While leaving the house is now actively encouraged (hurrah!), it’s not for everyone. Whether you’re self-isolating, stuck in quarantine or just a little apprehensive of other people, these cracking virtual events will keep you entertained…
Lead image: HSDY Virtual Disco Dance Class
1 The Peninsulist Presents
Until 4 September
Greenwich Peninsula’s virtual summer festival, The Peninsulist Presents, is a new series of events running throughout the summer. The programme, which centres around Friday Sessions and Culture Wednesdays, features exclusive live music sets in virtual listening rooms, innovative design workshops and more, including a gastronomic adventure in celebration of Bastille Day with Bompas & Parr. The Virtual Friday Film Club, taking place every Friday at 7pm in partnership with Bounce Cinema, screens a varied programme from the BFI archives as well as independent and established filmmakers. Screening this weekend is Burning an Illusion (1981), a drama set in Notting Hill following a young woman’s journey to emancipation and political awakening while facing the ups and downs of her relationship. All events are streamed for free on Greenwich Peninsula’s digital channels (@ThePeninsulist).
2 Hackney Herbal’s Online Workshops
Hackney Herbal, a social enterprise that teaches you how to incorporate herbs into their lives in the form of recipes, skincare and natural remedies, has moved its workshops online during lockdown. Upcoming workshops include Growing Your Own Herbs on Saturday 18 July (2pm-4pm), with top tips and tricks to get your growing herbs this spring, and Essential Oils for the Face on Sunday 19 July (11am-1pm), where you can learn how to make your own personalised skincare at home. Workshops are all priced £20 and all profits reinvested into free community activities in Hackney.
3 606 Online Live
Saturday 18 July
Fulham’s 606 Club is keeping audiences entertained during lockdown with 606 Online Live, a series of pay-to-view live music streams. Streaming this Saturday is British Jazz Award-winning Derek Nash, composer, arranger, record producer, bandleader and even recording engineer. For more than 40 years, Nash has led Sax Appeal, the jazz-fusion group that won the John Dankworth Award for Ensemble in the 1998 BT Jazz Awards, and subsequently the British Jazz Award for best small group in 2000. From 8pm, priced £4.99 (registration required to view).
4 The Best in Stand Up with The Comedy Store Live
The Comedy Store is delivering its unique comedy club experience directly into your home by sharing some of The Comedy Store’s greatest shows. Nightly from 7pm, a £5.50 ticket will grant you an hour of world-class stand-up comedy, complete with all the heckles, put-downs and infamous electric Comedy Store atmosphere. A new show runs every week. This week’s show features Gina Yashere (MC), Adam Rowe, Jason Cook, Christian Schulte-Loh. The shows were originally filmed at The Comedy Store London in Soho and profits will be split between the performers and the upkeep of The Comedy Store’s London and Manchester venues until they are able to reopen.
5 THEWHODUNNIT? Presents Murder on The Underground Express
Until 9 August
THEWHODUNNIT?’s Murder on The Underground Express is a virtual murder mystery that revolves around the killing of self-made millionaire Langdon Park during the inaugural outing of his new underground train, the Express Line. Only guests of the victim were present at this private opening ceremony – so whodunnit? As a guest aboard the Underground Express, you are cordially invited to attend an evening of investigation and revelations with world-famous detective, Reynard Gull. Tickets £10pp (couples £15pp), offering access to the interactive virtual murder mystery experience via Zoom. Running daily until 9 August.
To book see designmynight.com
6 Le Tour de France French Wine Tasting
Winfield Wines usually runs fun group wine tastings in London, but that we’re all stuck in our isolation stations, it’s time to get to know your grapes online. The virtual tutored wine tastings offer a wine education from a WSET qualified instructor conducted via Zoom. Hop online beforehand and book your ticket, which includes six sample bottles of wine that will be mailed out to your address. Tickets are £55 per household and the experience takes place from 6.30pm-8pm.
To book see designmynight.com
7 Maggie’s x Christie’s Online Charity Auction
Christie’s is partnering with Maggie’s, the cancer charity, to present a selection of artworks donated by 48 leading international artists, designers and architects. Proceeds from the online-only auction will help Maggie’s, which provides free practical and emotional support to people with cancer across the UK, to continue its vital work. The auction will include pieces donated by David Bailey, the Lucian Freud Estate, Antony Gormley, Bridget Riley, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Mario Testino, Edmund de Waal, the late Zaha Hadid and Thomas Heatherwick, as well as a limited edition handbag designed for Osprey by Grayson Perry.
