What’s in – my curated guide to fun at home
Bored with a capital B? You'll be needing my brilliant guide to what's happening this week from virtual tours, local live streamed workshops, online concerts and more.
Museums & Galleries
I love this! The National Gallery‘s staff have been busy recreating famous portraits and they’re absolutely hilarious. If you want to see the actual paintings, the gallery has teamed up with Google Street View to create virtual tours of the exhibition rooms (watch out for people caught nose picking on camera).
Tate Modern is also offering a virtual tour of the new Andy Warhol exhibition complete with a commentary from curators Gregor Muir and Fiontán Moran. As is The Science Museum with virtual tours, online games and fun kids activities. The collection is also available to view online, with over 325,000 objects and items, many pf which you can view virtually in 3D.
LOCAL OPTION: The Story Museum, in central Oxford, was due to open in April after a massive refurb, but has instead launched an innovative #ISpyYouFind challenge on twitter, Facebook and Instagram – showcasing some of its treasures and seeing if people can guess what they are/their story connection. Clues are given on Mondays with the answers revealed on Wednesday. Challenge accepted!
Theatre & Arts
Name a bad film by Dame Judy Dench, I dare you. From this week you can stream an exclusive interview (filmed live at The Orange Tree Theatre in 2017), where the national treasure discuses her long career, from playing Titiana in A Midsummer Night’s Dream to M in James Bond. You can watch for a small charge of £4.99, with proceeds going towards keeping the independent venue afloat. The video is available until 24 May. Watch here.
The English National Ballet has launched a new venture on its YouTube and Facebook page called Wednesday Watch Party. Every Wed at 7pm a full length performance will be available to stream for free for 48 hours. This week you can see Akram Khan’s Dust (pictured below), a poignant reflection on the First World War (29 Apr)
Salon London has a new lockdown programme of literary talks – each talk is broadcast live, with the opportunity to ask the speakers questions. Up this week you can watch A Short History of Truth (29 Apr) and a talk on all things techy with UCL lecturer Dr Robert E Smith (3 May). I’ve also got my eye on The Psychology of Boredom coming next week (5 May).
There’s more author action over on Penguin’s website with the publisher’s At Home With Penguin series which streams interviews from authors’ living rooms, kitchens and studies. A new video appears on site every Tues at 5pm – up this week is Pointless co-host Richard Osmand.
Over at BBC Performance Live, a page dedicated to showcasing exciting contemporary artists, you’ll find a load of cultural delights. There are 13 shows to watch including the national production of LOVE. Also on BBC iPlayer there’s Emma Rice’s Wise Children, based on Angela Carter’s bawdy and bright novel about show business, forgiveness and hope.
LOCAL OPTION: Oxford Playhouse have Corona creativity nailed with heaps of virtual activities coming up over the next few weeks. From this week (Apr 27) the theatre’s workshops and classes will be moved online (including Hey Diddle Diddle for young families, 12-16 and 17-25 Young Companies, and Playhouse Adult Company for grown ups), plus look out on social for new performances to stream at home. The theatre has also launched Community Playmaker, a programme to encourage playwriting with online workshops and feedback. And finally, make sure you check the daily creative challenge on Twitter.
I love the BFI (British Film Institute) – it’s such a cool, creative space that shows really interesting, indie films – and I’ll definitely be popping in for a coffee and and a screening when it reopens. For now I’m making do with the venue’s online offering of free content and short films to watch online (including the rather timely Quarantine, pictured above), plus you can rent feature length films from just £4.50.
Over on Instagram, there’s new venture Viral Film Festival, a virtual film fest every Thurs – Sun. Virtual tickets on the page announce what film you should watch (and where to find it), followed by a Instagram Live discussion with others who’ve watched the film.
For more discussion on TV and Film, BAFTA is hosting online Q&As and webinars (seminars on the web, geddit?). On the line up this week is a chat with Normal People director Lenny Abrahamson and actors Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal (27 Apr) and talk with the director and producer of brand new film Misbehaviour (28 Apr), about the Women’s Liberation Movement protesting the Miss World pageant. The trailer looks brilliant, I’ll definitely be giving it a watch.
