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Staying in? Here’s what’s on

A virtual arts festival, hot new Netflix releases, high brow theatre (and low brow Love Island!) - it's all going on online this week. Stream if you wanna go faster!


With social distancing halting any festival plans this year, the annual Oxford Festival of the Arts is taking its programme online with 19 digitised events (Jun 18 – 5 Jul). This week you can score tickets for a performance by acclaimed tenor Joseph Calleja (18 Jun), Labour MP Anneliese Dodds in conversation with BBC Political Correspondent Rob Watson (they’ll be discussing Covid, the EU, arts and education, 19 Jun), the award-winning ORA Singers (20 Jun) and Zoë Gilby, winner of the Winner of Parliamentary Jazz Awards Jazz Vocalist Of The Year 2019 (21 Jun). Tickets here.


Looking to reboot your lockdown beauty routine? John Lewis is hosting a virtual series of talks, over seven weeks, with top beauty brands an experts including Charlotte Tilbury, Acqua Di Parma and celebrity makeup artist Caroline Barnes. Sessions will be on Tuesdays, with ticket sales supporting charity Refuge. Up this week is one for him indoors a Grooming Masterclass with Acqua Di Parma (16 Jun) – early Father’s Day present, maybe?


Anyone else shocked by the queues lining up outside McDonald’s drive-thrus when they reopened? Some people really, really like chicken nuggets, it seems. We’re looking forward to watching Sky Documentaries‘ six-part series on the fast food giant, McMillion$, which follows the bizarre story of a McDonald’s Monopoly game scam during the 1990s that resulted in $24m of fraud (now that would buy a lot of chicken nuggets). 

Also out this week is the hotly anticipated second season of Netflix’s comedy drama The Politician, below, where ruthless rich kid and aspiring President Payton Hobart (Ben Platt) moves on from high school to navigate the tricky political landscape of college. It also stars Gwyneth Paltrow and is created by Ryan Murphy who wrote both Glee and American Horror Story – put those two shows together and you get this one, basically. (Jun 19). 

The shocking Salisbury poisonings in 2018, when a former Russian spy and his daughter were attacked by a nerve agent, sounded like the plot of a Bond film so it’s no surprise to hear it’s been picked up by the BBC for a three-part drama. It concludes Tues (Sun 14 – Tues 16) and you can catch up on iPlayer. 

Finally, for those of you that are gutted that Love Island is airing this summer, ITV2 have answered your prayers for totally addictive, low-brow telly and will be instead showing the Australian version. It’s promising even more drama, cat fights and love triangles than the British version. Fair dinkum, cobber.


Looking for laughs? Baby Mama drops on Netflix this week (16 Jun). Straight-laced Kate (Tina Fey) employs an unruly surrogate (Amy Poehler) to carry her child after learning she is infertile. Any film starring these two long-term co-stars and pals is always a dead cert for a girls’ movie night (Mean Girls, Wine Country). You can even watch together from your own homes using Netflix extension, Netflix Party. Available fro 16 Jun. 

Elsewhere, Curzon Home Cinema has added a few newbies to its streaming service including Days of Bagnold Summer, based on Joff Winterhart’s award-winning bildungsroman graphic novel about the relationship between a stroppy teen and his mother (can relate). There’s also Woody Allen’s A Rainy Day In New York staring rising Hollywood starlets Timothée Chalamet and Elle Fanning. Expect chance meetings, romance and kissing in the rain – all the tropes of an easy-watch rom-com. 


It’s not often they you get to experience the best theatre from the front row, let alone for FREE – but one of the silver linings of lockdown is that the National Theatre Live has released loads of shows for home viewing on its YouTube channel. Each one is available for just seven days so don’t miss out. The Madness of George III is dropping on 11 June and looks like a goodie. Written by Alan Bennett and starring Olivier Award-winners Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) and Adrian Scarborough (Gavin and Stacey) the plot follows the King’s downfall at the hands of ambitious politicians and the scheming Prince of Wales.

Meanwhile, The Globe’s next streaming offering is A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2013). You know the drill – Hermia loves Lysander and Helena loves Demetrius, but Demetrius is supposed to be marrying Hermia. It’s performed with Renaissance costumes and staging (15 – 28 Jun). 

There’s also still chance to watch Frederick Ashton’s La Fille mal gardée (The Wayward Daughter) via The Royal Opera House. It’s a love story inspired by the Suffolk countryside featuring humour, elements of folk dance, maypole and, erm, dancing chickens! Curious? Watch until 26 Jun.

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