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10 Cultural events to tune in to this spring

A virtual round up curated by London arts editor Zoe Paskett

We’ve just about worked our way through all of Netflix by now, which means it’s definitely time to mix up what we’re watching online.

Whether you’re a sit back and have a giggle or a get stuck in with craft materials kind of person, there is no shortage of artsy occasions to tickle your cultural fancy.

From live-streamed comedy and theatre shows, to virtual tours around the currently silent art galleries, check out this list of brilliant online events that should be on your radar.

1. E15 Jazz Sessions, Stratford Circus, March 19-21

Sit back and listen to jazz pianist and composer Robert Mitchell in a concert recorded live from the Stratford Circus stage. At E15 Jazz Sessions, you can expect a mixture of music and spoken word performed by some of the cream of the UK jazz crop.

 

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2. Elephant and Castle Comedy Night, March 21

It could be almost like the good old days, if you make your own home into a comedy club. This night, courtesy of Elephant and Castle Community Hub, brings together stand-up by local comedians, a laughter workshop, a quiz AND classic clips from greats like Tommy Cooper and Monty Python. If you fancy giving it a shot at a few jokes, the mic is open and waiting.

 

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3. Hysterical: A Hilarious History of Hysteria, Theatre Royal Stratford East, from March 29

Take a comedic journey through the history (or herstory) of hysteria, spanning Plato to the Suffragettes and beyond. Performance artist Rebecca Buckle’s comedy is a personal quest to shake off a 2,500 year old label — with puppets! The film is available to watch for free with Theatre Royal Stratford East.

 

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4. Emilia Live, March 1-31

Originally performed at the Globe Theatre, Emilia was a smash hit. Now known as likely the “Dark Lady” of Shakespeare’s sonnets, Emilia Bassano was herself a poet. Bringing her story to light 400 years after she lived, the play is a call to celebrate women’s voices and honour their achievements with all the passion and joy they deserve.

 

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5. Makers Meet, April 13

Join your fellow Get Living residents to meet the brains and hands behind local creators. Makers Meets are exclusive monthly craft workshops where you can get stuck into making your own works of art, from printing bags to designing silver rings. Perfect for all abilities, and you’ll be sent the materials so a creative mindset is all you need. Next month’s workshop will be candle-making with local East London start-up Makes Scents.

 

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6. Rambert Rooms, the Lowry, April 8-10

We’re craving glimpses into other lives and Rambert dance company is indulging us with their dance-theatre-film stream from the Lowry. It’s like peeking through street windows when you’re walking by, as you watch 17 world-class dancers acting out 35 different, beautiful and often moving scenes.

7. The Fabric of Protest, People’s History Museum, April 24

Once a month, the People’s History Museum hosts an informal zoom workshop where you can sit and chat while making something inspired by the museum’s collections. This time, it’s all about exploring migration and textiles, inspired by a long-running exhibition focusing on banners. Grab old magazines, a glue stick, scraps of fabric and a needle and thread and get involved.

 

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8. Tracey Emin/Edvard Munch Virtual Tour, Royal Academy, until May 18

If you’re missing the blockbuster exhibitions, some of London’s biggest galleries have you covered. The Royal Academy exhibition exploring Tracey Emin’s fascination with The Scream painter Edvard Munch was set to be one of the highlights of the year. The gallery’s virtual tour gives an up-close look at these artworks, the perfect substitute until it opens again in May.

 

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9. Public Domain, Southwark Playhouse, until May 26

We’re all existing on the internet right now — for some of us, even more than real life. Public Domain is a fantastic, funny new musical about just that, made entirely using the words of YouTube vloggers, Instagram influencers, Facebook tech-heads and everyday users like us, filmed from the stage of the Southwark Playhouse.

 

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10. Andy Warhol Virtual Tour Tate

Another of the major exhibitions we’re dying to see is Tate Modern’s first Andy Warhol display for nearly two decades. On this virtual tour accompanied by the curator, you can see all the big hitters from the iconic Marilyn Monroe pop images to Campbell’s soup cans alongside 25 pieces from his Ladies and Gentlemen series, depicting Black and Latinx drag queens and trans women.

 

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About the author

Zoe Paskett is a writer/editor whose work focuses on the arts and LGBTQ+ life. She has worked on the arts desk at the Evening Standard and as a features editor at a number of local London newspapers. She is currently freelance and writes a weekly newsletter recommending live and online comedy shows.