If your experience of lockdown so far has been anything like mine, you are constantly looking here, there, and everywhere for sources of entertainment and culture. As a frequent enjoyer of museums and gigs, I am sorely missing my culture fix, so I’ve compiled a list of a few suggestions of where to get your culture online during this lockdown period. The best bit about it is that you can enjoy these experiences in pyjamas, with a beverage of your choice, knowing that you’re saving lives the entire time!!
Galleries and Museums
- Live Life Art Gallery, Virtual Tour
- Tate Modern Art Gallery, Virtual Tour
- National Portrait Gallery, Virtual Tours (This one is extra exciting as the NPG was due to close for refurbishment this year, so you might have missed this gallery even without lockdown!)
- British Museum, Virtual Tour
- Not quite a museum, but Chester Zoo is doing livestreams of their animal feeds throughout the day! : https://www.facebook.com/events/2287733068192442/
- The National Theatre are showing one of their bestselling theatre productions of the past every Thursday night on their YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJgBmjHpqgs6WHi1g0FW7Tdf3ejvWbcL0
- The RSC are showing their 2017 production of Twelfth Night on Saturday April 11th: https://www.rsc.org.uk/news/twelfth-night-online-premiere-and-watch-along (photo credit: Manuel Harlan)
- The Royal Opera House is live-streaming a programme of opera and ballet on their YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/RoyalOperaHouse/featured
- The Globe Theatre is making six productions available for free on their streaming service Globe Player. The productions include critically-acclaimed productions of Hamlet and The Merry Wives of Windsor, which will be rotated from April 6th. Treat yourself to some timeless theatre to remind yourself that if these plays can survive 400 years, multiple world wars, and a plague, we can survive this.
Podcasts (available on Spotify and Apple Music)
- Off Menu with Ed Gamble and James Acaster
This is my personal favourite podcast, with over 50 episodes (and counting – they recorded a whole load of episodes before quarantine struck!) with a huge range of actors and comedians as guests. The only downside is the hungry feeling the podcast inevitably gives you (photo credit: Paul Gilbey)
- You’re Dead to Me, Greg Jenner
This is a brilliantly funny and educational history podcast, hosted by the ‘chief nerd’ on Horrible Histories! I’ve learned a lot from this podcast, as well as finding it wonderfully entertaining and easy to listen to. Whilst procrastinating from your university work, indulge in this not-so-guilty pleasure and still manage to feel productive!
- Time Crisis with Ezra Koenig
I can’t personally testify for this podcast, but I certainly can testify to the rave reviews my flatmate gives me. Hosted by Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, with a whole host of Hollywood guests like Rashida Jones and Jonah Hill, you’re sure to like this podcast if you like current events with celebrities peppered in
- My Dad Wrote a Porno, Jamie Morton, James Cooper, and Alice Levine
Again, I can’t personally testify, but this is a favourite of countless podcast enthusiasts, as is shown by its position in Spotify’s Top Podcasts list. With the crazy premise indicated by the title, hilarious conversations and awkward reading is guaranteed. Make sure to listen with headphones if you happen to be isolating with young children…
- Quest Radio!!!: https://www.mixcloud.com/QuestRadio/stream/
One of Queen Mary’s student media children itself, you can find plenty of episodes of loads of shows from Quest Radio on Mixcloud. With plenty of bias, I can recommend my own show with my friend Sara, The Weekly Ketchup!, as well as Chai with Sawdah, the radio show of another CUB writer. Go crazy and support your QMUL media contributors!
- One of my favourite poets, Luke Wright, is doing a livestream on his Twitter (@lukewrightpoet) every single night at 8pm! I’ve seen him perform live a few times, and his incredible performance is nothing short of moving and hilarious, all at once. For half an hour each day, why not indulge in some incredible performance poetry?
- Christine and the Queens is broadcasting musical livestreams every day on their Instagram (@christineandthequeens). Tune in for indie loveliness and funky outfits, as well as killer dancing. Christine and the Queens is one of the most cutting edge acts on the music scene at the moment, and we’re being offered free gigs – take them!!
- Miley Cyrus has started a daily talk show on her Instagram (@mileycyrus) called Bright Minded, featuring conversations on LGBTQ+ history and songwriting, featuring guests like Reese Witherspoon and Paris Hilton. Whether you love her for the Hannah Montana or Wrecking Ball era, Miley is an enticing and intelligent woman who knows how to entertain
- The Drag Queens of Rupaul’s Drag Race are livestreaming to fill the gap sadly left by the cancelled Werq the World tour across a huge list of cities and countries. For those who missed out on the cancelled tour, or maybe missed out on tickets in the first place, or even those who have never heard of it, this is a brilliant opportunity to witness the finest drag in the world, as hosted by Bianca del Rio and Lady Bunny on April 4th! (https://vossevents.com/events/werq-the-world-live-stream/)
Some incredible hubs of writing have opened their virtual doors to our eager eyes, including the New York Public Library, JStor, Cambridge and Oxford University Presses, Harvard Business Review, and Kortex. What a brilliant opportunity to further not only your university reading and writing but your enjoyment reading too!
CUB itself is also a wonderful source of talented and interesting writers, all of whom are people we can all relate to as students. Whether it’s covering the COVID-19 situation, or distracting us from it with reviews and insights, CUB is a brilliant source of entertainment that we mustn’t forget!
I won’t presume to recommend specific shows on any streaming sites (rest assured that each and every option has wicked choices to flick between, whether you’re into documentaries, comedy, or thriller), but Netflix, Amazon Prime, Now TV, and the brand new Disney+, are all offering their usual free trial periods, which I would absolutely recommend taking advantage of. If not now, when?