The government has imposed strict lockdown measures to protect the British public from the coronavirus. We have been ordered to stay in our homes unless we need to buy food, exercise once a day, helping a vulnerable person, or go to work if you are a key worker.
Luckily there are plenty of things to do for entertainment while you’re stuck inside. To check out any of the recommendations below click on the bold blue underlined words to be linked with a website with more details.
Help fight coronavirus – Even if you’re self-isolating, you can help fight against coronavirus by self-reporting your symptoms each day. King’s College London is asking people to check in daily on this app – even if they’re feeling well. This will allow scientists to better track the spread of the disease and identify vulnerable communities.
The Globe Theatre – Catch up with the bard!
OR if you like if you like Shakespeare’s plays why not watch them all in order!! – Actor and director Robert Myles has started project The Show Must Go Online, where a cast from around the world reads out Shakespeare’s plays over video. They’re going through them in the order which they’re believed to have been written.
The National Theatre – will be streaming a new play every Thursday 7pm, check out what’s next here.
Andrew Lloyd Webber – A selection of Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals will be released weekly on the YouTube channel The Shows Must Go On, starting on 3 April with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The 2000 version stars Donny Osmond, Maria Friedman, Richard Attenborough and Joan Collins. It’s followed by Jesus Christ Superstar on 10 April which, appropriately enough, is Good Friday. Tim Minchin and Melanie C star in the 2012 staging. Each show will be available free for 48 hours online.
Funny Girl – Showtunes don’t get much more defiant or rousing than Don’t Rain on My Parade. Sheridan Smith wards off the clouds with a gritty rendition as Fanny Bryce in this production of the classic musical at Manchester’s Palace theatre in 2017. It’s one of the many productions available from Digital Theatre, whose offerings also include The Crucible starring Richard Armitage at the Old Vic in London, and Maxine Peake’s Hamlet at the Royal Exchange in Manchester. £7.99 to rent.
New York City Metropolitan Opera House – Streaming nightly. The performances, originally captured as live broadcasts in movie theaters worldwide, will begin at 7:30 PM from the company’s homepage. (The featured performances—and several others—are available via the Met Opera on Demand subscription service, though the videos in the nightly series will be made available for free for 20 hours following the initial stream).
Flowers for Mrs Harris – Paul Gallico’s 1958 novel Mrs ’Arris Goes to Paris, about a charlady who covets a designer gown, became one of the most acclaimed British musicals in recent years. Written by Rachel Wagstaff, with music and lyrics by Richard Taylor, it was the swansong of Sheffield Crucible’s artistic director Daniel Evans in 2016 and remounted by him when he took over at Chichester Festival theatre. That 2018 staging is the first of several archive recordings promised by Chichester. Available free for 30 days from 9 April.
Half Moon Theatre – Half moon have lots of online shows, some are free, some pay what you can and donations, family friendly, 12+ and some 15+ take a look at what they have to offer.
The Importance of Being Earnest – One should always have something sensational to watch online. You’ve got until 7pm on 12 April to enjoy Oscar Wilde’s epigram-packed comedy, directed by Nikolai Foster and co-produced by Leicester’s Curve and Birmingham Repertory theatre. Cathy Tyson plays Lady Bracknell and Isla Shaw’s mirrored set also dazzles.
Rain – Ten dancers run rings round each other to Steve Reich’s minimalist music in Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s shimmering production, performed by her Rosas company. Nifty costume changes mean the outfits – by Dries van Noten – subtly seem to bloom into colour during the show. Rain will be screened on 10 April as part of Sadler’s Wells’ Facebook Premieres, then available to watch for a week.
Crossings – Rural touring company Pentabus are releasing shows from their archive every Friday over a period of three months. Deirdre Kinahan’s play Crossings is, according to our critic Arifa Akbar, “an unexpected and touching drama about unlikely friendships, postwar homosexuality and the cost of war for women”.
Breach Theatre -This year’s Edinburgh festival has been cancelled, but you can catch up on the fringe hits of the smart, questing young company, Breach Theatre. Their breakthrough 2015 show, The Beanfield (on Vimeo), revisits the clash between police and new age travellers near Stonehenge in what was dubbed the “battle of the beanfield”. Breach’s widely acclaimed 2018 piece It’s True, It’s True, It’s True had been due to run at London’s Barbican this month but is now online instead from the Space. It’s a compelling three-hander evoking the 1612 trial of Agostino Tassi, accused of rape by baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi.
I, Cinna – The outbreak of homeschooling caused by the coronavirus has found many of us playing the role of teacher while still in our dressing gowns. And here’s one unexpected tutor who really commands your attention: Jude Owusu, clad in a dirty bathrobe, with a pen behind his ear and a notepad dangling around his neck. Owusu is Cinna, the poet from Julius Caesar, in this spellbinding film of Tim Crouch’s monologue, part of his series magnifying the experiences of minor characters from Shakespeare.
Showstopper! The Improvised Musical – After more than 1,000 productions, the Showstoppers improv crew are some of the quickest wits in the biz. So it’s no surprise that when they were faced with a West End closure they live-streamed a performance. Watch their custom-made, never-to-be-repeated improv musical on Facebook.
And if after all that culture you fancy a bit of action and slapstick how about watch the Marvel films in order! – If you’ve signed up for Disney Plus, you’ve got access to pretty much all the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Watch them in chronological order using this guide.
