MONDAY 11 MAY 2020 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
HUNT & DARTON: RADIO LOCAL
We first came across the collaborative work of Jenny Hunt and Holly Darton when we experienced and enjoyed the fruits of their labour - the Hunt & Darton performance art cafe - up at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe quite a few years ago now. That cafe then toured the country.

In their most recent venture, rather than setting up a pop-up cafe to bring together local communities, they have been arriving in town centres and creating a radio studio, partnering with community radio groups to celebrate the localness of good old-fashioned local radio.

The COVID-19 shutdown has stopped them from opening pop-up town centre radio studios for now, but it hasn't stopped the wider 'Radio Local' project. The latest iteration is up and running with the Norwich & Norfolk Festival, the only difference being that Hunt, Darton and the local community who take part will do so from their homes.

Anyway, it's all very intriguing. And with the Norwich version available to all online - and with some London versions also planned - I spoke to the duo to find out more.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

Hunt & Darton began broadcasting via Future Radio & Norwich and Norfolk Festival on 8 May and will continue until 24 May. See the festival website here for more.




ELLA MARCHMENT: #OPERAHARMONY
I first heard about a new lockdown inspired venture called #operaharmony a few weeks ago and was immediately interested.

A host of opera professionals of all kinds - composers, librettists, performers, directors and more - are working together from all over the world to create mini operas to be broadcast online.

It was very much in the planning stages back then, but now we are much closer to seeing the results of all that labour. I spoke to Ella Marchment, the creative force behind it, to find out more.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

The first work from #operaharmony is currently expected to premiere on YouTube at 7.30pm on 15 May, with many more to follow. Subscribe to the channel here.
We're still recommending great culture online while London's venues remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these online shows are free to access but with options to make donations. If you can afford to support the performers and producers behind this entertainment that would be brilliant.


THREE UPCOMING EVENTS>>

Comedy Without Borders | Komedia | 14 May
A charity showcase of comedians from around the world, many of whom are tried and tested TW faves, delivered digitally via Komedia Live's YouTube channel, so hurrah! The line up includes Anuvab Pal from India, Ari Eldjarn from Iceland, Conrad Koch from South Africa, Francesco De Carlo from Italy, Igor Meerson from Russia, and more. Tune in here at 8pm on Thursday.

Sea Shambles | Royal Albert Hall | 17 May (pictured)
You'll all definitely be aware of the Stay At Home Festival from Cosmic Shambles, especially as we tipped it at the start of lockdown and you've probably been partaking of it lots. You may also be aware that the Cosmic Shambles Network's planned 'Sea Shambles' show was due to happen at Royal Albert Hall this month and was cancelled. The good news is that it will, kinda, go ahead, only, as you might expect, in virtual form. Details here.

Also Festival | 15-17 May
And now for a big festival - in that it involves lots of different things all happening over the course of the next weekend - and all happening, naturellement, online. If you've partaken of Also events before you'll know that - it being an "ideas festival" - you can expect a wide range of stuff, under the subtitles Talks, Food, Wellness, Comedy, Music and Experiences. See the line up and buy tickets here.


THREE UPCOMING THEATRICAL THINGS>>

So, This Is What Happened | Omnibus Theatre | 12 May (pictured)
This is a special digital version of this venue's regular storytelling night. I suppose that's not, therefore, strictly theatre. Though I think I can argue that storytelling is theatrical and therefore for its inclusion in this section. Six people tell true stories, this time with guests including Faye Dixon, Dele Ogun, Karen Schumacher and Danny Scheinmann. Click here for info.

Midnight Your Time | Donmar Warehouse | from 13 May
"Every Thursday, Judy tries to talk to her daughter online. Judy calls from Islington; her daughter is in Palestine". Presented by Donmar Warehouse, this play by Adam Brace was written for its performer, the brilliant Diana Quick, and recorded via webcam in the actor's home during lockdown. It will premiere online this Wednesday at 7.30pm and be available for seven days. Head to the Donmar YouTube channel at the correct time (or thereafter).

The House Never Wins Virtual Tour | Kill The Cat Theatre | 12-23 May
"A new interactive game theatre piece that you can play from the comfort of your own home - exploring the climate crisis, self-isolation and gambling with the planet's future", is exactly Kill The Cat Theatre's explanation of what this is and I think that will do. Sounds great, click here for info and to register.


THREE THINGS ALREADY ONLINE
>>

It Is Easy To Be Dead | Finborough Theatre
More theatrical stuff now, but this time it's stuff you don't have to put a reminder in your calendar for, because it's already online so you can just click and consume ASAP. The first is this recording of a performance of the very critically acclaimed and much award-nominated 'It Is Easy To Be Dead', which premiered at the Finborough in 2016 and subsequently transferred to Trafalgar Studios. See it here.

Jane Eyre | Blackeyed Theatre | 10-17 May (pictured)
Next up is Blackeyed Theatre's production of 'Jane Eyre', which actually isn't online at the time of writing but will be by the time you read this. Do take advantage quickly though, as it's only going to be available to view until Sunday 17 May. The company were scheduled to complete a tour during this lockdown period, but obviously couldn't continue. More info and how to watch here.

Ripples | National Theatre Wales | Until 16 May
"Eight strangers join an online rehab group to confront, revisit and replay the traumas of their past. How can they re-connect with themselves and each other in a world so disconnected? 'Ripples' compassionately explores what leads us to seek help". You also need to see this one from National Theatre Wales fairly quickly, as it's available until Saturday 16 May and is well worth the watch. Info and links here.


THREE MORE INTERESTING ONLINE CULTURAL OPTIONS>>

Music From St Martin In The Fields
By calling this section 'interesting' I don't mean to imply that all the other tipped shows and events aren't interesting - I was just looking for a word to tie together three fairly disparate things that I really wanted to recommend. Starting with online content from St Martin In The Fields, where they are posting regular choral music recordings and podcasts. While you are there, please consider making a donation: their valuable work supporting the vulnerable and homeless is more important than ever right now.

A Look Back At Amici | Amici Dance Theatre Company | 18 - 23 May (pictured)
The brilliant Amici Dance Theatre Company celebrate their fortieth this year, but were sadly forced to abandon their anniversary show because of COVID-19. Instead, they are going to stream recordings of six of their most renowned performances starting next Monday. Each one goes out at 7.30pm via YouTube, see this page here for a list, with info and links.

Ethical Matters: No Visible Bruises - What We Don't Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us | Conway Hall | 18 May
You may remember that Conway Hall, whilst forced to cancel many events, is presenting some via online means, and this is one of them. It's on a particularly important topic, in my opinion, and one that is in many ways ignored and misunderstood. It sounds like this talk by Rachel Louise Snyder will get very much to the heart of the matter. See this page here.
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