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What’s In – the best bits online this week

Put an end to boredom with our new Muddy guide to fun stuff to amuse yourself and stream at home.

Warwickshire’s ALSO Digital Festival goes live this weekend, May 15-17

This weekend ALSO Digital Festival offers you a weekend of world-class talks and conversations designed to help you rethink your work and the world post-C-19 including author, stylist and Grazia journalist Lauren Bravo on How To Break Up With Fast Fashion, learn to Beatbox like a Pro with former UK Garage MC and vocalist Flexie Muiso  and take part in a virtual expresso martini masterclass.

They’ve also got exceptional music, audio adventures, clever comedy, experiential workshops – oh and wild swimming. Check out the full schedule and experience the UK’s first summer festival delivered digitally here

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 tourof its headline exhibitions, plus you can explore the museum’s collections online. 

Next up it’s the Musée d’Orsayin 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 Victoriain Melbourne. You can take a look at the majorKeith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Linesexhibition on a tour with the curator. 

Philippa James Motherhood Online exhibition

LOCAL OPTION This scene look familiar? This is just one of the amazing shots in Oxfordshire photographer Philippa James’ new exhibition on motherhood. All photographs are available to view online and have been curated by Philippa from the work of women who’ve attended her Motherhood Photography Workshops.

Tuesday May 12 was International Day of the Nurse and the 200th birthday of the Lady of the Lamp, Florence Nightingale. At 8pm Coventry landmarks including the Belgrade Theatre, the Herbert Art Gallery and Broadgate were illuminated in shades of blue to say thank you to the nurses, doctors, porters, lab technicians, cleaners and all frontline staff. Check out the images shared by Coventry City of Culture Trust using the hashtag #CoventryGlows.


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). 


Twiddling your thumbs? Bitish artist Sir Antony Gormley (he created the Angel of the North) has filmed an art masterclassfor 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.


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. 


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 Worldplatform, 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 record 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 OPTION Boots and cats and boots and cats! Nope, I haven’t lost the plot, that’s my feeble attempt at beatboxing. Playbox Theatre in Warwick has teamed up with record-breaking beatboxer SK Shlomo (he’s buddys with Bjork, Ed Sheeran and Lily Allen btw) to teach kids how to beatbox. Sessions are every Thursday at 2pm on their Facebook page (but you can watch later in the week). Look out for the Muddy interview coming soon.


Ruby Wax

Always wanted to have a poke around your favourite author’s home? Well here’s you 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 Frazzledand 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 the week is a reading from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Hisham Matar from his new book, A Month in Siena an exploration of loss, love, intimacy and art.


SLF (Stratford Lit Fest) Goes Live, from May 9. Videos of interviews with some of the most interesting authors due to appear at this week’s festival can been seen at throughout this week.

They’ll include the likes of highly-acclaimed author and playwright Michael Frayn (pictured above), Sunday Times Chief Foreign Correspondent Christina Lamb on rape as a weapon of war; Christopher Somerville and Andrew Ziminski on cathedrals; Claire Hunter on sewing as a means of protest throughout history; Damian Barr and Jonathan Freedland, aka bestseller Sam Bourne, on their latest novels; Simon Reid Henry on challenges to democracy in the 21st century; David Barrie on the astonishing way animals navigate, Guardian food writer Felicity Cloake on her French food odyssey, Muddy fave Clover Stroud and Virago Publisher Lennie Goodings on how writing a history can unexpectedly become a memoir.

TV & Film

Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe (which finished back in 2016) returned this week 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, and available on iPlayer. 

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. (from 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 Reverand that 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 with Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce, 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. 

Also streaming on multiple platforms from Wed is a new film from writer-director Eliza Hittman, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, (15) about a US 17-year-old from Pennsylvania who travels New York with her cousin in seek of an abortion – denied in her home state. Mark Kermode’s a big fan, praising it as profoundly moving and painfully authentic.

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