We’re all looking for new ways to entertain ourselves during this time of isolation and Netflix can only keep you going for so long. If you’re used to getting out and about and immersing yourself in different types of art and culture, you might feel like you are really missing out. You are not alone and companies all over the globe are finding new ways to stay close to their audience. Today we’re looking at the brand new ways that you can recreate your big days out while staying at home.
There’s no need to miss out on a night out at the theatre as The National Theatre are streaming some of their top performances on YouTube every Thursday evening for free. Don’t worry if you already have plans on the nights they stream because all performances are available on-demand for seven days after the air date. Shows include Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and Frankenstein featuring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller.
The Globe is also providing a similar free service where they’ll be sharing six plays, one on rotation, every two weeks as part of their ‘YouTube Premieres’ series. Their first offering is Hamlet featuring The Globe Ensemble, from Artistic Director Michelle Terry. If the stunning surroundings of The Globe grab your attention, you can also take a virtual tour of the world-renowned theatre via their website.
If you missed the cult sell-out stage show of Fleabag by Sophie Waller-Bridge (writer and producer of Killing Eve), you now have the opportunity to stream it online with Amazon and Soho Theatre on Demand. There is a charge of £4 to watch the show but the money raised is split between four different charities, including NHS Charities Together and Acting for Others.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group, in partnership with Universal, is offering free broadcasts of the composter’s most celebrated shows, including worldwide hits ‘Cats’ and ‘The Phantom of the Opera’. A different show will stream each week at the brand new YouTube channel The Show Must Go On.
New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the most famous museums in the world, and now you have the opportunity to visit it, all from the comfort of your own home. The Met 360 Project is made up of six award-winning videos created using spherical 360° technology. You can experience The Met by standing in an empty gallery after-hours, witnessing a bustling space in time-lapse, or floating high above The Met Cloisters for a bird's-eye view.
Now you have the opportunity to visit the world’s largest art museum online. The Louvre in Paris, France offers online tours of four of its much-loved exhibitions, including in its fifth season the Louvre’s Petite Galerie exhibition ‘The Advent of the Artist’. This exhibition focuses on the transition from the typically anonymous craftsman of the classical period to the artist of the Renaissance (Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Michelangelo and Albrecht Altdorfer). Spread across four rooms, the exhibition features some forty artworks from the Louvre’s eight curatorial departments.
The Vatican in Rome has 360-degree virtual tours available in a number of its most famous areas. You can browse breathtaking attractions including the Sistine Chapel, Rachael’s Rooms and the Pio Clementino Museum and more.
The Smithsonian, the world's largest museum and research complex, with 19 museums, 9 research centres, and affiliates around the world. The virtual tour of The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History allows you to access all three floors of their Washington DC building. Be warned, you could lose hour browsing the numerous exhibits, featuring everything from dinosaurs to bugs.
Opera, Ballet & Dance
Whether opera and ballet are passions of yours or a whole new experience, head over to The Royal Opera House YouTube channel where you can watch full length shows, including Peter and The Wolf from The Royal Ballet & The Royal Ballet School, and Handel's Acis and Galatea from The Royal Opera & The Royal Ballet. Upcoming shows also include The Royal Ballet's The Metamorphosis.
While unable to perform live, Cirque Du Soleil is releasing weekly hour-long show specials via their YouTube channel. As they put it – ‘Now more than ever, we want to do our little part to spread joy, even from afar, directly to your safe spaces. Let us welcome you into our world where awe-inspiring show footage and fan favourite videos will transport you.’
Comedy at The Covid Arms is fast becoming a hugely popular live online comedy night. Using crowdsourcing, they’re selling tickets to their virtual event at £2 for the link and £10 for a ‘front row’ seat where the comedians will be able to see and interact with you. The night is run by Welsh Comedian Kiri Pritchard-Mclean - a double Chortle Award-winning stand up comedian and writer who has appeared on Have I Got News For You, The Russell Howard Hour (which she writes on) and Stand Up Central. With big names like Sara Pascoe and Suzi Ruffell, this night is sure to have you in stitches.
The Stay at Home Festival is an ongoing daily festival curated by comedians Josie Long and Robin Ince. The festival brings together podcasts, comedy nights, science shows, interviews, lectures and more. Contributors already include names such as Tim Minchin, Deborah Frances-White, Jo Brand, Chris Hadfield, Adam Kay, and Stephen Merchant.
Musicians across the globe are taking to social media to entertain but there are a handful of companies who are curating this wealth of online entertainment for you or are hosting events directly with the acts.
Ticketmaster is hosting a series of events called ‘Homecoming’. Their first season of intimate videos begins on April 14 and includes music and comedy acts from a diverse range of genres, including Matthew “Murph” Murphy (The Wombats, Love Fame Tragedy), comedian Paul Chowdhry, Jamie Lenman and more. They’re also curating an ongoing list of the best live streaming events so you can keep up-to-date with new events as they are announced.
Live Nation’s Live From Home webpage is the perfect place to stay up-to-date with all things live music-related. Not only does it have details of large digital music festivals but also give you information on where you can catch up on performers’ personal social media performances and TV appearances which you may have missed.
Houston Zoo allows us the opportunity to admire a selection of their menagerie via live streaming webcams. Watch the elephants or rhinos on their yard and watch the giraffes munch away on their latest meal. You can even move the webcam to take a look around the enclosures and focus on your favourite animal.
National Geographic has several stunning 360-degree videos on its YouTube channel, including areas of outstanding natural beauty, such as Iceland’s glaciers and Canada’s wild rivers. Or you can meet some of the world’s most breath-taking animals, such as lions, orangutans and hammerhead sharks.
Georgia Aquarium offers a wide variety of live webcams across their facility. Choose between the underwater puffin webcam, beluga whale webcam, the jelly webcam or many more. These watery scenes are incredibly relaxing, so it’s the perfect place to visit if you’re feeling stressed. Although most of the live cams are turned off at night, recordings are shown so there is always something to watch.
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