Virtual Picks for the week ahead 7th – 13th May 2020

It’s hard to keep up with everything that’s become available, what’s launched and what’s new. Fear not, we’ve done the hard work for you. 

We’ve rounded up the best virtual events that you can join this week from VE Day celebrations to Homefest Festival full of upcoming singers and artists, David Hockeny to Sadlers Wells Digital Dance shows. 

If you find it useful, please do share this and sign up to the newsletter. We’ll be sending these out every week.


Romeo & Juliet English National Ballet #StayHome #WithMe

#WednesdayWatchParty returns with Rudolf Nureyev’s production of Romeo & Juliet with Alina Cojocaru and Isaac Hernández as the star-crossed lovers. Sumptuous costumes and sets transport you to Renaissance Verona, in this blazing ballet by Nureyev. 

Enjoy the premiere on Wed 6 May 7pm BST and available until Fri 8 May 8pm BST.

National Theatre at Home: Antony & Cleopatra (7th May – 14th May, 7pm) 

Ralph Fiennes (The English Patient, James Bond: Spectre) and Sophie Okonedo (Chimerica, Hotel Rwanda) play Shakespeare’s famous fated couple in his great tragedy of politics, passion and power. Available from 7 May at 7pm UK time until 7pm on Thursday14 May.

This filmed performance is rated 12A and contains some staged violence and flashing lights.. There’s some great extra content on the site where you can go behind the scenes with Costume Designer Evie Gurney to see how the costumes for Antony & Cleopatra were created. Watch here 

Be (at home) Festival (from Thurs 7th -16th May)

#BEatHome Festival! is a diverse programme of performances, films, workshops, discussions, food, drinks and a DJ party in times of confinement. Most events have unlimited capacity, but some have limited availability. To find out more and reserve your place, sign up HERE  Most of their live events will take place via Zoom. Here’s some of the line up

Set for Love – Be part of the World’s largest DJ Set (8th- 10th May)

Set For Love Live Streams aims to create the world’s largest DJ event.  They’re aim is to unite DJs all over the globe, inviting them to stream a set for love to raise funds for our Covid-19 Emergency Appeal.Whether you’re a bedroom DJ or a global superstar, you can get involved and make a difference! You can host your own Set for Love. Get Your Own DJ Pack And Start Planning Your Set For Love Now. See here for more details on how to sign up.

At Home With GOSH – A Virtually Unmissable Night ( Thurs 7 May, 7pm-9pm)

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity) is delighted to invite you to its first-ever Virtual Fundraising Gala event, At Home With GOSH, an evening packed with entertainment, music and a silent auction all experienced from the comfort of your own home.

Hosted by popular comedian and presenter Dara Ó Briain, guests will hear musical performances from Craig David, Jack Savoretti and more, a DJ set from Emma B, All while enjoying a suggested menu and wine pairings at home, recommended by celebrity chef, Theo Randall and wine expert Olly Smith. Guests will have the opportunity to take part in several fundraising initiatives throughout the night including a silent auction, raffle and competitions. Tickets are £25 and one ticket includes:

Access for one household to At Home With GOSH, Music from Craig David, Jack Savoretti and more, exclusive Silent Auction, fundraising games and more. Find out more here. 

VE Day Celebrations – 8th May

There’s tons of celebrations and ways to get involved, from creating VE day bunting, posters and decorations to cooking wartime recipes. Check out our blog for all top picks for the day. 

HomeschoolFest (Fri 8th – 10th May) 

Festival season should have been kicking off this May. Events filled with great new artists and established names. Whilst all of that may be firmly cancelled. That doesn’t mean we have to sit in and be bored though. Homefest

Over the last few weeks, the creators of Homefest have been calling up their favourite artists and asking them to film us lo-fi sets from self-isolation. Recorded on phones, in front rooms and with whatever is lying around, we’ve gathered them together – hundreds of them – to create a music festival of their very own: Homeschool.

3 days, 1000s of acts, all raising money for the NHS. Whilst you may not have heard of any of the acts we can guarantee the young folk in your house will have done! Check out the lineup here

Performances will be played out across multiple stages showcasing some truly exciting artists. You’ll be able to watch all the action on a dedicated, specially built website, with various extra ‘stuff’ happening across the weekend on social media and beyond.

Sadlers Wells Digital Stage: Alexander Whitley Dance Company – 8 Minutes (Fri 8 May, 7.30pm)

It takes just eight minutes for sunlight to travel 93 million miles to Earth. In this unique collaboration with scientists from STFC RAL Space, choreographer Alexander Whitley takes inspiration from solar science research and its stunning imagery to illuminate our relationship with the sun.

Immersing viewers in a rich environment of dance, music and visuals, 8 Minutes carries you on a breath-taking journey through the universe, revealing the beauty and drama of the star that gives us life.