Struggling with homeschooling? BBC Bitesize and the celeb brigade is here to help. Alongside new Bitesize Daily videos – online lessons hosted by real teachers – famous faces are sending in their tips and tricks for kids on how to stay motivated. Celebs include singers Mabel, Liam Payne and Sir David Attenborough. If he can’t make them listen, then no-one can…
LOCAL OPTION: River & Rowing Museum, in Henley, is always brilliant when it comes to children’s exhibitions and have created online learning resources and crafts to keep the little people entertained in lockdown including making Easter cards and bunny ears. You can also check out the museum’s online collections here.
The Twittersphere has been buzzing lately with the hashtag #timstwitterlisteningparty, created by frontman of alt-rock band The Charlatans Tim Burgess to bring people at home together to listen to his favourite albums. You can find the daily schedule of what you should be streaming here; this week includes The Lightening Seeds, Maccabees and Groove Armada.
Every Wednesday at 7pm, Some Voices choir is running free sessions on YouTube where you can learn a musical arrangement of a feel good hit and then join in with other watchers for a virtual sing-along.
LOCAL OPTION: Rock band Radiohead (the group was formed by local Abingdon lads in the 90s, so it’s kind of local!) is streaming a live show from their archives every Thursday at 10pm on YouTube.
Lockdown is becoming a bit of a challenge mentally now, don’t you think? Luckily, Yale University has now made its The Science of Wellbeing course totally free. The 10 week course looks at the science behind feeling happy (a G&T on one hand and a big bar of Cadbury’s in the other, perhaps?) with a series of challenges and tasks designed to increase your own happiness and form productive habits.
Alternatively, Wellness app Urban has launched a temporary online space for physio, yoga, one-to-one fitness and mindfulness – The Stay at Home Club. Sessions run from 20 – 55 minutes, with the platform aiming to support Urban’s community of self-employed practitioners.
The London Marathon has been postponed until October, but you can still get involved by taking part in the 2.6 Challenge – running or walking 2.6 miles (or 2.6km if you want to make it shorter – shhhh!) or doing a 26 minute yoga sesh or exercise class online.
Or dig out your spandex and push your sofas to the side of the room for drag aerobics with draw queen Dolley Trolley, every Wednesday at 7.30pm live on Instagram and Facebook. Make up essential – how often you get to work out with a full face on?!
Also on Instagram live, London and NYC At Your Beat Dance Studio are hosting loads of daily classes to hop onto. You can find a weekly timetable each week over on their Instagram highlights.
LOCAL OPTION: Oxford-based Prana Yoga has a selection of recorded online yoga sessions available to purchase for £5 each here.
One positive that’s come from lockdown is that restaurants are sharing the secrets to their hit recipes for us to create at home. Wagamama is dishing out tutorials for the restaurant’s favourite recipes weekly on Instagram, part of the new Wok From Home IGTV series. Recipes so far have included katsu curry, wok fried greens and yasai yaki soba.
Greek street food restaurant chain The Athenian’s co-founder is whipping up dishes on Instagram live, every Saturday at 7pm. You’re given time to buy the right ingredients each week so you can cook the dishes in real time for dinner.
Meanwhile, cool Borough Market Bakery and Cookery School, Bread Ahead, is offering daily 2pm online tutorials on Instagram. Plus Morty and Bob’s sandwich bar (you’ll find it at King’s Cross’ super-cool Coal Drops Yard) is posting weekly recipes on Instagram (parmesan and truffle fries, anyone?).
LOCAL OPTION: If you’re looking to brush up on your baking skills during lockdown (GBBO here we come!) award-winning Oxfordshire-based baking wizz Mrs Bun the Baker is hosting live bake-alongs for families every Fri at 2pm on her Facebook page.
Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People (btw, excellent lockdown reading) is coming to BBC One on Mondays at 9pm. If you don’t fancy waiting weekly for the 12 instalments, all episodes are on BBC iPlayer right now.
Also on BBC One is the brand season of The Great British Sewing Bee – it stared last week but you can catch up on iPlayer (Wednesdays 9pm) and then the new season of The Real Marigold Hotel (Thursdays 9pm). The four parter sees celebs (this features Britt Ekland, Duncan Bannatyne and Chuckle Brother Paul Chuckle) travel to India to see whether retirement would be more rewarding there than in the UK.
And finally, on Netflix, there’s glam period drama Hollywood. Set in post-World War II Hollywood, the limited series is about aspiring actors and filmmakers attempting to fulfil their showbiz dreams. It’s created by Ryan Murphy (of Glee, American Horror Story and The Politician fame) so it should be a dead cert. You can watch from 1 May.