial in at the same time as Auntie Brenda, you’ll be able to spot her on screen). Gives us an excuse to don the sequins and Santa hat, at least! Tickets cost £30 per device.
The North Wall
A Passion Play (2 Nov – 3 Jan)
This audio-only play from 45North is only 30 minutes long, but it packs plenty in. Set in Cork in 2015, it explores the first fireworks of teenage love (with a hefty dose of religious humour sprinkled on top). It’s free to listen, but donations are encouraged.
All of Me: The Audio and The Twine (20 Nov – 3 Jan)
Based on the award-winning stage show All of Me(the possibility of future splendour) about mental health, these two shows are playwright Caroline Horton’s first foray into digital. The Audio is audio-only (as the name suggests) and was recorded in Caroline’s living room, while The Twine is an interactive experience with the audience. If you fancy finding out more about how the shows were made, there are two panel discussions on 26 and 27 November, from 6-7pm. It’s free to listen and watch, but donations are encouraged.
MK Gallery x Curzon Cinema
If you’re fed up of the Come Dine With Me brigade and fancy watching something top notch on your telly then register for Curzon Home Cinema. Films on offer this week include French drama The Midwife, starring Catherine Deneuve and Catherine Frot, and Mogul Mowgli, a mockumentary about British Pakistani rapper Zed and his first world tour. You can also catch the UK Jewish Film Festival 2020, available from 6 – 19 Nov, with over 70 films and events exploring Jewish life. Members of MK Gallery can receive 15% off films from the In Cinema selection.
If you didn’t manage to catch the in-person exhibition of Young Rembrandt before The Ashmolean closed its doors for the month, then here’s your chance to see it from from the comfort of your sofa. Join curator An Van Camp for a video introduction, explore the exhibition section by section, and then try your hand at some of the interactive art activities if you feel keen – or have budding artists kicking their heels at home.
Roald Dahl Museum
Modern Art Oxford
We may not be able to see Mexican-born artist Mariana Castillo Deball’s installation of pottery, photography and textiles in person quite yet, but Modern Art Oxford have put together an excellent virtual exhibition to tide us over in the meantime. As well as a close-up view of the pieces, the exhibition includes special features such as an artist-led tour and a behind-the-scenes peek into Deball’s ceramics studio.
Pitt Rivers Museum
Photography and Women (until 16 Nov)
As part of the PhotoOxford Festival 2020, the staff of the Pitt Rivers Museum have been working through the the Museum’s online database of around 300,000 historic and contemporary photographs, and each picked out one that reflects the Festival’s theme, ‘Women and Photography: Ways of Seeing and Being Seen’. Have a click around for some fascinating insights.
The exhibitions are out of action but you can still learn about the history behind the top-secret home of World War II codebreakers online, plus there are also loads of podcasts to listen to – prime catnip for history buffs.