Being stuck indoors self-isolating doesn’t mean the fun of going out has to stop. London has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, with big institutions and independent venues closing and events being postponed and cancelled to ensure event-goer safety.
While you may not be able to go out, London’s brilliant and ever-resourceful artists, performers, experts and craftspeople are now bringing the fun to you. Scores of live-streaming events, workshops and festivals have been launched in the last few days, with more and more being announced. These streamed events are also a great way to support and donate to people in the entertainment and hospitality industry who are facing very uncertain times.
As ever the Things to Do team aim to bring you the best of London, and so we’ve picked the very best events that will be streaming into your homes over the coming days.
Latest London events to stream into your living room
During this global crisis, there are few people who can quell our collective anxiety quite like the Queen of Country, Dolly Parton. The huge-haired country music heroine has announced she will be reading out children’s bedtime stories over the next few weeks to provide us all with a bit of calm during this strange time. The ten-book video series, ‘Goodnight with Dolly’, will kick off at 7pm ET (midnight BST, 9am AEST) on Thursday April 2 and will be available to watch on Imagination Library’s YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
If you’re one of the many people who has become totally obsessed with Netflix’s documentary-series ‘Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness’, then you’ll want to tune into film aficionado's Deeper into Movies latest virtual screening. They’ll be screening EVERY SINGLE one of Joe Exotic’s music videos back-to-back, followed by ‘the best worst movie you’ve ever seen’. Find the screening on www.paradisetv.xyz at 8pm on Friday Apr 3.
To try and revive the spirit of communal film watching, Viral Film Festival wants you to join in a mass movie-watching-session organised via Instagram. They pick the film, tell you the best place to watch it, and when it’s over, everyone meets up on Insta for an interactive discussion about it. Each week’s programme will be announced on the festival’s Instagram.
Bongo’s Bingo – the bingo night that combines the fun of Legs Eleven with intermittent dancing on tables and pub-quiz-style challenges – isn’t letting a lockdown stop the fun. The gang are streaming their bingo events live from their isolation bungalow. Tune into their Twitch accounts at 8pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays to join in.
Bread Ahead, the bakery school and shop in Borough Market, has just announced free online tutorials on its Instagram page for anyone who wants to get their hands dirty kneading in the kitchen. First up was a donut workshop, then there was a focaccia-making sesh. Next up is hot cross buns (March 29) and more to come. Bakers, ready your rolling pins. Non-bakers: there’s a first time for everything. Follow the Bread Ahead Insagram here.
For anyone missing the days of meandering Q&As, Sarabande, a Foundation established by Lee Alexander McQueen is putting a series of its talks online, available to watch each day at 5pm from March 27. There’ll be chat sessions with Eddie Redmayne, artists Grayson Perry and Maggi Hambling OBE and fashion designer Molly Goddard.
London’s iconic food market is streaming live cookery demonstrations. Each weekday at 1pm, a top chef will guide you through a tasty recipe using store cupboard staples. Tune in via their Instagram account.
Feeling that lactic acid build up from all those days working at your desk (or bedside table – everyone’s wfh now right)? Get moving with a little help from London cabaret star Dolly Trolley, who will be streaming a drag aerobics class on Instagram and Facebook Live every Wednesday at 7.30pm, straight from Dolly’s living room. It’s free, but PayPal donations are just good manners, right? Find out more here.
Let’s be honest, we don’t have much better to do at the moment, do we? ‘The Show Must Go Online’ is a digital project intended to try and get us through the current gloom by spending some time with the words of a man who knew a thing or two about plagues: Mr William Shakespeare. Led by classical actor and director Robert Myles, the group wants to bring The Bard’s words to life by reading them out loud at a time when conventional live performance is verboten. Professional actors and experienced amateurs are invited to sign up to do the reading, and the public can follow along on YouTube. Catch it on Thursdays from 7pm.
The LSO is taking its concerts online. Every Thursday and Sunday, a different performance will be streamed through the LSO Youtube channel. Pour some wine, load up Youtube and let the drama commence. Keep track of the schedule here.
The iconic Covent Garden institution is bringing a programme of fine art into your living room. As part of its #OurHouseToYourHouse initiative, a major opera or ballet will be streamed every Friday at 7pm for a month.
Here’s the initial programme:
March 27 ‘Peter and the Wolf’ (Royal Ballet, 2010)
April 3 ‘Acis and Galatea’ (Royal Opera, 2009)
April 10 ‘Così fan tutte’ (Royal Opera, 2010)
April 17 ‘The Metamorphosis’ (Royal Ballet, 2013).
You may be trapped indoors, but that doesn’t mean your social life has to suffer. Every Friday while the coronavirus crisis continues, Queer House Party will be streaming a party live from their living room to yours. Hosts Harry Gay, a seasoned DJ known for throwing DIY dance parties, and DJs Wacha and Passer will be spinning mixes of queer bops, throwback pop and techno clangers so you can dance, sing, chat and virtually party with like-minded queers across the world.
If you live for mooching around Sunday markets, weekends are looking pretty grim right now, so the South London Craft Fair have found a novel way to bring the stalls to you. Every Saturday between noon and 2pm, they’ll be sharing jewellery, craft materials and prints from independent traders on their Instagram stories. If you like what you see, just click through to their profile to find out how to buy it and arrange delivery. Coronavirus cannot stop you impulse buying those cute rainbow earrings from your sofa.
Like every other restaurant in London right now, The Athenian’s doors are currently closed to customers. While they wait to reopen, its co-founder Tim Vasilakis will be live-streaming Greek cooking classes on Instagram. Next up: a guide to making the perfect tzatziki to show off to all your virtual guests on Houseparty.
Salon London is launching a new live-streamed book club. For each date, writer Helen Bagnall will host a live interview with an author for 20 minutes, then it will open up to a Q&A where everyone tuning in can submit questions. Tickets are £5 to get involved, or free if you buy the book through the Salon London site. The series kicks off on April 19 with Emma Jane Unsworth, author of ‘Adults’.
Professional storyteller Vanessa Woolf is taking her yarn-spinning skills online. She’ll be posting videos of her storytelling evenings set to music, some filmed in secret (and deserted) corners of London. The next event will be hosted by the mysterious blogger, Portrals of London on April 25, find out more here.
Self-isolating witches can keep their spells in check with Treadwell’s intro videos. The staff at the occult bookshop will give you the virtual lowdown on everything from how to do candle magic to sage snuffing.
More helpful coronavirus info in London
To check the current coronavirus measures and travel guidelines for your country, click here. If you’ve caught the news recently, you’re probably wondering whether coronavirus is going to shake up your day-to-day life. So far the virus has spread across six continents, and it seems inevitable the threat will increase across the UK, the US and Australia over the coming weeks. We’ve put together this handy FAQ to bring you some help, tips and perspective.
Here at Time Out, we’re all about helping you experience the best of the city. At the same time, organisers of many large-scale events in London are currently taking appropriate precautions in light of the coronavirus outbreak that could hamper your adventures in the city. To help keep you up to date, we’ve collated a list of all the major event cancellations related to the coronavirus in London.
Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t immerse yourself in the best music, theatre, film, art, food and drink that London has to offer. In our comprehensive round-up of the best ways to pass your days at home, we’ve taken into account your thirst for culture and your love of the kind of lifestyle London can afford you – an exciting one.