MONDAY 4 JANUARY 2021 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
SILVIA MERCURIALI: SWIMMING HOME
You may recall that in mid December we recommended an immersive work for you to experience in your own bathrooms by the name of 'Swimming Home'. If you haven't already followed our advice and checked this out, no matter - there is still time.

I was intrigued about this production from the first moment I heard about it. And once we had recommended it, I found myself wishing I knew more about it. To remedy that - and to find out more about the artistic force behind it - I spoke to creator Silvia Mercuriali.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

You can access 'Swimming Home' until 16 Jan. See this page here for more information, dates, and to book.
With full-on COVID restrictions still in place in London and around much of the country, this week we are tipping the best in digital culture from across the UK - including online shows from performers and companies we first discovered at the Edinburgh Festival.


THREE ONLINE THEATRE EXPERIENCES>>

Bristol Old Vic At Home Season 2 | until 28 Feb
Well, we're back. And things aren't great, going-out wise. But we still have recommendations for stuff to stream into your home, so there's that. And here's something for those of you who are very saddened by COVID-19's impact on your capacity to absorb culture: an entire season of stuff courtesy of Bristol Old Vic, for which you can buy a very reasonably priced season pass. There's 'The Grinning Man', 'The Night That Autumn Turned To Winter', 'Messiah' and 'Swallows And Amazons'. And one that you probably should have got around to before Christmas - 'A Christmas Carol' - had we not failed to tell you about it until now. Never mind though, it's still dark and your fairy lights are probably still up, hang on to the Christmas spirit until March, like I am planning to do. Click here.

Matterhorn | Traverse Online Festival | until 31 Jan (pictured)
"A cathedral at the edge of time, at the end of the world. A few hundred cling to life within its thick, safe walls. Humanity's final outpost. The cathedral bells ring out in the hopes of finding more lost souls to bring to sanctuary, but is there anyone actually left to save?" This short-ish play is part of the Trav's season of online audio 'breakfast plays' (normally performed in the morning during the edfringe in August) and they all look very good to be honest. I appreciate some of you may have already availed yourself of all of them, given that we suggested checking out all the Traverse's online content at least a couple of times in the run up to Christmas. But if you haven't, then now's the time. See this page here for 'Matterhorn', and this page here for all the plays in the season.

Mahsuri | Liver & Lung | 8-10 Jan
Malaysian/British theatrical project Liver & Lung present this promising musical short film: "On a late Friday afternoon, five students, including socially anxious Adam (Badrish Isdin), are sent to detention. As soon as they settle down, the atmosphere unexpectedly shifts - lights start to flicker and the students find themselves locked in the now eerie classroom. In a dusty corner of the room, Adam stumbles upon a mysterious book called 'Mahsuri (& Other Peculiar Tales)' which begs to be read. Slowly, he starts to read the book and, in a flash, the classroom and its occupants morph into the backdrop for an age old Malaysian legend". See this page here for info and to book into a viewing.


THREE MORE THEATRICAL THINGS TO STREAM>>

Crime Of The Century | Chickenshed Theatre | until 31 Jan
'Crime Of The Century' is "a hard-hitting, raw piece of theatre which explores the issues surrounding gang violence. Using words and movement alongside a contemporary score of hip-hop and dance music, the performance packs a frightening punch and acts as a positive tool in the fight against the savagery of knife crime". This recording of Chickenshed's acclaimed production (which I think dates back to 2009?) has actually been available since late November, but I don't think we got around to mentioning it previously. Luckily, you still have until the end of January to get around to seeing it on YouTube, which is ages away. See this page here for info and link to view.

S-27 | Finborough Theatre | until 31 Jan
Another one that's been online for a while, I think, but again is available until the end of the month so you've got plenty of time to get around to viewing it. This is a recording of Sarah Grochala's 'S=27'. It's inspired by the work of the photographer Nhem En, who photographed the inmates of Tuol Sleng prison in Cambodia under the rule of the Khmer Rouge, and is informed by prison records and interviews with both prisoners and Khmer Rouge cadres. "May is an idealist. She's fighting for a better world and has sacrificed more than most. So when the old regime is destroyed, she is rewarded with a job as a prison photographer. But as the enemy pass one by one before her unflinching lens - both strange and familiar faces - can they shake her belief in this world she helped create?" Click here.

Shielders | Traverse Online Festival | until 31 Jan (pictured)
"Shahbaz, Zira and Trice have been in lockdown in Glasgow for months, spending their days on the phone to each other whilst searching the skies for sightings from another planet. Now, though the world is opening up, Shahbaz must stay in his shielding bubble as Zira and Trice head back into the outside world and their 'real' lives, losing interest in hunting for answers amongst the stars. But for Shahbaz his 'normality' starts to take a toll, so some new friends pay him a visitation..." Matidla Ibini's 'Shielders', influenced by Afrofuturism and classic sci-fi movies, looks at the "very alien world we now find ourselves in and its impact on those who still find themselves on the inside, looking out". Back following a run in August, so if you missed it then, now's your chance. Click here.


THREE MORE MISCELLANOUS ONLINE TREATS>>

The Midnight Gang | Chickenshed Theatre | until 31 Jan
Right, well you've got loads of grown up theatre to be getting on with there, so now how about something to entertain your younger people? Specifically Chickenshed's 2017 production of this play based on on 'The Midnight Gang' by David Walliams. "When the clock strikes midnight most children are fast asleep, but for the Midnight Gang the journey is just beginning. Five children find themselves in hospital for a variety of reasons, including Tom who's been hit on the head by a cricket ball and really doesn't want to go back to school. They soon discover that something far more exciting is happening beyond the confines of the children's ward". For more info and to watch, see this page here.

Collywobblers Comedy Virtual Online Zoom Charity Comedy Night | 10 Jan
And now, how's about a comedic treat for all you grown-ups? I know I am going to need some laughs to get me through January and I am betting there are loads of you out there feeling similar sentiments. This one's raising money for two charities - one of which is one quite close to my heart - and it features a great line up of classy acts, a number of whom are bona fide TW faves: Sara Barron, Michelle De Swarte, Stephanie Lorence, Stefano Paolini and MC Siôn James. It's all happening via Zoom, head this way to book your tickets and read lots more info about the show.

Online Sunday Concerts: Phacelia Ensemble | Conway Hall | 10 Jan (pictured)
And finally, how's about some soothing classical music to get you through your no-doubt-stuck-at-home-Sunday? The Phacelia Ensemble is a six person outfit comprising a pianist (Elisabeth Streichert), two violinists (Antonia Kesel and Edward Bale), a cellist (Cecilia Bignall), a double bassist (Mark Lipski) and a violist (Mark Gibbs), formed to create 'Concertos In Miniature'. They'll be performing 'Three Pieces For Quartet' by Stravinsky, Brahms' 'Piano Quintet In F minor Op.34' and 'Piano Concerto No. 20 In D Minor' by Mozart, arranged by Elisabeth Streichert. See this page here for more.
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