8 Green Rooms Celebrates Plants
Saturday 18 July
Green Rooms, while still unable to host its IRL botanical markets, continues to host online markets and celebrations of all things flora and fauna. This weekend, from 10am-4pm, Green Rooms will use its social media platform to celebrate the brilliant plant shops of all shapes and sizes all around the UK. If you’re a plant lover, simply post a story showing your plants and tag the shop you bought them from, as well as @greenrooms_market, with the hashtag #loveukplantshops. If you own a plant shop, post a story showing your shop or favourite stock, again tagging @greenrooms_market and using the hashtag #loveukplantshops. Green Rooms will then bring everything together on their Instagram Stories.
9 Royal Albert Home
17 July-23 August
The Kingdom Choir, beatboxer SK Shlomo and singer-songwriter Peter Collins are among the latest names confirmed for the Royal Albert Hall’s series of exclusive streamed shows. They will be joined in the line-up by multi-instrumentalist Becca Stevens, classical accordionist Ksenija Sidorova, and jazz vocalist Deelee Dubé. The shows, coming direct from artists’ homes, will be available to stream at royalalberthall.com. The Kingdom Choir performance will be on Friday 17 July at 7.30pm, followed by Nashville Meets London, with The Cadillac Three, Michael Ray, Tenille Townes, and Twinnie, on Saturday 18 July at 7.30pm. On Saturday 25 July at 2pm, it’s Classical for Kids: Piano Party with Dawn Hardwick.
10 The Sofa Singers
The Sofa Singers is a free, twice-weekly online singing event that aims to bring people together from around the world. Set up by vocal leader James Sills as a response to the coronavirus lockdown, The Sofa Singers offers 45 minutes of simultaneous singing for hundreds of people in real time. You’ll learn a classic song with some optional harmonies and backing parts, and then just sing as if no-one is listening… because they won’t be! Due to to latency (delay), it’s not possible to hear all of the singers the same time – but you will be able to see each other, so sing with a smile! Afterwards, there’s a virtual tea break followed by some ‘open mic’ slots where you can say hello and share a song, a poem or a story. Tuesday evenings at 7.30pm and Friday mornings at 11am. Registration is via a free ticket. Click here to book.
11 HSDY Virtual Disco Dance Class
Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet! (HSDY) has launched a series of virtual disco dance classes, taking place on Saturdays at 12.30pm. The classes are hosted by HSDY founder Nikki Spencer and led by dancer Andrea Rose, kicking off with a free-style warm up freestyle before learning an HSDY routine step by step. Feel free to dress up in 70s or 80s gear, but it’s not compulsory. Classes last 35 minutes and every Saturday there will be a new routine. Classes cost £6, with £1 from each ticket going to Cancer Research UK. Book via wegottickets.com.
12 The Museum of London Docklands Virtual Family Rave
Sunday 19 July
The Museum of London Docklands’ legendary family rave is back – online! Join the Museum of London Docklands and Big Fish Little Fish on the virtual dancefloor this Sunday for a Swashbucklers & High Seas special, as DJ Barry Ashworth (Dub Pistols) streams a live set of old school anthems from his home direct to yours. The Museum of London Docklands will be streaming the event live on its Facebook page and YouTube channel from 2pm-3.30pm for free.
13 Magic in Film: A Virtual Tour of London
Thursday, Friday & Saturday till 26 Sept
Join the See Your City team for a virtual film-themed walking tour of London. The interactive tour – complete with quizzes – is hosted live by a tour guide. You will virtually ‘meet’ your guide in Soho, before making your way through Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square and many more stops – each with its own showbiz backstory. You’ll visit the sites that inspired the movies, from Hitchcock’s classics all the way through to Bond, Marvel movies and rom-coms. Prepare to have your film knowledge tested in the Silverscreen Quiz, with several other games along the way and prizes to be won. Tours last one hour. Tickets are £5 and other dates are available.
14 Online Magic Masterclasses
Saturday 18 July
Learn magic from one of London’s top magicians from the comfort of your own home. Tony Middleton ‘Sonic’ will teach you six sensational tricks to entertain friends and family in an interactive live-streamed experience. The one-hour class is aimed at complete beginners, and all you need to take part is a deck of playing cards and some change from your wallet. Sonic has held residencies at some London’s finest 5-star hotels, including the Savoy, St Pancras Renaissance and Sheraton Grand Park Lane, where his show (usually) runs every week. He also manages acts at London’s only Magic Bar, Maskelyne & Cooke. 4pm-5pm. Tickets £15.
15 Live Online Latin Dance Classes
Missing your weekly dance class? Or fancy joining in with the latest national craze and trying a fun at-home workout? Simply Dancing Partners has launched live online Latin dance classes that offer you the chance to meet others and become part of a virtual group. The classes take place three times a week, with Latin Technique at 10.30am on Wednesdays, Beginners’ Latin at 7pm on Wednesdays, and Beginners’ Couples at 7pm on Thursdays. Six classes are £60.
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