What’s in – the curated guide to fun
If the sofa is your No.1 destination this week (rain, rain go away!) then you'll be needing our guide to the best telly, theatre, film and online festivals.
If you haven’t signed up to Disney+ yet, now would be the time as Hamilton The Musical will be available exclusively on the streaming service from 3 July – so that’s Saturday night sorted. If you don’t know already (erm, where have you been?) the smash-hit Broadway musical follows the journey of Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the United States and is told entirely through hip hop and rap. It’s breathtakingly brilliant (you’ll love it even if you’re anti-musicals), so definitely worth a watch. You’d normally pay £100+ per ticket to see it at the theatre…
Most theatres are unlikely to open their doors any time soon, but luckily there’s a fantastic online offering from brilliantly inventive and local Creation Theatre to keep us entertained. On Sat 4 July Creation is encouraging us all to set up camp in the back garden and take part in the Creation Under Canvas Fundraising Festival where actors will be reading classic tales and and bedtime stories via Zoom. Tickets are FREE with a suggested donation of £20.
This week the National Theatre is spoiling us with two productions, starting with A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Captured live from the Bridge Theatre in 2019, this version stars Game of Thrones‘ Gwendoline Christie as Titania, as well as Oliver Chris (One Man, Two Guvnors), David Moorst (Allelujah!) and Hammed Animashaun (Barber Shop Chronicles) as Oberon, Puck and Bottom (until 2 Jul).
This will be followed by a 2016 archive recording of Lorraine Hansberry’s Les Blancs, a powerful exploration of identity in post-colonial Africa. The cast includes Danny Sapani (Black Panther, Killing Eve), Siân Phillips (People, Clash of the Titans) and Tunji Kasim (Network, Antony & Cleopatra).
Elsewhere, on the National Ballet’s YouTube channel you can watch romantic ballet La Sylphide which will be available to stream for 48 hours from 1 Jul. Love, sorrow, tragedy and a few ethereal forest spirits thrown in for good measure – all the ingredients needed for a captivating production.
And finally, if you’re feeling a little dramatic (aren’t we all at the moment) find your release at a Zoom theatre workshop with Front & Centre. This week’s line up includes dance workshops from Alex Hetherington (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie) on 29 Jun, and Benjamin Cook (Broadway’s Mean Girls) on 3 Jul, plus an acting class and Q&A from Charlie Stemp (Mamma Mia The Musical) on 1 Jul.
For the little people, Frozen II will also be available to watch from 3 Jul packing new songs (Let It Go is permanently embedded in my brain) and adventure as Elsa venues into the enchanted forest following a mystical voice that calls for her.
Edinburgh International Film, which was postponed in early June, is streaming this week on Curzon Home Cinema. The festival emphasises new talent, discover and innovation within the film industry and you can watch the 13 new films until 5 Jul. We’re looking forward to historical drama Fanny Lye Deliver’d, starring Maxine Peake, Charles Dance and Freddie Fox. Directed by British indie director Thomas Clay the film, set in rural Shropshire 1657, follows Puritan wife Fanny who transcends her oppressive marriage.
If you’re not too exhausted from Glastonbury garden parties, then reapply your glitter and stock the fridge with tinnies for Wireless festival (3 – 5 Jul). Usually held in Finsbury Park, the weekender is going virtual with three days of music and unseen performances available to watch in 360° virtual reality (erm, pretty cool right?). The line up includes hip hop and rap artists Tyga, Skepta, Not3s and Bugzy Malone (ask a passing teenager).
Bring out the strawberries and cream and Champagne – Wimbledon may be cancelled this year but you can still get your tennis fix on BBC2. All week the channel will be celebrating the event with replays of iconic finals, documentaries, interviews with players, plus the whole weekend will be dedicated to Andy Murray. Game, set, match!
Meanwhile, if you haven’t watched I May Destroy You on BBC iPlayer, get to it, stat. The brilliant Michaela Coel (who also created the show) stars as Arabella, a super-cool millennial novelist who struggles to remember her sexual assault after being spiked on a night out with friends. It’s touching, humourous and deftly written. I binge-watched the first six episodes this weekend in a single sitting (hey, they’re only half an hour each!). Two new episodes are released every Monday.
Love Don’t Tell the Bride? A brand new wedding reality show is dropping on Netflix on 1 Jul called Say I Do: Surprise Weddings, which sees a team of experts plan a wedding in week from the proposal to the food, decor and dress. It’s from the creators of Queer Eye so is bound to be a dead cert.
Also coming to the streaming giant this week is Baby-Sitters Club, a modern remake of Ann M. Martin’s books that follow a group of girlfriends and their homegrown babysitting business (3 Jul).
Surrey-based wine educator Heather Dougherty is hosting an online red wine tasting – Why Rioja Rocks – on Thurs 7 July at 7pm. Crack open a bottle of your favourite Rioja, or choose one from Heather’s list of recommendations, and Heather talk about the wines, the place and the history. Tickets are £7.50. Booking details here.
Head online for a virtual tour of the John Ruskin exhibition – Unto This Last:Two Hundred Years of John Ruskin – at Watts Gallery. The exhibition features paintings, drawings, and manuscripts, much of which is to be exhibited in the UK for the first time. Click below for the tour, led by the curators, three PhD Candidates in Yale University. It’s available until 1 July.
Godalming artist and creativity coach Sarah Jane Vickery is offering her Cartoon Club as an online interactive class. Usually taught at local art centres or as half-term workshops or after school workshops at schools, the Club has expanded to teach Cartoon Club for Kids (1 hour for ages 8 – 12) plus the new Cartoon Club Junior (30 minutes for ages 6 – 7) as weekly online classes Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. There are also YouTube colouring and cartooning tutorials as well as free downloadable colouring pages for both adults and children.