Select 2021

Things to do on and off line this year

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Online

Home: Part One is the National Theatre of Ireland’s response to the report on mother and baby institutions, focusing on the testimonies of survivors. From 1922 to 1998, some 56,000 mothers and 57,000 children were kept in the 14 mother and baby institutions and four county homes the report examined. The testimonies are read by some of Ireland’s leading actors and public figures, including author Anne Enright (pictured), with live music performed by Mary Coughlan and Johnny Taylor.

(abbeytheatre.ie) 

Manchester

Creative Makers Fairs at Victoria Baths mark the reopening of the historic venue and showcase handmade products including textiles, art, gifts and jewellery from independent craftspeople.

(victoriabaths.org.uk)

Morecambe

Promenade (Everybody’s Free) is a downloadable audio experience featuring a choice of two walks along Morecambe’s seafront, accompanied by the stories and memories of local residents and an evocative electronic score. 

(creativewestend.net/promenade)

Manchester

Congolese pianist and composer Tshepe Tshepela and Somalian international actor and theatre practitioner Yusra Warsama (pictured) stream performances on YouTube on 27 April, as part of their work with Manchester-based, African-led arts and cultural organisation Amani Creatives.

(youtube.com/c/AmaniCreatives)

Online

RyeStream is the online 40th edition of Rydale Festival on 2-8 May. The spring festival features seven performances, each approximately 50 mins. It opens with duo Michael Collins (clarinet) and Michael McHale (piano) playing pieces including Beethoven’s Spring Sonata and finishes with the London Mozart Players and Ruth Rogers performing from Castle Howard.

(ryedalefestival.com)

Online

Northern Ballet’s pay-what-you-feel spring 2021 digital season features new short dance films from Kenneth Tindall and Olivier Award-winner Mthuthuzeli November. November’s What Used To, No Longer Is explores evolution, the passing of time and the human response to the most difficult of circumstances.

(northernballet.com)

Online

Part of its New Beginnings programme of streamed events, Sage Gateshead presents Spring has Sprung – a Royal Northern Sinfonia performance by violinist Jennifer Pike, conducted by Paul McCreesh. Pike performs a number of spring-themed symphonies intended to shed the winter gloom. 

(sagegateshead.com) 

Online

A youth and community centre has been offered a major donation but the source is morally questionable. Inclusive theatre company Represent’s online production Money, written by Isla van Tricht (pictured), is an interactive experience that puts the viewer at the centre of an ethical dilemma. 

(southwarkplayhouse.co.uk)

Online

Part of the Festival of Debate, Sathnam Sanghera joins Desiree Reynolds on
4 May for a discussion about his new book, Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain. The reluctance to discuss the British Empire in real detail is a missing link in our history, Sanghera argues, and by stepping back and seeing where we really come from we can begin to understand who we are and what unites us.

(festivalofdebate.com)

Online

Brighton Early Music Festival presents Love in the Lockdown, an online play in nine short episodes with music that follows medieval musician Emilia (Rachael Stirling) and playwright Giovanni (Alec Newman) in the early stages of an intense relationship, which starts with awkward early Zoom dates just before lockdown. Episode one is available to view on the festival’s YouTube channel. 

(youtube.com/c/Brightonemf)

Wakefield

Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s 500 acres of formal gardens, parkland, woods and lakes, holding around 100 sculptures, remain open and the shop has now reopened, displaying a collection of ceramic tiles and prints as part of Alison Milner’s new exhibition Decorative Minimalist.

(ysp.org.uk) 

Online

Vision and Reality is an online exhibition showcasing 100 years of contemporary art in Wakefield, with over 5,300 works in the collection. The online exhibition features film content, curator diaries, a timeline about the history of the collection and more. 

(hepworthwakefield.com) 

Online

Bealtaine Festival, organised by Age & Opportunity, celebrates the arts and creativity as we age. The online programme features a book club, online portrait exhibition, an oral history project, photo festival, sew-along, classes, conversations and gigs including a folk choir with Liz Clark (pictured) on 4 May. 

(bealtaine.ie)

Online

The Let’s Reconnect new music festival from Brighter Sounds is a four-day online programme (26-29 April) of workshops, conversations and events. At the heart of the festival lies new work by some of the most exciting emerging artists from across the north (and beyond) including Libersea, Amber Jay, Days Like Television, Rosie Parsons, Remote Hope, Abbie Jennings and Moonray Pixie, as well as Jamz Supernova and Mike Pony (pictured).

(brightersound.com) 

Online

60 Hour Shakespeare, the theatre company that rehearses and performs Shakespeare’s plays in 60 hours to raise money for charity, performs Twelfth Night on 2 May at 7.30pm. The pay-as-you-feel ticket price will support the Fiorentini Foundation to provide arts scholarships for disadvantaged children. 

(60hourshakespeare.com)

Preston

The Lancashire Photography Festival is an outdoor exhibition on the streets of Preston featuring the work of John Davies at a standalone installation on Winckley Square, the bold and brash imagery of Peter Dench on the hoardings of the former BHS building on Fishergate, work from dozens of local photographers at Preston Market, and projects by Blackpool sixth form students and Preston Photographic Society.

