The world is in a strange and scary place now, I’m approaching the third week of lockdown here in the UK. Adjusting to my new life of sharing a house with my parents and dog 24/7, working from home, unable to physically socialise, see shows and all the normalities we didn’t realise we took for granted.

However, it isn’t all doom and gloom as there are a few means of Isolation Entertainment going on so I thought I’d share some of my favourite things I’ve spotted that have been raising a smile as I spot them.

  1. Theatre Streaming – There are so many theatre archives getting dusted off and put out on digital platforms, it’s getting hard to keep up! While the shows may not physically be able to go on, it’s wonderful to see so many shows that may have been missed or that can be relived in the comfort of our homes. A few places to look to get you started include the Hampstead Theatre, Original Theatre, and The National Theatre. Though there are a plethora of great choices out there once you get fishing around for them!
  2. Concert Streaming – I was going to breakdown specific highlights, but there are so many incredible live-streamed concerts happening; similar to the theatre streams, it’s getting hard to keep up! Some are paid and well-planned gigs, others are a mix of scheduled and impromptu free live streams. A few ones to watch out for are Steph Parry’s insta lives, Lambert Jackson and The Theatre Cafe’s Leave a Light On live gigs, Lockdown Theatre Direct and All The Webs A Stage to give you a start. Check in on your favourite performers, bands/singers, news and entertainment pages to see what they’re up to.
  3. Quizzes – I’ve always loved a good quiz, but this isolation is making me love and appreciate them even more. Be it general knowledge or specific topics – they’re great fun and exercise those brain cells. Gather some friends and create your own, challenge friends or family to ones others have created, or just do them yourself. I recommend checking out facebook.com/ukeventures and facebook.com/thevirtualpubquiz to get you started!
  4. #CoronaCovers by Pippa Duffy & Grant O’Brien – This lovely couple has taken to Pippa Duffy’s social media to upload nightly guitar singalongs! It’s all done in a really relaxed, informal and sometimes comical manner but it’s really joyous to just witness two brilliantly talented creative types having an impromptu singalong for our viewing pleasures! (Oh and if you give a good request they might fulfill it!) Check out Pippa on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and stay tuned for daily updates.
  5. Isolation Musicals with Lisa Bridge – Lisa (and occasionally her mum) has taken to her social media channels (Twitter and Instagram) to share short clips of her (and her mum) raiding their wardrobes to recreate some iconic musical moments with a little Tik-Tok style mime along, they are simple yet effective and provide a daily smile.
  6. Social Media Joy – With lots of people having a lot more newfound free time, Social Media generally seems to be a place full of jolity, with people doing all they can to share a bit of joy. Oscar Conlon-Morrey on Twitter is bringing me a lot of smiles with his funny videos and tweets, and Rebecca Lock on Instagram always keeps me amused. Though there are many more fabulous people on social media, that are using their platform to spread joy. Many theatre blogs are encouraging performers to do takeovers, and gigs/chats via on their channels too. I’d love to know who always makes you smile with positive posts!
  7. Cameo – The business has seemed to be booming, with your favourite performers and celebrities having a lot more free time and less or no income; the simple fact of paying to recieve a little message/song/request gives fans a little lift and helps support the artists or their chosen charities. Here’s a handy guide of some of the West End & UK performers on Cameo, but explore the site yourself and treat yourself or your friends/family!
  8. Face New Challenges – It may be obvious, but I’m trying to channel positivity into this new way of life as much as I can. Be it simply sending more post to friends, investing my creative energy into a few more blogs or fun things, watching more films, playing more games, taking in fresh air (within our allowance!) and just trying to utilise the time to do the things we neglect when stuck in our normal routine.

I hope this just aids you in getting some ideas about how to keep yourself and those around you busy, entertained and positive. Of course there are plenty more options out there, but here’s a few to get you started. I’d love to know how you’re coping in isolation and what you’re doing to keep yourself occupied and amused! Let me know…