Watch Cirque du Soleil Shows at CirqueConnect (Every Friday) 

Every Friday, Cirque du Soleil will be premiering a new CirqueConnect 60-minute special of their shows for free. Last week was their show One Night for the One Drop (still available). This week is yet to be announced. But see more here.

Royal Albert Hall – The classic children’s book, The Great Jelly of London (Sat 9th, 11am)

The Great Jelly of London, illustrated by Gerald Rose, is a much-loved children’s fantasy book centred around Mr Bonamy Didcot’s grand plan to make an enormous jelly using the Royal Albert Hall as a mould!

BAFTA-nominated Samuel West will present a specialy story telling session and bring this cherished story to a brand new generation of ears so take a seat (and maybe a bowl of jelly!) and enjoy Paul Jennings’ magical tale about The Royal Albert Hall. See more here

Southbank Sinfonia Virtual Family Concert (Sat 9 May, 11.30am)

Southbank Sinfonia’s musicians will be our guides for our first-ever Virtual Family Concert (in place of their cancelled Family Concert at Southbank Centre), where they’ll hop around the globe exploring the influence of folk music on the classical music we love today. 

In a specially-created video running just under 10 minutes, our players will present and perform the music of their native countries, bringing the story of folk music straight to your screens via YouTube.

Ideal for children aged 5–11 years. Perfect for those seeking homeschooling inspiration. Watch here

Big Fish, Little Fish Kitchen Rave at home! (Sundays at 2pm) 

Free rave at your place! By families, for families. The team at BFLF will be bringing weekly raves every Sunday at 2pm on Facebook Live. A FREE PARTY beamed right into your house, with different Big Fish Little Fish teams and DJs on the decks. Now, more than ever, families need music, fun and dancing! 

To get involved, all you need to do is like their Facebook page: And you’ll get a notification when they go live, so just click that and you’ll be in!

Macbeth at Shakespeare’s Globe (Premiering Mon 11th, 7pm)

The Globe’s Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank production of Macbeth was created especially for young people. A psychological thriller examining the dangers of political ambition, Macbeth is a gripping, full-scale 90 minute performance. 

For those with kids in KS2 and studying Shakespeare, the Globe offers a wealth of teaching resources for key curriculum Shakespeare plays including Romeo & Juliet, Othello, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which you can find here

Calling all Hetty Feather Fans!  – Jacqueline Wilson Story Writing and Illustration Competition (22nd April – 30th June) 

Have you ever wanted to be a writer or illustrator? Why not join us to complete Jacqueline’s new story – The Two New Foundlings? Along with lots of other children taking part…

Inspired by the true story of the foundlings who grew up at the Foundling Hospital, Jacqueline has started a new story about two small children arriving at the Foundling Hospital with their foster mother.

To join in, read the full instructions here. Don’t forget to read Jacqueline Wilson’s creative writing tips and remember to check each week to see how the story is progressing here.

Some Good News with John Krasinsk – the guy from The Quiet Place! (every Weds)

Check out John Krasinski  who highlights some good news around the world (including weather from Ryan Reynolds) and sends the class of 2020 off with advice from Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Malala Yousafzai, and Jon Stewart. Tune in here

Every Flower Counts – NoMowMay (23rd – 31st May) 

Leave your mower in the shed for #NoMowMay and let the flowers grow! You can even make a #Scaremow to protect them.

Then count the flowers on your lawn and find out how many bees it can support. Every Flower Counts will take place from 23rd to 31st May 2020.

When it comes to providing vital nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects, every flower counts. And your lawn can help provide that feast.


Polka Theatre Online…

Check out Story readings, creative activities and downloadable resources for Paper Dolls, Gorilla and The Bear Everywhere. See all here

Royal Academy of Arts: Documentary: inside two blockbuster Hockney exhibitions

Originally released in cinemas, this ‘Exhibition on Screen’ film takes us back to two of The RA’s landmark exhibitions by the iconic British artist, David Hockney RA. 

Sit back and enjoy, as you can revisit 2012’s ‘A Bigger Picture’, which capture his large-scale works of his native East Yorkshire and ‘82 Portraits and One Still-Life’ from 2016 which gives a snapshot of the LA art scene he’d returned to,

Both shows – seen by more than 750,000 people – were filmed to create this EXHIBITION ON SCREEN. Presented by former RA Artistic Director, Tim Marlow, this documentary explores the enduring and repeatedly reinvented creativity of David Hockney RA in his ninth decade.

And while you’re here, check out the RA’s Family How To series, packed full of creative activities for you and the kids, inspired by the RA’s exhibitions, leading artists and architects. Find them here


If you are in need of some science based inspiration to support you while you homeschool or to simply have some science based fun, the Royal Institute is on hand offering a series of short films making it fun, easy and cheap to do science experiments at home with the kids. 

From homemade lava lamps to spaghetti towers, from giant bubbles to colour changing cabbage juice, find them here 

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