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Staying in saviour – what to stream this week

If the sofa is your No.1 destination this week (rain, rain go away!) then you'll be needing my guide to the best telly, theatre, film and a cool virtual art installation.

THEATRE

If you haven’t signed up to Disney+ yet, now would be the time as Hamilton The Musical will be available exclusively on the streaming service from 3 July – so that’s Saturday night sorted. If you don’t know already (erm, where have you been?) the smash-hit Broadway musical follows the journey of Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the United States and is told entirely through hip hop and rap. It’s breathtakingly brilliant (you’ll love it even if you’re anti-musicals), so definitely worth a watch. You’d normally pay £100+ per ticket to see it at the theatre…

Most theatres are unlikely to open their doors any time soon, but luckily there’s a fantastic online offering from brilliantly inventive and local Creation Theatre to keep us entertained. On Sat 4 July Creation is encouraging us all to set up camp in the back garden and take part in the Creation Under Canvas Fundraising Festival where actors will be reading classic tales and and bedtime stories via Zoom. Tickets are FREE with a suggested donation of £20.

This week the National Theatre is spoiling us with two productions, starting with A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Captured live from the Bridge Theatre in 2019, this version stars Game of Thrones‘ Gwendoline Christie as Titania, as well as Oliver Chris (One Man, Two Guvnors), David Moorst (Allelujah!) and Hammed Animashaun (Barber Shop Chronicles) as Oberon, Puck and Bottom (until 2 Jul).

This will be followed by a 2016 archive recording of Lorraine Hansberry’s Les Blancs, a powerful exploration of identity in post-colonial Africa. The cast includes Danny Sapani (Black PantherKilling Eve), Siân Phillips (People, Clash of the Titans) and Tunji Kasim (NetworkAntony & Cleopatra).

Elsewhere, on the National Ballet’s YouTube channel you can watch romantic ballet La Sylphide which will be available to stream for 48 hours from 1 Jul. Love, sorrow, tragedy and a few ethereal forest spirits thrown in for good measure – all the ingredients needed for a captivating production.

And finally, if you’re feeling a little dramatic (aren’t we all at the moment) find your release at a Zoom theatre workshop with Front & Centre. This week’s line up includes dance workshops from Alex Hetherington (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie) on 29 Jun, and Benjamin Cook (Broadway’s Mean Girls) on 3 Jul, plus an acting class and Q&A from Charlie Stemp (Mamma Mia The Musical) on 1 Jul.

ART

Ever feel the need to vent your frustration at the current situation? You’re not the only one! Marcus Lyall’s Scream the House Down is an an interactive light installation, powered by people’s screams. Yes really! You’re invited to vocalise your inner frustrations and power a large-scale light installation. Join a Zoom Call and watch your outburst light up a soon-to-be-demolished office block in London Bridge.

It’s has been going down a storm across the globe from London to New York, Hong Kong and Russia – so, due to demand the installation has been extended until Sat July 11. From young to old, from teachers and NHS staff to teenagers, furloughed workers and local councillors, there’s been a huge range of cathartic vocal expression. If you fancy a scream or shout, find out how you can join in here.

FILM

For the little people, Frozen II will also be available to watch from 3 Jul packing new songs (Let It Go is permanently embedded in my brain) and adventure as Elsa venues into the enchanted forest following a mystical voice that calls for her.

Edinburgh International Film, which was postponed in early June, is streaming this week on Curzon Home Cinema. The festival emphasises new talent, discover and innovation within the film industry and you can watch the 13 new films until 5 Jul. We’re looking forward to historical drama Fanny Lye Deliver’d, starring Maxine Peake, Charles Dance and Freddie Fox. Directed by British indie director Thomas Clay the film, set in rural Shropshire 1657, follows Puritan wife Fanny who transcends her oppressive marriage.

MUSIC

If you’re not too exhausted from Glastonbury garden parties, then reapply your glitter and stock the fridge with tinnies for Wireless festival (3 – 5 Jul). Usually held in Finsbury Park, the weekender is going virtual with three days of music and unseen performances available to watch in 360° virtual reality (erm, pretty cool right?). The line up includes hip hop and rap artists Tyga, Skepta, Not3s and Bugzy Malone (ask a passing teenager).

Soundabout, the national Oxford-based charity using music to unlock the potential of people with learning disabilities, is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a virtual inclusive music ‘festival’ and tea party via Facebook on Sun July 12.

Thomas’ Tea Party is held in honour of Thomas Hall, whose parents John and Sarah Hall founded the charity to celebrate his short life. Supporters are being encouraged to join in by hosting their own socially distanced tea parties while enjoying the inclusive music festival.

Special guest, actress Jessica Hynes, who plays the mum of learning disabled Rosie in the BBC 2 drama There She Goes with David Tennant will kick off proceedings, which will include an appearance by the Soundabout Inclusive Choir, as well as acts from various artists and music practitioners throughout the day.

Jessica Hynes and David Tennant in the BBC’s comedy drama There She Goes centred on the day-to-day life of a family looking after their severely learning disabled girl, Rosie. Image: BBC

Throughout the UK lockdown Soundabout’s online music sessions have helped to reduce the isolation and create a much-needed sense of belonging for many families.

Thomas’ Tea Party will take place from 2pm-6:30pm. A £10 donation is welcomed to support Soundabout’s ongoing work helping individuals to create broader relationships and remove barriers to music making. justgiving.com/campaign/ThomasTeaParty

TV

Bring out the strawberries and cream and Champagne – Wimbledon may be cancelled this year but you can still get your tennis fix on BBC2. All week the channel will be celebrating the event with replays of iconic finals, documentaries, interviews with players, plus the whole weekend will be dedicated to Andy Murray. Game, set, match!

Meanwhile, if you haven’t watched I May Destroy You on BBC iPlayer, get to it, stat. The brilliant Michaela Coel (who also created the show) stars as Arabella, a super-cool millennial novelist who struggles to remember her sexual assault after being spiked on a night out with friends. It’s touching, humourous and deftly written. I binge-watched the first six episodes this weekend in a single sitting (hey, they’re only half an hour each!). Two new episodes are released every Monday.

I’m also looking forward to getting started on the new season of My Brilliant Friend the gorgeous but heartbreaking Elena Ferrante adaptation on Sky Atlantic about two friends, Lenù and Lila, growing up in 1950s Naples.

Love Don’t Tell the Bride? A brand new wedding reality show is dropping on Netflix on 1 Jul called Say I Do: Surprise Weddings, which sees a team of experts plan a wedding in week from the proposal to the food, decor and dress. It’s from the creators of Queer Eye so is bound to be a dead cert.

Also coming to the streaming giant this week is Baby-Sitters Club, a modern remake of Ann M. Martin’s books that follow a group of girlfriends and their homegrown babysitting business (3 Jul).

Find more ideas here

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