Learn a language – There are plenty of apps that help you learn a language for free. Download one and spend 30 minutes a day teaching yourself how to speak French, German, Japanese – or whatever language takes your fancy.
Couch to 5k – Keep active by downloading a Couch to 5k app and heading out into the fresh air for a jog three times a week. Just make sure that you maintain a two-metre distance from other people while you’re out running.
Take a free Ivy League course – Ivy League colleges in the USA are offering free courses online. You can take anything from Buddhism and Modern Psychology, to The Global Financial Crisis, to one that’s just called ‘Success’.
Take a virtual tour of Buckingham Palace – Many UK tourist attractions offer virtual tours, so you can look around from the comfort of your own home. The Buckingham Palace tour allows you to snoop around the Queen’s house while learning about the history of the royal family.
MOMA – You can see the MOMA’s most impressive works with a virtual tour. If you’re feeling artistic, you could even try sketching some of the works on show.
Phew after all that culture I’m in need of a little lie down!!
Start a virtual book club – You might not be able to meet up in person, but you could organise a virtual book club with your friends. Whether you all read the same book or just share recommendations, having a regular video call will help you feel connected.
Phone a friend – Phone an elderly neighbour who might be feeling lonely, a relative who you haven’t spoken to in a while, or even just a friend who you ordinarily would only see in the pub. Many people will be feeling isolated during this period of social-distancing and keeping in touch is important for our mental health. Read our guide to mental health here
Come Dine with Me – Take it in turns to cook and score the meals, get the whole family or household involved. Why not get the kids involved, let them help devise the menu or cook!!
Housework – If you have kids, show them how, it’s never to early to show kids the basics and get them to help you out!!
Donate to your local food bank – Many supermarkets have a drop-off point where you can leave donations for your local food bank. Most food banks will also allow you (and may even prefer you) to make a cash donation online.
Buy a gift card – Do you have a birthday’s, anniversary or special occasion coming up during lock down? You can still do something special, why not make a silly video card on tik tok or WhatsApp or Facebook messenger with filters. Buy gift vouchers for local small businesses, they will be hit hard by coronavirus, and many are struggling financially. See if you can buy a gift card to use once the crisis is over, and the lock down is lifted. IF the person is a woman see if you can contact her hairdresser or nail salon and organise for vouchers for when lock down is over. For him, may his favourite local brewery or restaurant.
Host a virtual pub quiz or join in – Gather your friends for a virtual pub quiz where you ask the questions over a video call. You can also text out a picture round – whether the clues are emojis, or photos of things in your house.
Dig out an old favourite – Watch a film that you used to love, binge an old TV series from the first episode, or get stuck into a game that you haven’t played since you were a teenager. Now’s the time to take a trip down memory lane.
Game Olympics – Over a weekend or days!! Play your favourite board, card and even made up games and keep score! You can have a family or household trophy as a prize!! Good luck
Build a fort – with the kids and pretend to be pirates for a day!
Camp out in the garden – read ghost stories beneath the stars, if you dare.
Clean out your wardrobe – Try on all your clothes, and bag up any that you don’t want, or that don’t fit. You can’t take them to a charity shop at the moment, but once lock down is lifted it can be your first job.
Take a yoga class – Even if you’ve never done yoga in your life, there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube. Pick one and have a go next time you’re feeling cooped up.
Joe Wicks‘ daily PE classes, you knew this one was coming didn’t you!!
Dance in Your Pants – With dance venues closed for the foreseeable future, Dance in Your Pants is an online initiative to help you dance and practice in the safety of your own home.
Get out in the garden – If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, make the most of it. Eat your breakfast outside, pull some weeds, kick a ball about – anything to get you out of the house and into the fresh air.
Learn to juggle – Chances are you’ve got a few spare toilet rolls knocking around the house, so why not take an hour and see if you can teach yourself to juggle. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube if you’re not sure where to start – just stay away from anything breakable!
Draw something – It doesn’t matter how terrible you are, just put pen to paper and draw something. Whether it’s a bowl of fruit, or the view from your kitchen window, challenge yourself to create some art.
Read – Whether you’re already a regular reader, or you can’t remember the last time you finished a book – this is the perfect time to get lost in a good story. Set aside an hour, put your phone on silent, and read.
David Williams – Every day at 11am, you can listen one of David Walliams’ World’s Worst Children stories, so sit down, take a break, and enjoy 20ish minutes of pure fun! And don’t worry you can catch up and there lots of activities and fun on his website here
NASA Organizes ‘Story Time From Space’ Where Astronauts Read Bedtime Stories To Kids From The Space Station – Turns out, children can watch astronauts reading educational bedtime stories to them from space!! Wow might watch this one myself .. I mean “Take me to you leader” How can you resist!! In fact here you go check that one out below
Watch the Northern Lights – We might not be able to travel at the moment, but we can still see the world. This webcam is set up to capture the Northern Lights under the aurora oval – one of the best places on the planets to see the stunning display.
Set up a cinema – Make an occasion of a Friday or Saturday night by transforming your living room into a cinema. Make your favourite snacks, turn off all the lights, and lose yourself in a film. – Discussion after with friends, polls get into this when are you ever going to have time like this again!