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What’s in – your guide to fun at home

There are heaps of cultural delights online this week from world-class theatre and film to virtual exhibition tours and concerts in your living room.

THEATRE

Image: Johan Persson

Top of my cultural hit list this week is a free online stream of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire on YouTube. Starring the always brilliant Gillian Anderson (if you haven’t seen her in Netflix’s Sex Education get to it, stat), Ben Foster (Lone Survivor) and Vanessa Kirby (The Crown) the critically acclaimed production was filmed at the Young Vic in 2014 by National Theatre Live. Available to watch until 28 May.

Also on YouTube is Globe Theatre’s next release The Winter’s Tale (2018) – the theatre has been treating us to free shows throughout lockdown and this one looks like a goodie for satiating your wanderlust. Set in the Sicilian courts and Bohemia, expect festivals, travel, playful costumes and a much needed dose of escapism (available until 31 May).

Fancy front row seats at the Royal Opera House? Part of the venue’s #OurHouseToYourHouse series you can watch Kenneth MacMillan experimental and poignant ballet Anastasia, about a woman who believes she is the daughter of the Russian Tsar. The story’s set to the haunting tune of Martinů’s Sixth Symphony. Warning: you many need tissues. Watch until 28 May.

FILM

Calling all film buffs! If you’re in the mood to watch some top notch content (Come Dine With Me just not cutting it anymore?) then tune into We Are One Festival, starting this weekend. The 10 day global film festival has 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 (29 May – 7 Jun). Watch here.

MUSIC

The Royal Albert Hall is doing its part to keep us entertained with a series of over 30 free live broadcasts filmed from artist’s and musician’s homes whilst the venue is shut. This week you have a rare opportunity to see Ivor Novello-winning producer, writer, singer, multi-instrumentalist and technologist Imogen Heap – if you haven’t heard of her, she’s an absolute creative powerhouse and has won a Grammy for her work with Taylor Swift and was Grammy nominated as the Composer & Arranger for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on the West End (29 May). Wowzer.

Also on the bill is a live concert from Leeds-born indie band Kaiser Chiefs (of I Predict A Riot fame) and a special classic performance for children by the Albert’s Band’s cellist Samara Ginsberg and pianist Leo Nicholson. All ages welcome, plus it’s a great opportunity to get the kids doing something cultural (no, PlayStation doesn’t count).

And finally, to the joyous cries of over 40s everywhere, Robbie Williams is reuniting with his fellow Take That band mates for a one off concert streamed live from their homes. For Take That stans (stalker fans) it’s a big deal – the band haven’t performed as a whole since 2018. Watch here.

EXHIBITIONS & MUSEUMS

Missed the V&A’s Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk? The museum have 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

TV

Loved The Office? Steve Carell and Greg Daniels are back with a brand new mocumentary series Space Force, Netflix’s first foray into an original sitcom. It’s promising a similar set up, about a group of colleagues who work at the newly formed Space Force (29 May). Alternatively, if you’re looking for a hard-hitting documentary, also out on the streaming giant this week is Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, which features stories from survivors (27 May).

Over on BBC Two is a brand new series of QI hosted by Danish pocket rocket Sandi Toksvig. Expect all the usual quirky facts, comedy and ‘quite interesting answers’ (28 May, 9pm).

And finally, Bake Off: The Professionals starts this Tuesday (26 May) over on Channel 4, hosted by funnyman Tom Allen and Bake Off break out star Liam Charles. Who knows, with all the banana bread I’ve been making, maybe I’ll be appearing on the show next year?

Kids

Flower crowns as worn by Shakespeare’s characters Perdita and Florizel at the sheep-shearing festival in The Winter’s Tale, as seen in the RSC’s production in 2006 

The RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon has a range of lovely seasonal family-friendly craft activities available to audiences online throughout half term and beyond from making a flower crown to creating your own bear for The Winter’s Tale.

Art

Artist Peter Goss painting in his garden in Treddington

Next month Coventry and Warwickshire’s biggest free art event celebrates 20 years in 2020 with hundreds of artists promoting their work virtually from June 20 – July 5.

Although the physical event is unable to go ahead due to Covid-19 restrictions the show will still go on for Warwickshire Open Studios, whose event patron is writer and Bafta Fellow Andrew Davies, famous for his novels and screenplays including BBC adaptations of War and Peace, Les Misérables and Pride and Prejudice.

Hilary Roberts-photography in the South Lodge-Leamington

Traditionally amateur and professional artists across the region show off their creations at home, in a studio, workshop or garden. But organisers are delighted to announce that it will be hosting Art Weeks from Home – providing access to the online galleries of more than 300 artists across Coventry and Warwickshire, ·online studio tours from exhibiting artists and insight into how artists create their work

Work includes paintings, photography, installations, ceramics, glassware, stoneware, jewellery, drawings, printmaking, textiles and metalwork.

A selection of artists’ work at Ditchford Farm near Shipston

Head to wostudios.org and subscribe to the mailing list to find out more. You can also follow on Facebook @WarwickshireOpenStudios and on Instagram @warwickshireopenstudios and with the hashtag #artweeksfromhome

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