7 digital distractions to entertain the family during lockdown

PUBLISHED: 18:00 15 May 2020

Ghislaine Wood, curator of Art Deco by the Sea, a new exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre which can be viewed on BBC i-player Picture: Kate Wolstenholme

Ghislaine Wood, curator of Art Deco by the Sea, a new exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre which can be viewed on BBC i-player Picture: Kate Wolstenholme

Kate Wolstenholme

There are times when the TV just lets you down. Some days it seems that are 57 channels and nothing’s on. Also, you may want to do something with family and friends, that’s when the internet comes to our rescue. Here are some interactive treats you will enjoy

Wonderful Beast Theatre Company are bringing their storytelling online with the help of some famous friends Photo: Phil MorleyWonderful Beast Theatre Company are bringing their storytelling online with the help of some famous friends Photo: Phil Morley

Lockdown Tales

When: Daily

Where: Wonderful Beast webpage

In this heart-warming project, actors, authors and poets have been invited by Suffolk touring company Wonderful Beast to record themselves reading favourite stories to children, sharing in the human experience of being grandparents, aunts, uncles, godparents and friends separated from their families and loved ones.

Dean Parkin will be hosting the The Big Cut Quiz    Photo: KATIE UTTINGDean Parkin will be hosting the The Big Cut Quiz Photo: KATIE UTTING

Stories are dedicated to a much-missed child and then shared free with children worldwide. Readers include Miranda Raison, Penelope Wilton, Jenny Hall, Dean Parkin and several brilliant new voices. New episodes released Tuesdays and Thursdays on Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud and Stitcher, or listen online on the Wonderful Beast website.

Other family stories are available in the ‘From the Archive’ pages and feature folk tales and other stories told by actors such as Jonathan Pryce, Bill Paterson, Brian Cox, Gemma Jones, Jon Canter and other distinguished performers, recorded at the many Wonderful Beast benefits over the years. Many of them are fantastically funny, and young and old will find amusement and escape.

Exhibition ‘Drawn In Suffolk’

Art Deco by the Sea, a new exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre. Picture: Kate WolstenholmeArt Deco by the Sea, a new exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre. Picture: Kate Wolstenholme

When: Daily

Where: East Anglian Traditional Art Centre website

Some of East Anglia’s greatest 20th century artists are being given a rare joint exhibition in a bid to raise spirits during lockdown. East Anglian Traditional Art Centre are showing a rare collection of lithographs and drawings which will be online until the end of June.

Represented in the exhibition are original lithographs by Harry Becker (1865 to 1928) His farming subjects, were mostly produced between 1895 and 1915 and in editions of less than 50. Each work has an individual character. Drawn by the artist on the stone, the image is reproduced on paper after a complex process and then the stone is reground smooth.

George Thomas Rope (1846 to 1929) is represented by his field sketches. Born in Blaxhall, he was the son of a farmer and merchant and remained based in the county all his life. He had a lifetime interest in drawing and natural history. Many of his sketches feature animals. He exhibited at the Royal Academy as well as other venues.

Leonard Squirrell (1893 to 1979) was something of a local legend. Well-known for his views of Suffolk and beyond, after training at the Slade, Squirrell exhibited at most of the major galleries. His finished watercolours are technically proficient but in his sketches are to be found the seeds of ideas, many have interesting colour notes and provide an insight into his working methods.

Hightide Digital Youth Theatre

When: Daily

Where: Hightide’s Lighthouse page

HighTide has created a digital youth theatre, bringing together young people who access the services of 4YP in Ipswich, for a creative and connected digital response to Lockdown, called the Corona Virus Time Capsule. Conceived by Company 3, in association with Nick Hern Books, the Coronavirus Time Capsule is a way of recording young peoples’ experiences during the global coronavirus pandemic. Each week individual young people respond to a Topic (things like Home Life, or Education, or Boredom) and make a fifteen-second video. These are then collated and edited together by Kirsty Tallent, HighTide’s engagement associate who has worked with the company for several years, creating extraordinary projects for young people in Suffolk. The Time Capsule gets published on Hightide’s social media every Friday. #CoronavirusTimeCapsule

IFT At Home

When: Daily

Where: Ipswich Film Theatre supporters newsletter

Sign up to the Ipswich Film Theatre newsletter and you can get access to exclusive films and reduced prices to a number of streaming platforms including MUBI and Curzon Hone Cinema – a portion of the screening fee is also returned to the IFT.

Among the films available are The Whistlers which follows Cristi, a police inspector in Bucharest, with an ambivalent relationship with the law. Drawn into a high stakes heist by the glamorous and enigmatic Gilda, he finds himself travelling to a Spanish island where he has to learn the local dialect - a secret whistling language - to pull off the biggest deal of his life.

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Patrons are also offered a 15% discount on any title in the online Doc’n Roll Festival. Doc’n Roll is the UK’s Music Documentary Film Festival. And Doc’n Roll TV - another UK first - is their on-demand streaming platform dedicated to underground music docs. Doc’n Roll celebrates music subcultures by providing a unique platform to support the wealth of creative, compelling and unforgettable documentaries that celebrate the performers, labels, scenes and stories of the independent music world.

Art Deco by the Sea

When: Daily

Where: BBC i-player

The Sainsbury Centre in Norwich has been suffering in lockdown and their much anticipated exhibition Art Deco by the Sea remains hidden behind locked doors. Thanks to a BBC film the exhibition is available to be seen on BBC i-player and offers an opportunity to explore the key themes and pieces from home.

Sainsbury Centre staff are hoping to lift your spirits and inspire creativity by bringing you a range of online activities for all ages at the Sainsbury Centre Online Studio, which over the coming weeks will post a range of learning activities to engage all the family.

Mercury Theatre Sing-a-long

When: Every Wednesday at 7pm

Where: Mercury Online webpage

The Mercury Theatre have launched a new virtual programme of work, Mercury Online, which includes their weekly Sing-A-Long sessions and have proven hugely successful.

The sessions which are hosted on virtual meeting software, Zoom, feature Colchester resident and West End star Craig Mather singing and playing a range of musical themed songs for participants to sing and dance along to in their homes.

Themes so far have included Broadway Musicals, The Bands Edition and Songs from the Movies, to name just a few. New themes are announced each week and the lyric pack made available on the day, with at home participants encouraged to use fancy dress or props to add to the evening’s jollities.

No stranger to the Mercury Theatre, Craig who has also appeared in the Made in Colchester productions of Pieces of String and pantomime Jack & the Beanstalk, Zooms in from his at home studio every week to sing and play for his online audience.

Attendees have even included comedian Matt Lucas, who joined one of the sessions to perform and lead a round of his now infamous “Baked Potato” song.

The Big Cut Quiz

When: Friday May 22 at 7.30pm

Where: Zoom link via Halesworth Cut webpage

Suffolk’s quirkiest quiz night is back - live on Zoom and in your front room - capturing hearts and minds across the internet.

Devised and hosted by the quick quipping quizmaster Dean Parkin, cueing up a cornucopia of curious conundrums including puzzling pictures, movie mashups, musical mix-ups and rollicking rounds of general knowledge.

The event is open to all and free, but organisers would be grateful for donations to The Cut, which needs every pound it can raise at the moment in order to still be operational when lockdown comes to an end.

You can play on your own or remotely as a team - you can have team members logged in at different locations and confer over your phones.

Book your free ticket on the website and the Zoom link will be emailed to you on Thursday May 21.

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