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 of art galleries, live streams, 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.
Worthing Museum and Art Gallery is offering a virtual tour so you can snoop around in the name of culture to your heart’s content. There’s also a podcast celebrating the women who have played a vital role in the museum’s story.
If you’ve always fancied a look round Brighton’s Royal Pavilion then don’t let lockdown stop you, go right ahead! Virtual tours of this iconic landmark plus Brighton and Hove museums are all online now, to be enjoyed at your leisure, milady.
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 on the 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.
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 are 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!
Worthing-based independent publishers Two Kittens Publishing have made their audiobook Princess Porcelaina, written by Sarah Powell and Tony Hazel and read by award-winning narrator Saul Reichlin, free for everybody to enjoy. That’ll keep ’em entertained for a while.
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.
Lockdown can be a real challenge mentally for all of us and it can be hard to stay positive. Luckily, Yale University has now made its The Science of Well-being 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.
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 shove your sofas to the side for drag aerobics with drag queen Dolley Trolley, every Wednesday at 7.30pm live on Instagram and Facebook.
Ever tried barre? Now’s your chance, twinkletoes. The gorgeous Jennifer Brown, aka One Fit Mother, is running online barre workouts and glossy editors are raving about them. Step this way, one set of sculpted abs and toned glutes coming right up.
Also on Instagram live, London and NYC At Your Beat Dance Studio is hosting loads of daily classes to hop onto. You can find a weekly timetable on their Instagram highlights.
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 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 (*drool*).
Jamie Guy, head chef at The Gallivant in Camber, is sharing recipes on the restaurant’s Insta feed, including scrumptious Scandi cinnamon rolls and this baked ratatouille tart. Sunshine on a plate indeed!
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?).
Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People (it’s excellent lockdown reading) is coming to BBC One on Mon 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 year 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.