What’s in – the curated guide to fun
Looking for fun? Look no further - I've rounded up the best virtual theatre, exhibitions, concerts and TV PLUS there's a drive-thru cinema in our 'hood.
Bickering and backstabbing politicians, warring political parties, and a large dose of farcical humour – nope, I’m not talking about the present day (although it sounds like a dead ringer, right?) but the National Theatre’s timely latest release This House. Available until 4 Jun on YouTube, the play offers a funny insight into British politics in the 70s, written by James Graham (Ink, ITV’s Quiz).
For some high-brow living room entertainment head over to The Royal Opera House’s website for the online premiere of The Royal Ballet’s 2020 production of The Cellist (available on YouTube 29 May from 7pm) and The Royal Opera House’s 2012 production of Il Trittico (available 5 Jun from 7pm).
Elsewhere, The Globe‘s next release is comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor – expect all the drama of your typical Shakespeare play (we’re talking marriage, wealth, jealousy and lies). Available 1 – 14 Jun.
LOCAL OPTION: Reading’s theatre venues are closed, but a new online cultural hub has launched to ensure lockdown life is at least a little bit entertaining. On Wed 6 Jun drag diva Miss Crayola will stream a FREE pub quiz (over 18s only) and the kids can get stuck into the Live Dinosaur Party with a Jurassic world of games and adventures on Sat 6 Jun at 11.30am, courtesy of Jelly Pop.
Elswhere, The Watermill Theatre continues with its workshops for jazz handers and the creatively curious. It’s Movement Week and on Tue 2 Jun you can join choreographer Georgina Lamb for a family-friendly workshop at 2.30pm or 7.30pm if you’re an older teen or adult.
On Amazon Prime Video you can now watch all episodes of Little Fires Everywhere, based on Celeste Ng’s New York Times bestseller of the same name. The TV adaptation stars Reece Witherspoon and Kerry Washington (above) and seems to be all the internet is talking about at the moment – clear out a day in your diary because you’re going to want to binge it.
The fourth and final season of controversial high school drama 13 Reasons Why airs on Netflix this week (5 Jun). Don’t be fooled, the show’s definitely not suitable for tweens and covers hard-hitting themes of murder and mental illness, so best to watch after the watershed.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for something lighter, the fifth season of reality show Queer Eye is a dead cert. This time the Fab Five (Jonathan Van Ness, Bobby Berk, Antoni Porowski, Karamo Brown and Tan France) are in Philadelphia to makeover the lives of 10 unsung heroes. If you haven’t seen it before (lucky you, you can watch the first four seasons with fresh eyes), it’s proper feel-good, heartwarming TV that will leave you reaching for the Kleenex.
Hair’s getting long in lockdown Tim! Tuned into The Charlatans’ frontman Tim Burgess’ #timstwitterlisteningparty recently? The idea is that everyone listens to the same album (find the streaming schedule here) at the same time to bring people together through music. Artists live tweet alongside whilst answering the public’s questions and sharing memories of creating the songs – neat, right? Part of the venture, Tim has now teamed up with The Royal Albert Hall to deliver a live set from his home which you can watch on 4 Jun.
The prestigious 74th Tony Awards have been postponed this year, but the show must go on! Instead, you can watch an hour-long broadcast celebrating Broadway and its global impact on 7 Jun (6pm). The event will raise money for the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League – you can watch it for free on the Tony Awards website and brand new streaming service Broadway On Demand.
With exams and graduations cancelled all over the world, YouTube is hosting its own virtual graduation ceremony Dear Class of 2020 to celebrate with a bunch of famous faces. They’ve pulled out the big guns with speeches from Lady Gaga, Barack Obama, Alicia Keys, Kelly Rowland, and more. Watch here on 6 Jun.
LOCAL-ISH OPTION Boots and cats and boots and cats! Nope, I haven’t lost the plot, that’s my feeble attempt at beatboxing. North Oxford theatre, The North Wall has teamed up with record-breaking beatboxer SK Shlomo (he’s buddies with Bjork, Ed Sheeran and Lily Allen btw) to teach kids how to beatbox. Sessions are every Thursday at 2pm on Facebook.
Cinema night at home? (Try it outdoors with a projector, hung up bedsheet and loads of popcorn). New releases this week include Disney sequel Maleficent: Mistress of Evil over on Disney+, starring a special effects-clad Angelina Jolie (that woman even looks good with horns coming out of her head!). Released 5 Jun.
Meanwhile, brush up on your GCSE French for brand new Only The Animals coming to Curzon Home Cinema on 29 May (don’t worry, I’m sure there are subtitles if you’re language skills are a bit rusty). Directed by Dominik Moll, the film is a thriller about the interlocking lives of five strangers and an unhappily married woman.
Looking to fill the void left by the amazing BBC adaption of Sally Rooney’s Normal People when it concludes this Mon? Check out Amazon Prime Video’s brand new Irish romcom Dating Amber, starring Lola Petticrew and Fionn O’Shea (who coincidently played Jamie in NP). The film tells the story of two best friends who pretend to date to stop rumours surrounding their sexuality. Looks like a goodie.
And finally, We Are One Festival continues this week (until 7 Jun) – a global film festival that’s been co-curated by over 20 film festivals from across the world (including BFI London Film Festival, Cannes and Tribeca), with funds going towards COVID-19 relief funds. Watch here.
MUSUEMS & EXHIBITIONS
Missed the V&A’s Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk? The museum has released a five-part series on YouTube to take you on a personal tour of the exhibition with its curator Anna Jackson. The exhibit features stunning garments dating back to the 1660s and charts the history of the kimono and its aesthetic and social significance.
Meanwhile, the Natural History Museum is releasing loads of brilliant content on its YouTube channel with live talks from scientists and the museum’s curators. Topics so far include the museum’s famous giant blue whale skeleton, whether there’s water on Mars and everything you’ve always wanted to know about dinosaurs.
And finally, fancy taking a trip (and not the holiday kind)? You can now view a virtual tour of Somerset House’s whacky Mushrooms: The Art, Design and Future of Fungi exhibition. The show brings together work from over 40 artists, designers and musicians with highlights including works from Beatrix Potter, Tom Dixon, Carsten Höller, plus this cool ‘Mindful Mushroom’ by London-based visual artist Seana Gavin.
Exhausted all the virtual tours close to home? Then take a digital flight over to one of these wicked museums abroad starting with the Musée d’Orsay, above, in Paris – the museum has the world’s biggest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist artworks (we’re talking van Gogh and Cézanne – the big guns). Virtual tour here.
Or you can wizz over to Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. The venue has teamed up with Google Street view for a tour of its headline exhibitions, plus you can explore the museum’s collections online.
LOCAL-ISH OPTION: If you didn’t get the chance to scope out the Ashmolean’s major new Young Rembrandt exhibition before lockdown hit, you can access the exhibit online – there’s an introductory video by the museum’s curator, plus a step by step visual tour.