Uninvited Guests and Fuel
Uninvited Guests and Fuel, Bristol Old Vic

Culture in quarantine: best virtual events from Bristol and Bath in May 2020

Virtual and online events from the two cities you can get involved with at home

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May 11th, 2020

Film screenings, creative workshops, theatre shows and more! Here are the best virtual events from Bristol and Bath in May 2020.


Colston Hall Presents...Bristol Takeover Online (3pm-12am, 23 May)

Following on from Colston Hall’s Bristol Takeover events, the 2020 edition comes with a big lockdown twist...the whole thing is going to be live streamed online! In partnership with Music Venue Trust’s Save Our Venues campaign, the digital festival will be hosted by BBC Introducing in the West and will feature a powerful line-up programmed in partnership with some of the city’s renowned grass roots venues including The Louisiana, Thekla, The Fleece, St George’s Bristol, Trinity, Rough Trade and more.

While being streamed for free on Youtube, organisers are asking that viewers donate what they would normally spend on a gig ticket via the event’s CrowdFunder page. All donations will be split 50/50 to support participating artists and Bristol music venues in collaboration with Music Venue Trust.

Colston Hall Presents...Bristol Takeover Online
Colston Hall Presents...Bristol Takeover Online


Molly Aitken - The Island Child, Spike Island live stream (6-7pm, 14 May)

Molly Aitken introduces her debut novel The Island Child as part of Spike Island’s Novel Writers series. Rich, haunting and rooted in Irish folklore, the book is a spellbinding debut novel about identity and motherhood, freedom and fate, and the healing power of stories.


Film screenings

Larissa Sansour: In Vitro (2019), Spike Island film screening (21-27 May)

Screening via Spike Island’s website, Sansour's In Vitro is an otherworldly rumination on memory, history, place and identity. Produced by Spike Island for the Danish Pavilion at 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

TV programmes filmed in Bristol, Bath and beyond you can watch online

There's never been a better time for binge-watching TV, so give your armchair wings and catch a glimpse of the West Country with our blog on the best TV shows filmed in the region, that you can watch online now. 

Sarah Lancashire in Kiri (Channel 4/The Forge/photo Nick Wall) Kiri (Channel 4/The Forge/photo Nick Wall)
Sarah Lancashire in Kiri (Channel 4/The Forge/photo Nick Wall)

Online performance

Invisible Circus online performances

Used to performing in an old cathedral, festivals and former fire station, Invisible Circus are now moving their performances online. The free-to-watch shows will take place on their Twitch channel, with acts ranging from aerial hoop to clowning. If you’re entertained by what you see, a digital tip jar will ensure that any money raised goes directly to the talented performers.

Bristol Old Vic at home: Open Stage Online

Inspired by Bristol Old Vic’s annual birthday invitation where anyone can perform on their historic stage – no auditions or experience needed - the theatre has made its first callout for participants and collaborators to generate the most imaginative content possible.

Every fortnight, they'll set five titles and invite you to give your artistic take on them. They'll appear here on their website and on their socials. Whether it’s a song, a dance, a drawing, a poem or your secret acrobatic skills, upload anything to their online platform that is bringing you joy in these mind-boggling times.

Bristol Old Vic Theatre Photo by Jon Craig
Bristol Old Vic Theatre

Love Letters at Home, Bristol Old Vic (3 June)

Fuel have announced a digital international tour of Uninvited Guests’ acclaimed show Love Letters Straight From Your Heart. The new digital version of the show Love Letters at Home will be performed live via Zoom to an audience of up to 90 (45 pairs) each night and will ‘visit’ 14 venues throughout the UK and beyond. 

The original show was a critical hit and played to audiences at over 30 venues including Southbank Centre, RSC Stratford, Fierce Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe.  

Uninvited Guests and Fuel Uninvited Guests and Fuel, Bristol Old Vic
Uninvited Guests and Fuel

Storytelling sessions with Lizzy Cummins, The Edge (May)

Throughout May, The Edge are launching a series of live storytelling sessions with creative learning specialist Lizzy Cummins, and recorded how-to videos with artist educator Vicky Willmott. The virtual workshops explore creative approaches to science for young inventors (ages 4-12) to get curious and realise their own creations.

Interactive Storytelling with Lizzy Cummins - The Edge online
Interactive Storytelling with Lizzy Cummins - The Edge online

Creative arts

INVENT - free online creativity sessions, The Edge and Andrew Brownsword Gallery

In celebration of The Edge and Andrew Brownsword Gallery’s open call and future exhibition, Visions of Science, comes a series of free online sessions. Inspire young minds to get creative at home through activities which fuse art and science. A new video will be uploaded to their website every fortnight live at 10am for you to follow along at home.

Share your creations by tagging your photos #ShareYourEdge on social media. 

Visions of Science at The Edge and Brownsword Gallery Photo courtesy of The Edge and Brownsword Gallery

Creativity 4 Wellbeing, The Holburne Museum

Anyone can join the Holburne Museum’s Creativity 4 Wellbeing virtual art group – every Wednesday, 2 – 3.30pm. Make and create at home, then share your image for their Instagram gallery. To join the group and receive a text/email reminder to get ready for the sessions each week, Text: JOIN and your name to 07380 615276 or email: e.blythe@holburne.org.

Holburne Museum, Bath Courtesy of the Holburne Museum
Holburne Museum, Bath

BBC Four life drawing class (12 May)

BBC Arts are holding a life drawing class on 12 May at 8pm on BBC Four and online and are inviting the public to join in at home.

Health and wellbeing

Online Wellbeing Classes by The Edge, University of Bath (until 15 May)

 The Edge and University of Bath are continuing to offer Wellbeing Classes including yoga, dance fitness and choir which have all moved online.

Theatre Orchard (18-24 May)

To mark national ‘Creativity and Wellbeing Week’, Theatre Orchard, is showcasing a week of uplifting activity. Participatory events ranging from creative writing to flashmob disco dancing (23 May, 2pm) can be found at theatreorchard.org.uk and across the organisation’s social media platforms (@cultureweston), designed to engage, energise and help people to look forwards.

Flash mob lockdown boogie on up Theatre Orchard Flash mob lockdown boogie on up Theatre Orchard
Flash mob lockdown boogie on up Theatre Orchard

Virtual Festivals

Locked-in Festival (23-24 May)

Theatre Orchard and Culture Weston will also be taking over the Locked In Festival as guest curators on 23- 24 May. Expect a mix of storytelling, poetry, comedy, theatre and more, providing a fitting finale to the Creativity and Wellbeing Week. 

Shindig at Home (23 May)

On 23 May (1pm – 3am), Mixcloud hosts a full day of Festival fun on their website, starting with yoga classes, kids workshops, circus shows, cabaret, storytelling for children and a music quiz. Come evening, the cream of the Shindig resident DJs will be playing live so we can all have a little home rave into the early hours! 

Virtual tours

Get a cyber taster of museums, theatres and attractions in the SW during the coronavirus epidemic with these virtual tours.

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