Virtual Actives during Covid-19 Lockdown

The current pandemic has changed the way we socialise, learn and work, now that we are unable to attend events and performances, and see each other in person. However, below is an extensive list of activities available online from virtual safaris at Longleat and Folly Farm, to online pub quizzes or online courses and free performances streamed from The National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. 

I hope you find something that interests you feel free to email me if you have any further activities or suggestions I can add to the list. 

THEATRE AND DANCE

  • The National Theatre is broadcasting an old production free every Thursday at 7pm.

  • Shakespeare's Globe is streaming an archive performance every week for six weeks, beginning with its 2009 production of Romeo and Juliet on April 13, followed by a 2013 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream on April 20. You can watch here.

  • A selection of Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals will be released weekly on the YouTube channel The Shows Must Go On . The next production will be Jesus Christ Superstar on 10 April. Each show will be available free for 48 hours online.

  • The cast of the Olivier-winning improvised musical Showstoppers live-streamed their show from the Lyric. You can still watch it here .

  • All four productions in Classic Spring’ s Oscar Wilde season in the West End can be watched on the online service Marquee TV, which is offering a 30-day free trial .

  • BroadwayHD is offering a seven-day free trial – with available shows including Cats, Kinky Boots, King Lear and A Doll’s House.

  • Cirque Du Soleil is to present weekly 60-minute programmes of its work online via a new digital hub called CirqueConnect .

  • ‘The Show Must Go Online’ is a digital project led by classical actor and director Robert Myles that aims to perform every single Shakespeare play from A to Z. Professional actors and experienced amateurs are invited to sign up to do a weekly reading, and the public can follow along on YouTube.

  • The Royal Court Theatre has made David Ireland’s Cyprus Avenue available to watch online until 26 April.

  • The North Wall Theatre has made a variety of productions available to watch online – with both kids and adults shows available .

  • 21 Chump Street – a mini musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda (creator of Hamilton) is available to watch on YouTube .

  • The Australian Ballet has launched ‘At Home with Ballet TV’ with David McAllister’s The Sleeping Beauty. Recorded in 2015, the production is cinema-quality, and available to stream for free until 17 April.

  • Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s performance of Fleabag, recorded at Wyndham’s Theatre in London where it sold out last summer, is available to stream in the UK and Ireland on Soho theatre’s On Demand site for £4, All proceeds will go towards the National Emergencies Trust NHS Charities Together and Acting for Others .

  • Artists from around the world are livestreaming events and showcasing their work at the Social Distancing Festival , a collection of performance, visual arts, music and more.

  • The Sydney Opera House has launched a new digital initiative, From our House to Yours. Free videos are uploaded daily.

  • The Met Opera are hosting nightly ‘Met Opera Streams’ .

  • The Royal Opera House are also streaming from their YouTube channel .

  • Garsington Opera has made The Bartered Bride and Le nozze di Figaro available to stream online .

MUSIC:

  • The London Symphony Orchestra is ‘Always Playing’. Visit lso.co.uk .

  • The Philharmonie have launched a ‘Digital Concert Hall’ – with both a collection of live music – from Beethoven to Mahler’s Second Symphony live – as well as its own film archive.

  • Wigmore Hall are doing regular live streams .

  • There are many full-length concerts available to stream for free – from Abba in 1979 to Radiohead’s first Glastonbury headline slot in the late 1990s….

  • The Piano Works bar is streaming live music via their Facebook page from 8pm to midnight every Friday and Saturday.

  • From Mozart and Mendelssohn to the Persian New Year Norouz, Malmö Live is offering a number of musical celebrations online for free.

  • The Kennedy Centre is uploading new shows to YouTube every day . Current uploads include Sara Bareilles, Gladys Knight and Queen Latifah.

  • Rolling Stone magazine has launched an “In My Room” series on InstagramTV – in which famous bands and artists perform intimate concerts from their own homes. New episodes are released every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

  • The Sofa Singers is a free online singing event which aims to ‘bring people together from around the world to spark joy and human connection.’ Hundreds of singers join a Zoom call and learn a new song together. Find out how to get involved here.

  • Lifefullness Live is running a daily sing-a-long at 5pm GMT. You can either join a video call near you to sing with your neighbours, or stream the event on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube.

  • Karaoke bar Lucky Voice is offering month's free subscription to their online karaoke player with the code LUCKY20.

