Day 15894 in lockdown (or something like that). Don't worry, my curated guide to the week will keep you entertained at home.
The first season of Ricky Gervais’ brilliant Afterlife was the chatter at Muddy HQ for weeks, so I’m really excited to see the brand new season launching on Netflix this week (24 Apr). The dark comedy, about a small town journo who loses his wife to cancer, is a surprise tear jerker so make sure you have tissues to hand. Watch the trailer here.
On a lighter note, new cooking show Cooked with Cannabis is also launching on Netflix this week (20 Apr). Chefs compete to get celebrities high on cannabis cuisine – basically, it’s like Masterchef, except everyone’s stoned.
And finally, Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People (it’s excellent lockdown reading) is coming to BBC iPlayer – all 12 episodes are dropping on Sunday (26 Apr) so make sure you stock up on snacks and clear your diary because you’re going to want to binge the whole thing.
An army of pop stars are uniting this Thursday to cover the Foo Fighters ‘Times Like These’ for Radio One’s #StayHomeLiveLounge. You can listen to the performance at 12pm on Radio 1 and see the video on telly that evening on The Big Night In on BBC One. Stars include Lewis Capaldi, Duo Lipa and Rita Ora.
The Royal Scottish National Orchestra are supplying the soundtrack to your Friday night on YouTube and Facebook with never before seen footage released every week.
Choirmaster and presenter of BBC’s The Choir Gareth Malone has recently set up a new initiative to bring together amateur and professional performers around the country. If you want to take part in The Great British Home Chorus (singing or playing an instrument) you can register here.
London Symphony Orchestra is also continuing to stream concerts from its archive every Thurs (7.30pm) and Sun (7pm) on its YouTube channel. This week you can listen to The Rose Lake, followed by Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring.
Food & Drink
Wagamama is dishing out tutorials for the restaurant’s favourite recipes weekly on Instagram, part of the new Wok From Home IGTV series. Recipes so far have included katsu curry, wok fried greens and yasai yaki soba (*drool*).
If it’s booze you’re after (isn’t it always at times like this) then we would recommend tuning into Anthropologie’s live cocktail making session on Zoom (21 Apr), hosted by mixing pros from Fever Tree Tonics. Or there’s The Live Virtual Whisky Tasting Masterclass hosted by Forbes whisky writer, tastings host and World Whisky Awards judge Felipe Schrieberg. Sessions include tips and tricks on tasting whisky, plus six samples delivered to your door to try as you go.
Holidays have been cancelled (*sob*) but Google’s come to our rescue to supply a little escapism with virtual tours around the world. We’re fancying a rooftop tour of Paris‘ most famous landmarks and a wizz around the Pyramids. There’s also a tour of London’s coolest street art if you fancy a jaunt in the Big Smoke.
Or fancy a trip to the Netherland’s famous tulip gardens? You can take a 360 virtual tour of Keukenhof – the world’s largest bulb-flower garden with 800+ varieties of tulips – over on its YouTube channel.
Pass the popcorn! Alongside it’s Home Cinema service, which lets you stream movies from your sofa, Curzon have a series of live Q&As to accompany screenings – up this week is Sulphur & White with David Tait, Julian Jarrold, Susie Farrell, Mark Stanley and Emily Beecham (21 Apr, 8.30pm) and Moffie with Oliver Hermanus (24 Apr, 8.30pm). You can watch via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Curzon Home Cinema.
Curzon also have a fantastic selection of arty screenings, part of the Exhibition on Screen series that you can stream this week including Leonardo: The Works, Van Gough and Japan, Young Picasso – I’m going to watch ’em all!
Film company Focus Features is hosting live screenings of classic films on its Facebook every Monday for free – up this week you can watch 90s rom-com Mallrats, plus there’s a live watch party with star of the film Kevin Smith.
And finally, Secret Cinema is hosting a screening every Friday. Sign up to the newsletter here to be sent costume suggestions and music playlists to get you in the mood for the film. The best bit? The company has partnered with Häagen-Dazs so you can order the ice cream flavour of the week to scoff whilst viewing.
Fancy a bit of the Bard? Shakespeare’s Globe theatre is reeling out a new show every fortnight for us to watch, alongside accompanying backstage videos, podcasts and more. Up this week is Dominic Dromgoole’s 2099 production of Romeo + Juliet (available 20 Apr – 3 May).
Another inventive way to watch Shakespeare is with new initiative The Show Must Go Online which streams live readings, given by professional actors, on YouTube. Shows start at 7pm every Wednesday.
There’s a whole loada cultural delights on BBC Performance Live – a page dedicated to showcasing exciting contemporary artists. There are 13 shows to watch including the national production of LOVE. Also on BBC iPlayer there’s Emma Rice’s Wise Children, based on Angela Carter’s bawdy and bright novel about show business, forgiveness and hope.
And finally, Edinburgh Fringe fave Notflix: The Improvised Musical, performed by an all-female musical improv group, is hosting a film club on Facebook live, Wednesdays at 7.30pm. The cast take suggestions from the audience to put together a musical over Zoom. Bound to be bonkers.
Fear your kids are spending too much time staring at an iPad and too little time doing anything meaningful during lockdown? Author Julia Donaldson (of The Gruffalo and Zog fame) is doing readings of her children’s books every Thurs at 4pm with guest illustrators. You can find the videos here. Or the BooksTrust has heaps of online books, videos, readings and games for kids.
The Tate is also coming to parents’ rescue with five arty challenges for children. Kids can make an optical illusion plant pot (below) inspired by British painter Bridget Riley; friendship bracelets inspired by Anni Albers’s weaving techniques; Jackson Pollock-style chocolate art; Damien Hirst-inspired plate spinning; surreal creatures inspired by the Surrealist movement.
There’s also Harry Potter at Home, a new online hub for kids, made in collaboration with Scholastic and Bloomsbury. The site has loads of activities, quizzes, crafts, reading and magic to keep the little people entertained.
For smaller kids, CBeebies presenter Maddie Moate has launched a YouTube show Let’s Go Live, airing weekdays at 11am. Each week has a different theme with games, craft projects, and interesting info.
Museums & Galleries
The Science Museum may be closed but it’s using the power of, erm, science to bring the exhibitions to you with virtual tours, online games and fun kids activities. The collection is also available to view online, with over 325,000 objects and items, many pf which you can view virtually in 3D.
If Renaissance, Baroque and Impressionism is more your bag, then head straight for the The National Gallery‘s website. The gallery has teamed up with Google Street view to create a virtual tour of the exhibition rooms (watch out for people caught nose picking on camera). And then the Tate Modern is offering a virtual tour of the new Andy Warhol exhibition (above) complete with a commentary from curators Gregor Muir and Fiontán Moran.
Hastings Contemporary in East Sussex wins the award for the most creative way to tackle lockdown with real-time tours around the gallery using a super-techy telepresence robot that patrols the exhibitions. And then, over at cool contemporary gallery Kettle’s Yardin Cambs, you can see snapshots of the exhibitions taken by webcam of the museum.