I applaud and appreciate the effort and generosity of many beloved arts institutions (all currently shuttered) in the midst of this ongoing pandemic crisis to keep audiences entertained and instructed via new platforms-mostly for free, astonishingly!-offering streams of past shows or filmed performances of productions that were scheduled for March or April now sadly unable to be experienced live. Via company website or Facebook or Instagram page, with but a click you are watching a full-length play or dance piece or, even, a virtual art exhibition (my first step into this brave new world was courtesy of Guts Gallery with their  show “When Shit Hits the Fan” on Instagram view through 16 April).

Balletboyz’s DELUXE
Courtesy corrblimey

The National inaugurates their online viewing this Thursday with One Man, Two Guv’nors; Sadler’s Wells is streaming the Balletboyz’s Deluxe through Friday (comprised of two short works and an introductory overture: Bradley 418, based upon a Kate Tempest track, finds all six troupe members taking on a facet of the central fretful character who awakes in early morning beset by vague unease and anxiety, following him through a performance of masculine authority and confidence and drive as he strides through the day; all facets continually crash and clash, attempting unity but so often collapsing into disharmony, a man incapable of resolving his own contradictions-the second, Ripple, although full of supple, poetic movement mimicking the undulating flow of water, suggesting a peaceful, tranquil state of mind, an apotheosis of agreeability, loses focus and fluidity when veering from group dynamic to more individual concentration); Hampstead Theatre will be releasing a new stream of a past play weekly, each available for seven days, starting with You & I;

Royal Opera PETER & THE WOLF courtesy of Broadway world

Royal Opera House offers Peter and the Wolf via Youtube, to be joined by several other productions throughout April; Tate Britain brings a dance piece (Our Bodies, Our Lives) filmed in their colossal Tanks space, originally meant to be performed as part of the Lates programme; Unicorn Theatre streams Girls Like That, a blistering take on the travails of female adolescence perfect for the teen/tween demographic; the haunting song-cycle Ghost Quartet, which played at SoHo’s new Boulevard Theatre, is available via Youtube; Berlin’s famed Schaubruhne now has many of their productions ready to stream; innovative Belgian performance company Peeping Tom (a frequent guest at London Mime Festival) offers one of their older trilogies; the Royal Court has a theatre/film hybrid of its acclaimed 2016 production Cyprus Avenue with Stephen Rea.

Royal Court’s CYPRUS AVENUE courtesy Artsdesk

Waiting in the wings is the BBC’s broadcast of the Young Vic’s Wise Children and the Almeida’s Albion on both terrestrial and online channels as part of the Culture in Quarantine platform-and the Globe is set to release titles from the Shakespeare archive. This is but a scant listing of the breadth of choice (some of the more interesting independent choices include the harrowing 5 Soldiers detailing the troubled homecoming of military personnel and Canada’s Le Patin Libra’s Vertical Influences, which seems a madcap, inventive dance on ice-and there are all manner of personal/confessional pieces from such festivals as the Edinburgh and Brighton Fringe and London’s own Vault Festival).

Courtesy Le Patin Libre

Although nothing can replace the physical interaction with a live artistic work, thank the Gods that the digital sphere can take up the charge in its temporary loss and keep us engaged and in touch-as long as we don’t get complacent.


Below is a link to a helpful Guardian article on all the available choices.





Offering a pleasant, if brisk, early March evening stroll through the grounds of the hallowed 18th century West London heritage estate Chiswick House, this candy-coloured illuminated trail of Chinese lanterns, facade projections, laser light shows and interactive displays heralds the conclusion of London’s official season of light-based extravaganzas (including the festive Kew, Eltham Palace and Syon Park enchanted light programmes, Canary Wharf Winter Lights, Winterfest at Wembley Park, Glow at Eastbury Manor, as well as a plethora of smaller-scale offerings at various city venues). It’s clear that London is in deep attraction to a play of light.

Lacking the sophistication and style of many of Kew’s pieces or the creative edge of Canary Wharf’s contributions, or the majesty and awe of the infrequent London Lumiere, the works here settle for a straightforward, steady reliability, a widespread appeal to all family members. Woodland creatures, birds, jungle animals, fairies, plants, flowerbeds and toadstools abound. Carpets of animated laser lights, like bits of shimmering and restless confetti, gently disorient step at certain stages of the walk. Patterns of light search through trees. Gardens of clustered lights flash on and off in musical sequence. Brilliant, explosive orchestrations of image splash vividly to life upon the walls of the villa. A peacock flashes its psychedelic plumage.

It’s all perfectly comfortable and charming, but it doesn’t offer anything particularly original (perhaps the unfortunate result of such a glut of light-based exhibitions scheduled so closely together). An outdoor food market, fairground rides and big-top tent with acrobats and artisan crafts greet visitors at the end of the trail, enhancing its familial attractiveness. It will certainly put a smile on many a kid’s face, and a spell upon the mind and heart. LIGHTOPIA closed on 1 March Video footage available on the Instagram account




Bronze-cast icons from across the history of Warner Brothers studios have colonised the spaces in and around London’s famed Leicester Square, settling in for at least a six-month residency. As this area has long been associated with its grand and majestic cinemas and its use as the premier location of red-carpet ceremonies, a more apropos place to situate such enduring film characters could not be found.

Laurel & Hardy lock in slapstick step atop the HotTix booth, Gene Kelly frolics upon a lamppost, Mary Poppins lands at a gate entrance, Bugs Bunny pops up in a garden spot, Charlie Chaplin toddles on his cane, while Mr. Bean and Paddington take seats on benches within the square, anticipating the relentless selfie opportunities to come (but do take care to respect that Paddington may want to savour his marmalade sandwich in peace).

Batman surveys the activity with his signature fraught vigilance from the high roof of the Odeon Cinema across the way. Only poor Wonder Woman is unceremoniously consigned to a distant corner, bursting forth from a side wall of the Vue West End Cinema onto a mean little passageway now under heavy construction.

No doubt the sculptures will bring delight to thousands of visitors-those who venture with intention and those who happily stumble upon them as tourists. Light displays in the evening will further enhance many of the pieces, and Spotify offers an immersive soundtrack to accompany a walk through the trail. Scenes in the Square will run through the summer, if not longer due to demand