FILM AND TV

MUSEUMS AND ART

  • Google Arts and Culture offers virtual tours of museums and views into their collections – including Big Pit, the Guggenheim and the British Museum. Find out more here.

  • Big Pit has some excellent learning resources here

  • The Louvre is offering a variety of virtual tours – as well as a selection of concerts filmed in the auditorium.

  • The Van Gogh Museum have launched “Museum at Home” – bringing their collection to your home.

  • The Dalí Museum have also launched an online collection .

  • The Tate has launched free online film tours of exhibitions on their YouTube channel. The virtual tours showcase over 100 artworks and are led by the Director of Tate's Collection of International Art, Gregor Muir.

  • David Hockney has shared 10 of his latest pictures, 9 of which have never been seen before, drawn on an iPad from the garden of his Normandy home. You can see the pictures here .

LITERATURE:

  • Every Tuesday at 5pm, Penguin is streaming live from the home of a best-selling author, as part of their new ‘At Home With Penguin’ series. Authors will discuss how they’re spending their time, talk about the books they are turning to, and take questions from readers. Featured authors include Marian Keyes, Melissa Hemsley, Caroline Criado Perez and Richard Osman.

  • Writer Robert McFarlane has launched a virtual book club via Twitter .

  •  You can now access more than a million books for free online as part of the ‘National Emergency Library ’.

  • Cliveden Literary Festival have uploaded a number of past talks to their YouTube channel – including by by Howard Jacobson, Ian McEwan, Kate Mosse, Ben Okri and Leila Slimani; Emily Maitlis and many more.

  • The Southbank Centre has launched ‘The Show Must Go On-line’ , with a wide variety of literary and musical offerings.

  • Patrick Stewart is reciting a Shakespeare sonnet a day via Instagram .

ONLINE COURSES:

CHILDREN'S AND LEARNING ACTIVITIES 

  • The Welsh Government Parents and carers' Hwb has a lot of useful information for parents and carers'.
  • The educational publishing company Scholastic announced has a digital learning hub for free that's intended to support virtual learning plans. The curriculum covers English language arts, STEM, social studies and social-emotional learning.

  • Children’s author Oliver Jeffers is doing nightly readings of his work live on his Instagram at 6pm.

  • Every Sunday, beginning at 11am EST (4pm BST), the Rockefeller Centre is offering live performances on its social media channels. The series is aimed at families, and it includes everything from puppet shows to live musical performances and art workshops. You can find out more about it here.

  • Books Trust are hosting number of free activities – from live readings, to draw-alongs.

  • Children's author Mo Willems is giving free drawing lessons called "Lunch Doodles" on YouTube every weekday. You can read more about them here .

  • Amazon has made over 40 shows and 80 movies available for kids to watch for free on its Prime platform. You don't even need a membership to watch.

  • Rosetta Stone is offering three months free for students during the coronavirus pandemic to learn a language of their choice.

  • The Imagination Tree has a number of free resources and ideas for kids’ activities.

OTHER:

  • Folly Farm has launched their animal webcams page which can be viewed here
  • Longleat has launched a virtual safari , narrated by a BBC Animal Park presenter.
  • Explore.org has nearly one hundred webcams set up in national parks and wildlife sanctuaries around the world and aggregates their livestreams on its website . These include the underwater Channel Islands Kelp Forest cam ; the above-water Manatee Cam at Florida's Blue Spring Park ; and the Northern Lights (the live cam is located at the Churchill Northern Studies Centre in Manitoba, Canada, directly underneath the aurora oval. With the arctic dark most of the day and the skies clear, now’s the perfect time to tune in).

  • The mindfulness app Headspace is offering a 2-week free trial.

  • Fender is offering new users a free three-month subscription to Fender Play , their online learning app for guitar, bass and ukulele. The platform uses instructor-guided videos to teach how to play songs from Led Zeppelin to Sia and Shawn Mendes.

  • Big Drop Brewing Co.'s virtual pub quiz game is available via livestream on YouTube on Tuesday nights. You can find out more about it here . A list of other virtual pub quizzes can be found here .

  • Many magazines and newspapers have lifted all of part of their paywalls – from the New York Times, to Vanity Fair, to the Wall Street Journal.

  • Milk Street Online Cooking School has made all of their classes free until 30 April – from ‘The Art of Kitchen Improv’ to ‘Some Like it Hot’ to ‘The Spice Kitchen’