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The staying in boredom buster

It's a bit nippy for the sunlounger this week so head for the sofa instead - and get stuck into this week's best new at-home culture picks.

TV 

Cool headshot! Sky Documentaries has a stellar line up right now including Hillary. The four-parter takes an intimate look at the former First Lady and presidential candidate’s life, with behind-the-scenes footage of her 2016 bid to become the first female President, plus interviews with the Clinton clan. (On a Hillary roll? Acclaimed US novelist Curtis Sittenfeld’s new one, Rodham, imagines her life if she hadn’t married Bill. Warning: you might want to skip the icky sex scenes.)

Anyone else finding nature programmes deeply soothing during these weird times? We’re looking forward to catching up with David Attenborough’s new original series for Sky Nature. Take your pick from Kingdom of Plants, Galapagos, Micro Monsters or Flying Monsters, all equally awe-inspiring (ever heard of a pterosaur? Nope, us neither) and narrated in classic Attenborough style. Lovely. 

Elsewhere, the hotly anticipated second season of Pose, created by Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror StoryThe Politician), drops on Netflix this week. For those who haven’t seen it (quick, binge-watch season one pronto) the show is set in ’80s/’90s NYC and explores the underground ballroom culture scene through the lens of the African-American and Latino LGBTQ community. Gritty, glamorous and at the costumes are insane. Available from 11 June.

THEATRE 

Audience participation at the theatre can be a deal-breaker for some (aargh don’t pick me!), but Bristol-based theatre group Uninvited Guests have found a way to make it cool (and far less cringe) in their live Zoom show Love Letters at Home (above). Before the show, the audience send in song requests and dedications to loved ones to create an intimate and unique performance each night. Tickets by donation (until 26 June). 

The Old Vic is finally jumping on the online bandwagon this week and will now be streaming shows on its YouTube channel for free, starting with Olivier Award-winning A Monster Calls (2018). It’s about a young boy who is visited by a monster every night, whilst his mother is suffering from cancer. A must see (until 11 June). 

Image: Johan Persson

Fancy having Tom Hiddleston in your front room? Praise be to National Theatre then, as its next free stream is Shakespeare’s Corialanus starring the Hollywood hottie (until 11 June). 

Also this week, it’s the last call to see one of the Bard’s lesser known plays, The Merry Wives of Windsor, courtesy of The Globe – expect marriage, wealth, jealousy and lies. Available until 14 Jun. 

And finally, for ballet buffs, this week The ROH is streaming Frederick Ashton’s La Fille mal gardée (The Wayward Daughter). It’s a love story inspired by the Suffolk countryside featuring humour, elements of folk dance, maypole and, erm, dancing chickens! Curious? Watch 12 – 26 June. 

FILM

On the home movie reel this week, Knives Out (2019) comes to Amazon Prime Video. It’s a comedy whodunnit with more Hollywood names than you can shake a stick at including Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Toni Collette and Chris Evans (no, not that one). Available from 12 June. 

Elsewhere, on Curzon Home Cinema, my top pick this week is Misbehaviour, a portrait of race and feminism in the 1970s. The plot is based on the true events of the 1970 Miss World pageant where, not only was the first black woman crowned, but the event was crashed by the Women’s Liberation Movement. Charming, funny and feminist – just the way we like it. Also worth watching this week is Oscar-winning film Parasite, a very dark comedy about class and wealth in Korea. 

MUSIC 

Seattle-based musicians (Pearl Jam, Sir Mix-a-Lot, Macklemore and more) are teaming up this week for a virtual concert, All in WA, to raise funds for COVID-19 relief efforts across Washington state. You can watch the show live here, or it will be available on Amazon Prime after it airs. 

Or, on this side of the pond, upcoming singer/songwriter Lucy Dacus is performing a set from her home, part of the Royal Albert Home sessions.

MUSEUMS & EXHIBITIONS

If you’re looking for a cultural fix, BBC iPlayer has a brilliant mini series Museums in Quarantine which takes a sneaky peek inside national museum collections during lockdown. The half-hour episodes include an exploration of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, Tate Britain, Tate Modern (above) and The British Museum, the latter of which also has a revamped online collection for us to view at home. It’s the biggest virtual database in the world, with over four million objects and artefacts to scroll through including loads from Ancient Egypt. The collections also include over a quarter of a million new object photographs, including portraits by Damien Hirst. 

And finally, fans of The Clash can watch a film about the Museum of London’s iconic tribute exhibition London Calling, including photographs by the band’s tour photographer, Pennie Smith; behind-the-scenes studio footage; sketches by NME reporter and artist Ray Lowry that have never been exhibited in public before. If you can’t Rock The Kasbah you can at least rock your sofa.

 

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