The staying in boredom buster
The sun's taken a leave of absence (no surprises there) but there’s still fun to be had indoors with my curated guide to online theatre, music, tv and culture this week.
Cool headshot! Sky Documentarieshas a stellar line up right now now including Hillary. The four-parter takes an intimate look at the former First Lady and presidential candidate’s life, with behind-the-scenes footage of her 2016 bid to become the first female President, plus interviews with the Clinton clan. (On a Hillary roll? Acclaimed US novelist Curtis Sittenfeld’s new one, Rodham
We’re also looking forward to catching up with David Attenborough’s new original series for Sky Nature. Take your pick from Kingdon of Plants, Galapagos, Micro Monstersor Flying Monsters, all equally awe-inspiring (ever heard of a pterosaur? Nope us neither) and narrated in classic Attenborough style.
The hotly anticipated second season of Ryan Murphy’s (of Glee, American Horror Story and The Politician fame) Pose drops on Netflix this week. For those who haven’t seen it (quick, binge watch season one pronto) the show’s set in 80s/90s NYC and explores the underground ballroom culture scene through the lens of the African-American and LatinoLGBTQ experience. Gritty, glamorous and at the costumes are totally fab. Available from 11 Jun.
Audience participation at the theatre can be a deal breaker for some, but Bristol-based theatre group Uninvited Guests have found a way to make it cool (and far less cringe) in their live Zoom show Love Letters at Home(above). Before the show, the audience send in song requests and dedications to loved ones to create an intimate and unique performance each night. Tickets by donation (until 26 Jun).
The Old Vic is finally jumping on the online bandwagon this week and will now be streaming shows on its YouTubechannel for free, starting with Olivier Award-winningA Monster Calls(2018). It’s about a young boy who is visited by a monster every night, whilst his mother is suffering from cancer. A must see (until 11 Jun).
Fancy seeing Tom Hiddleston in your front room? Say a big thanks to the National Theatre then, as its next free stream is Shakespeare’s Corolianusstarring the Hollywood hotty (until 11 Jun).
Also this week, it’s last call to see one of the Bard’s lesser known plays, The Merry Wives of Windsor, courtesy of The Globe– expect all the drama of your typical Shakespeare play (we’re talking marriage, wealth, jealousy and lies). Available until 14 Jun.
And finally, for ballet buffs, this week The ROHis streaming Frederick Ashton’s La Fille mal gardée (The Wayward Daughter). It’s a love story inspired by the Suffolk countryside featuring humour, elements of folk dance, maypole and, erm, dancing chickens! Watch 12 – 26 June.
LOCAL OPTION: Due to perform a run at the London Library, Creation Theatre has instead taken it’s new production of HG Wells’ The Time Machine online. Surreal, psychedelic and a little slice of much needed escapism. Loads of new dates have been added but get in there pronto – the last batch of dates sold out (until 21 Jun).
On the home movie reel this week, Knives Out (2019) comes to Amazon Prime Video. It’s a comedy whodunnit with more Hollywood names than you can shake a stick at including Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Toni Collette and Chris Evans (no, not that one). Available from 12 Jun.
Elsewhere, on Curzon Home Cinema, my top pick this week is Misbehaviour, a portrait of race and feminism in the 1970s. The plot is based on the true events of the 1970 Miss World pageant where, not only was the first black woman crowned, but the event was crashed by the Women’s Liberation Movement. Charming, funny and feminist – just the way we like it. Also worth watching this week is Oscar winning film Parasite, a dark comedy about class and wealth in Korea.
Seattle-based musicians (Pearl Jam, Sir Mix-a-Lot, Macklemore and more) are teaming up this week for a virtual concert, All in WA, to raise funds for COVID-19 relief efforts across Washington state. You can watch the show live here, or it will be available on Amazon Prime after it airs.
LOCAL OPTION: Oxford Playhouse has taken a few of its workshops online whilst the theatre is closed including the regular Hey Diddle Diddle sing-along sessions for children and their families. The sessions are 11 – 11.30am and are held over Zoom. FREE, but booking essential.
MUSEUMS & EXHIBITIONS
If you’re looking for a cultural fix, BBC iPlayer has a brilliant mini series Museums in Quarantine which takes a look inside national museum collections since we’ve been in lockdown. Half an hour episodes include an exploration of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, Tate Britain, Tate Modern (above) and The British Museum, the latter of which also has a revamped online collection for us to view at home. It’s the biggest virtual database in the world, with over four million objects and artefacts to scroll through including loads from Ancient Egypt. The collections also include over a quarter of a million new object photographs, including portraits by Damien Hirst.
And finally, fans of The Clash can watch a film about the Museum of London’s iconic tribute exhibition London Calling, including photographs by the band’s tour photographer, Pennie Smith; behind-the-scenes studio footage; sketches by NME reporter and artist Ray Lowry that have never been exhibited in public before. Very cool.
LOCAL OPTION: The North Wall is hosting a new online exhibition, TWIST, from this week, showcasing works that would have been shown in the gallery throughout Jun. Artists include Melanie Goemans, Amy Shuckburgh, Emma Reynolds, Benedict Ramos, Rebecca McLynn and more, all from Twist art consultancy’s portfolio of talented artists and makers.