One of the things I’ve really enjoyed this winter is going to virtual events. I don’t have to leave the house, defrost the car and drive to a venue to enjoy quality live entertainment. I can be comfy and cosy at home and can even wear my slippers during the performance. If you too would like to join in with some of the fab low-cost and FREE shows that are available online this month, here are some ideas to get you started…
I love having things in the calendar to look forward to so I’ve searched online to find lots of fab shows that I can attend from the comfort of my own home. I actually still get dressed up to watch a live stream theatre show or comedy event – it’s a great excuse to wear a sparkly top and feel like I’m going on a night out with my husband.
Throughout last year we went to every comedy event hosted by the Covid Arms and at Christmas I found plenty of festive entertainment to enjoy at home. It really helped us to get into the Christmas spirit last December. Now that we’re in a new year, I wanted to share some more ideas for nights in. Many of these shows are free to enjoy, but you can always make a donation to help out the organisation if you would like to.
As huge comedy fans, the thing that kept my husband and I going in 2020 was attending regular comedy clubs online. I love the interactive nature of a comedy show on zoom and the best by far is Comedy At The Covid Arms, hosted by Kiri Pritchard-Mclean. There are two ticket options – £2 live stream or £10 for a ‘front row’ ticket where you can chat with the comedians if you like. They are hosting a Covid Arms Special for the NHS this month on 23rd January and I’ve already bought my front row ticket. For every ticket sold, they are donating another to an NHS worker – brill!
Here’s another comedy show not to miss: every Thursday evening at 7pm Scott Bennett hosts Stand Up From The Shed live on Facebook. After seeing him perform at a comedy club a couple of years ago, Scott has been one of my favourites and he always gets us roaring with laughter. Definitely give this live stream a try and get involved with the show by commenting and sending photos.
And from January to March, Cambridge Junction is hosting three live comedy performances via Zoom, including Mark Watson’s latest tour. We’ve watched Mark many times during lockdown through livestream comedy clubs so we’ll definitely be booking a ticket for his online show too.
I’ve just found out that Red Rose Chain theatre is providing their 2020-21 panto Alice in Wonderland to stream for free, along with an activity pack for home-schooling families. This amazing offer is available or a limited time only and the fun challenge pack helps keeps youngsters occupied while the schools are closed. You can download the activity pack and watch the show via the Red Rose Chain website here.
Similarly, Cambridge Junction has a Livestream theatre production available The Snow Queen, which is suitable for ages 5+. Kids can play along with the film using the accompanying downloadable activity pack. In order to make the show as accessible as possible Cambridge Junction is offering tickets on a ‘pay what you feel’ basis and you can watch the show as many times as you like between now and the 21st February when the theatre ‘run’ ends.
Also, every Friday you can watch a premiere of a West End musical on The Shows Must Go On YouTube channel. It was set up to allow theatre-goers to continue enjoying shows during lockdown and it’s still publishing a new musical every week. The shows are announced during the week and only stay live for 48 hours from Friday evening, so you’ve really got to make time over the weekend to watch it.
AN AUDIENCE WITH…
If you’ve read my previous live entertainment from home blog posts, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of ‘An Audience With’ shows that are currently being hosted online by Fane. You can book tickets to the live stream events via your local theatre, so that’s the best place to start looking for a show to attend.
I’ve seen Monty Don and Tom Allen (and bought both of their books after seeing the show too!) and at Christmas, we watched a carol concert with John Rutter. Ipswich Regent has just published their list of ‘a night in’ live shows and your local theatre will probably have a live stream section too. If you book through the theatre you’re helping to support your local theatre so why not go for it this month?
TV & RADIO RECORDINGS
Ahhh something that I was SO excited to attend this year was the online recording of Radio 4’s Just a Minute. The BBC are always on the look-out for live audiences to record for comedy and radio shows, so get yourself into the BBC’s random draw for free tickets and keep your fingers crossed. Keep an eye on the website for newly released shows that you can request tickets for.
I hope that these ideas have given you some entertainment inspiration for this winter. Let’s face it, it can actually be rather nice to watch a live show from your home rather than having to go out in the cold, dark, wet weather to trek to an event, so let’s make the most of it during lockdown! Let me know if you have come across any low-cost or free online entertainment in the comments below – I’d love to discover more things to enjoy from home.