(enjoyshow.co.uk) 

Blackpool

HiVE Arts puts on F/Stop, a free outdoor exhibition in Blackpool this month, with tram stops along the Golden Mile between South and North Pier becoming mini galleries. Among the 22 female photographers selected by the National Photographic Society are Joanne Fletcher, Kate Yates and Stephanie Cottle (work pictured). 

(hivearts.co.uk)

Carlisle

Outdoor exhibition Alone Together: Our Community in Lockdown, from Tullie House, reflects how the community was affected through the pictures of Carlisle residents. The showcase opens on
12 April and carries on throughout the summer, giving visitors a chance to reflect on how the pandemic has affected them and their communities.

(tulliehouse.org.uk) 

Online

Online exhibition Sounds of Our City, from Abbey House Museum, tells the story of how the different musical styles and places of Leeds interact. It features musical compositions first imagined almost 200 years ago by seven female musicians and never heard by a contemporary audience. 

(museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk/virtual-visit)

Online

A social pharmacy, a photography and writing project in Thatto Heath, crypto embroidery and an exploration of post-colonial language are just some of the works that are free to explore digitally and in print from the 34 artists featured in the 2021 Independents Biennial. Online until 6 June. Pictured: extract from Under the Yuzu Tree by Feiyi Wen. 

(independentsbiennial.com)

Online

The latest in a series of podcasts from Opera North and the University of Leeds finds two of Yorkshire’s most acclaimed artists, Poet Laureate Simon Armitage and composer Gavin Bryars, in expansive conversation about their respective art forms and what happens when they are brought together.

(operanorth.co.uk/explore-opera/thinking-with-opera)

Online

The Lawrence Batley Theatre and the Dukes co-produce a digital adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s classic comedy The Importance of Being Earnest. Adapted by Yasmeen Khan and directed by Mina Anwar, the production will transpose the original narrative of Wilde’s play to the cobbles and stone walls of the north and follow the story of struggling actor Jamil and rom-com star Algy, who come together in the pursuit of love, being true to yourself and Nando’s.

(importanceofbeingearnest.com)

Online

Oldham Coliseum Theatre and Front Room Productions present Whodunnit at the Coliseum? – a tongue-in-cheek interactive murder mystery set at the theatre in 1954 on the opening night of the Scottish Play and running throughout April. Moments before curtain up and front of house manager Edward Fitch is found dead! Everyone is a suspect – and it’s up to you to figure out whodunnit.

(coliseum.org.uk)

Online

Arts organisation They Eat Culture presents a series of free online workshops inviting participants to Explore The Living City. Throughout April there will be how-to lessons in mindful gratitude journalling, documentary photography led by Claire Griffiths (work pictured), creative collage and textured rubbings, and mixed-media collage. Workshops are free for those with PR postcodes. 

(the-living-city.org)

Online

Three Monday Midnights is a three-part audio series from Jamal Gerard and Heart of Glass. Using prose and poetry, Gerard is transported into a supernatural world where he explores the history of blues and rock ‘n’ roll in the company of spirits, including a fallen angel, a loa, an orisha – and a host of legendary musicians.

(heartofglass.org.uk)

Online

The Theatre by the Lake’s community exhibition Life after Lockdown has been installed in the Theatre Gallery for audiences to experience online. The exhibition, curated by Cumbrian artists Louie Whitemore and Mark Melville, is made up of artwork created by local communities reflecting on 2020, looking forward to the future and starting conversations about people’s hopes for life after lockdown.

(theatrebythelake.com) 

Online

The Lucky Ones is part theatre, part video game, part escape room. The week-long digital experience from Oldham Coliseum and Riptide uses your devices and augments your surroundings, placing you as the main character. You can play in a team (up to four players) or individually and the choices you make at every stage will affect the direction and outcome of the game. 

(coliseum.org.uk)

Online

Opera North presents a programme of online events including a Little School of Music and Orchestral Academy for children, , virtual choir From Couch to Chorus: Sing into Spring, and special personal performances by soprano Bibi Heal for community groups, care homes and anyone in need of some lockdown positivity. 

(operanorth.co.uk) 

Online

Song of the Female Textile Workers weaves together the histories of female textile workers in Leeds and Shanghai through the power of Chinese opera. The online exhibition presents six specially created documentary films, each rediscovering a different facet of the UK-China textile industries as well as telling the stories of industrial and cultural development in Shanghai.

(museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk/leeds-industrial-museum/song-of-the-female-textile-workers)

Online

Manchester Camerata performs Untold, a series of films revealing the intimate personal stories of real people in the community through film, storytelling, prose and music, performed from the Monastery Manchester.

(manchestercamerata.co.uk)

Online

Nine Lives follows Ishamel, fleeing his home where homophobia threatens his life. Dispersed to Leeds, he waits to hear his fate. Exploring the concept of home, this one-man show by Leeds-based Zimbabwean slam poet Zodwa Nyoni is available on YouTube in full.

(tinyurl.com/ybqg9mme)

Online

Shakespeare’s Globe continues to offer a huge back catalogue of productions via its Globe Player. Highlights include former artistic director Emma Rice’s radical Midsummer Night’s Dream, Gemma Arterton’s Duchess of Malfi and an all-male take on Twelfth Night, starring Stephen Fry among others.

(globeplayer.tv)

Pickering

North Yorkshire Moors Railway is operating the Optimist – a daily service on its heritage railway travelling the 24 miles between Pickering and Whitby.

(nymr.co.uk) 

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