One of my favourite things about Bristol has to be its amazing arts scene from the small poetry gigs in pubs to the amazing shows put on at the Bristol Old Vic and the Hippodrome. I also love spending time during the holidays roaming London galleries and going to shows but with quarantine meaning most live events and exhibitions have shut down, I’ve found other ways to still enjoy my favourite artists, poets, and writers as much as I can. This article contains five ways to get your art fix while in quarantine!
- National Theatre at Home: Though the National Theatre may be closed, it is still committed to providing us with high-quality theatrical entertainment. Every week a different recording of a show is put up on YouTube and is available to stream. Audiences have already enjoyed Jane Eyre and One Man, Two Guvnors and look forward to when Twelfth Night will be made available on Thursday 23rd April for seven days. As university students, we are also lucky to have access to some amazing NT productions through Drama Online such as A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, one of my personal favourites!
- Poem a Day and National Poetry Library: If you are interested in poetry or would like to try reading some then a great way to start is by having them delivered into your inbox by poets.org, a website run by the Academy of American Poets who offer a newsletter called Poem a Day. They are also emailing a weekly list of poems to find shelter during this time which may provide some comfort! The National Poetry Library is similarly offering a poem of the day on its website while it remains closed and for those interested in developing their own poetry, it is running some online courses too. It’s National Poetry Month so it has never been a better time to get into poetry!
- Harry Potter at Home: Whether you have never read the books in your life or you’re a die-hard Potterhead, this will be magical for you. J.K Rowling has made the Harry Potter audiobooks free to stream on Audible, allowing everyone to enjoy Stephen Fry’s playful and animated narration. These audiobooks are sure to bring books to life! If you are isolating with and caring for younger siblings, J.K Rowling’s website Harry Potter at Home has some great activities to keep them occupied.
- Newsletters: Since the beginning of social distancing measures, publisher and gallery newsletters have significantly increased content to keep us animated and entertained from the comfort of our couch. If you are a book lover I would recommend signing up as a Faber Member which is completely free to do. Their emails have great exclusive Q&A’s with their authors, as well as book recommendation letters from authors, tips for reading and writing and other literary specials. The Southbank Centre mailing list also sends out updates called ‘your culture fix’ filled with picks for podcasts, interviews, and music.
- The Show Must Go On: If you are a musical-lover then you will love this! Every Friday at 7pm, The Show Must Go On streams an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical that is available for the weekend. This is a great way to enjoy yourself this quarantine as you could dress up, have a glass of wine, and enjoy the wonders of theatre from home. It could be a great variation to a family movie night and since silence in your home theatre isn’t essential, you could all have a sing-along too!
I hope this provides some fun ways to enjoy art, theatre, music, and literature at home and some creative ways to pass the time and connect with the world even while staying at home!