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What’s in – the best bits online this week

Give me a B. Give me an O. Give me an R. Give me a E... you get the picture. Put an end to boredom with my new Muddy guide to all the fun stuff to do and stream at home.

Art & Museums

Guggenheim Museum New York
The Oculus at the Guggenheim

Exhausted all the virtual tours close to home? Then take a digital flight over to one of these wicked museums abroad starting with the 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. 

Next up it’s the Musée d’Orsay 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

Down under there’s the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. You can take a look at the major Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines exhibition on a tour with the curator. 


BBC lockdown orchestra

The BBC Lockdown Orchestra (a virtual ensemble of 100 musicians from the BBC’s orchestra and choirs) has recorded a new rendition of You Got The Love (of The Source ft. Candi Staton and Florence + The Machine fame) to lift our lockdown spirits. Want to join in? Part of BBC’s Get Creative at Home, you can download the sheet music and play along. The final performance will premiere on TV and Radio on Thursday (14 May). 

LOCAL OPTION: Bringing the bangers to a kitchen dancefloor near you. The Newbury Pub’s terrace is closed, but this Saturday (16 May) they’ll be streaming the Summer Sessions Live DJ Stream. Get the cocktails flowing and pretend you’re in Ibeefa.


Twiddling your thumbs? British artist Sir Antony Gormley (he created the Angel of the North) has filmed an art masterclass for the BBC. Antony will be teaching us how to draw using simple materials – water, pigment, paper – as well as reflecting on how to be creative in lockdown. 

Paul Smith

Also on the BBC iPlayer, you’ll find a fashion masterclass from Sir Paul Smith (above), filmed by himself during lockdown. Paul will be sharing the sources of his inspiration, from everyday life to fine art.

LOCAL OPTION Newbury-based baking biz The Real Macaron Company is taking its brilliant courses online. This weekend (16 May) it’s American Baking Week and you’ll be whipping up strawberry shortcake. Yum. Pinnies at the ready, class starts at 2.30pm and costs just £10.


The Two Noble Kingsman

New on the theatre streaming front this week is a 2018 production of Shakespeare’s The Two Noble Kingsman (above), performed at the Globe Theatre. You can watch the performance, directed by Barrie Rutter, on YouTube until 17 May. 

Also streaming on YouTube, until 14 May, is Simon Godwin’s sell-out production of Shakespeare’s Antony & Cleopatra starring Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo, part of the National Theatre‘s new venture to bring it’s shows into our living rooms. Also on YouTube, you can watch The Hunting of the Snark, a musical based on Lewis Carroll’s famous poem. Looks like a dead cert for keeping the ankle biters entertained for a couple of hours. 

Or for ballet buffs, the English National Ballet’s Fantastic Beings is premiering on YouTube this Wednesday (13 May), part of the weekly Wednesday Watch Party series. The show will available to stream for free for 48 hours. 

LOCAL OPTION: It’s Costume Designing Week at The Watermill, Theatre. Get involved with a live family workshop at 3pm (suitable for ages 7+), and there are two evening sessions for adults and teens – Make Do And Mend Costume Making at 5pm and a Costume Design Workshop at 7pm.

If you have tiddlers and you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel after 49 days of lockdown fun, head over to Norden Farm Facebook page for storytelling and crafty videos.


There’s no doubt that, by now, the kids are bouncing off the walls and you’re probably tearing your hair out. Channel all that pent up energy into one of Sadler’s Wells Theatre’sfamily dance workshops. There are 10 available to try on its YouTubechannel, along with themed activities and storytelling sessions. 

Over on JK Rowling’s new virtual Wizarding World platform, a host of famous faces will be reading parts of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, with a new chapter released every week. The first instalment has been recorded by none other than, erm, Harry Potter! Find Daniel Radcliffe’s reading here, along with loads of other fun and education activities on the site.

And finally, if you’re struggling to explain to the little people what’s going on with the world, make sure you check out this cute and informative animation from the English Touring Theatre. It’s only a minute and a half long (plus you’ll probably learn something yourself!)

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. Look out for the Muddy interview coming later this week. 


Ruby Wax

Always wanted to have a poke around your favourite author’s home? Well here’s your chance – At Home With Penguin is hosting weekly interviews streamed from author’s living rooms, studies and kitchens. Up this week is comedian and mental health campaigner Ruby Wax who’ll be discussing her bestselling book A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled and how we can tackle stress and feel connected during lockdown. Much needed, thanks, Ruby! 

Quirky Notting Hill-based The Coronet Theatre has a free programme of arty talks, Q&As, installations and theatre to enjoy online. On the bill this week is a reading from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Hisham Matarfrom his new book, A Month in Siena an exploration of loss, love, intimacy and art.


If you’re not totally sick of virtual quizzes by now, then you can get Stephen Fry to host a pub quiz in your living room this week (13 May). Tickets are £25 per household, which will be donated to Riverside Studios and hospital charities. 

TV & Film

While Tom Hardy’s been lulling us all to sleep with his CBeebies bedtime stories, it’s no more Mr Nice Guy as he returns to the big (little) screen with the early digital release of Capone. Hardy plays notorious gangster Al Capone in his later years, which found him suffering from syphilis-induced dementia.

Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe (which finished back in 2016) is coming back for a one-off special, the Antiviral Wipe. The show has been made over the last few weeks and will offer Charlie’s typically witty and sharp perspective on the pandemic and how people are keeping themselves entertained. Airing 14 May, 9pm on BBC2. 

Loved Netflix’s hit Money Heist? Then be sure to set aside time this week to binge White Lines, a new thriller series from the same creator. (15 May). Looks like a goodie.

If you’re in need of light, easy viewing (aren’t we all), The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. The series follows Kimmy’s new life in New York after she’s freed from an underground cult, run by creepy the Reverend, played by Jon Hamm (it’s funnier than it sounds, I promise). This week Netflix is bringing out one new stand-alone episode Kimmy Vs. the Reverandthat lets watchers decide on the ending with interactive moments throughout. 

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

Pass the popcorn! There’s loads to watch over on Curzon Home Cinema. My picks this week are The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (above), a madcap reimagining of Don Quixote where reality and fantasy become blurred; The Public, about political defiance and human connection with a public library that opens to shelter the homeless; brand new film The Assistant, which tackles the #MeToo awakening in 2017, featuring Ozark’s rising star Julia Garner. 

Find more ideas here

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