At the British Council, we’re committed to ensuring people all over the world can connect through culture, and we are working hard to deliver what we can while responding to the relevant government and health authority guidance.

We’ve put together a number of resources on where you can discover virtual cultural programmes.

So remember to stay safe, wash your hands, keep your distance but stay connected.

#CultureConnectsUs

Listen to UK music

  • Every week, Selector Radio brings you the best of UK music. Catch up now with the very cool Jamz Supernova.
  • BBC 6 Music Festival is a line up of three days of live music and conversation – from Bombay Bicycle Club to Kate Tempest.
  • Treat yourself to the Royal Opera House’s playlist on YouTube of the Best Opera Arias and Choruses. The Royal Opera House also has a number of free broadcasts and live content that audiences can access for free at any time, anywhere across the globe. 
  • Learn along with Grammy award-winning Scottish classical violinist Nicola Benedetti, who has been teaching the world to play Elgar during the Covid-19 lockdown. 

Take a virtual tour

  • Take a virtual tour of the Natural History Museum to check out the museum's 80 million specimens with unique, new features: encounter a prehistoric marine reptile in virtual reality.
  • Check out the British Museum Virtual Tour. Over 6 million visitors every year experience the collection, including world-famous objects such as the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon sculptures, and Egyptian mummies.
  • Sculptural jackets, needle-worked lace, embroidery, take a deep dive into the V&A fashion collection spanning five centuries.  
  • Tour the streets with Google Street View and find Banksy works in Bristol, London and New Orleans.

Tune into UK theatre and dance

  • Tune each week to the National Theatre at Home. The National Theatre has put some of their most popular productions on YouTube, releasing one every Thursday at 7 p.m. UK time.
  • Deafinitely Theatre has launched a season of their work, performed in British Sign Language and spoken English. 
  • Royal Shakespeare Company version of King Lear was created specifically for younger audiences and played in schools across the UK. This version of King Lear is available to watch at any time now.
  • The Royal Court’s play Cyprus Avenue by David Ireland is available to watch for free. This hard-hitting black comedy tells the story of a man struggling with the past and terrified of the future. 
  • Six rotating Shakespeare’s Globe productions will be available to watch for free on the theatre’s video-on-demand service Globe Player.
  • Live Stream Archive has put together a temporary digital archive collating all of the work being shared online by UK Theatre and Performance Artists, showcasing fringe, small to mid-scale work, and experimental work.
  • Actor Robert Myles has set up a reading group for professional and amateur actors to perform Shakespeare’s complete plays in the order. Tune in each week on YouTube.
  • Evan Placey’s Girls Like That play from Unicorn Theatre is an explosive play that explores gender equality and the pressures on today’s digital generation.
  • Scotland's new writing theatre, the Traverse Theatre has created Five From Inside monologues from the crew who would have been performing their new production Donny's Brain.
  • Hampstead Theatre and The Guardian have teamed up to stream a series of acclaimed productions for free. 
  • The English National Ballet uploads classes, repertoire highlights, challenges and more on their channels.

Looking for more? Our Theatre and Dance team has put together an excellent list of UK work that you should watch online.

Explore visual arts

  • Take a look through the British Council Collection. Since 1938 the British Council has been collecting works of art, craft and design to showcase the achievements of the very best British artists, craft practitioners and designers.
  • Watch an online-only performance by Faustin Linyekula in the Tanks at Tate Modern. In this autobiographical performance, Linyekula questions ancient knowledge stored in the body against the relatively short written history found in books.
  • Take a look at UK artist David Hockney’s latest collection, Do Remember They Can't Cancel the Spring, of iPad paintings capturing Normandy in the Spring. 
  • In collaboration with Art UK, The Guardian has created the Great British Art Quiz using the UK’s public collections.

Read and listen to the UK's best writers

  • Booker Prize-winning author Marlon James takes rapper, poet and author Akala on a tour of Kingston, Jamaica. They discuss gentrification, racism and the rhythm of a busy urban environment.
  • Head back to the 2016 Sydney Writers Festival opening address from Kate Tempest. In this podcast, Kate recites her poems and talks about how the stories we choose define us.
  • The Desmond Elliot Prize 2020 long list has bold new voices that demonstrate the strength of UK and Irish writing.
  • Listen to Pheobe Waller-Bridge who joined host of The Guilty Feminist, Deborah Frances-White, on stage at Southbank Centre to discuss all things Fleabag.
  • Great list of books to give us hope from authors including recommendations from some of the UK’s finest – Phillip Pullman, Laura Mvula and Kamila Shamsie.
  • At 27, Daisy Johnson became the youngest ever author to be shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize last year for Everything Under. Listen to her at the 2019 Sydney Writers Festival.

 

Fun activities to try at home

  • Stay inspired with Firstsite’s artist-created activity packs for children, featuring contributions from UK artists including Antony Gormley, Gillian Wearing, Idris Khan, Jeremy Deller and Mark Wallinger. 
  • From making a balloon-powered car to building a bridge from spaghetti, UK Company Dyson has created 44 STEM activities for children to try out while at home.
  • While you are at it, why not try some great 'Kitchen Science' to try from the UK’s Science Museum.  
  • Paper peepshows are like pocket-sized stage sets unfolding before your eyes. The V&A have created this handy guide to make your own at home. 
  • Each week the delightful Noel Fielding runs 'Noel's Arts Club' on Instagram via #noelsartclub

Indulge in Malaysian arts

  • Take a deep dive into Five Arts Centre’s archives for Malaysian theatre productions and Arts Education.
  • New Naratif will continue to bring in-depth evidence-based journalism from around South-East Asia.
  • Malaysian Dance Centre provides a variety of contemporary and traditional Malaysian dance classes via live IG.
  • Dancer Yann Chwen Ng shares movement and grounding exercises daily that you can do at the comforts of your home.
  • Learn the Datun Julud Hornbill Dance by the Orang Ulu people of Borneo from Alena Murang.
  • Tarinao is offering free Lockdown Community Ballet Classes conducted by Jia Xi Lee.
  • Tune in to RIUH In Your Homes every night at 9 p.m. for 15-30 minutes of Instagram takeovers and mini live gigs.
  • Watch ‘Three Virgins Fly To The Moon’, a play about friendship, relationship and lives of three best friends Chot, Salmiah and Pungut.
  • Don’t miss out on Pitapat Theatre’s limited online screening of award-winning productions KAKAK (The Maids) and DOGS.
  • Storytime with Uncle Joe and Aunty Faridah features Malaysian theatre pioneers Joe Hasham OAM and Dato’ Dr. Faridah Merican reading from well-loved picture books for children or those who are young at heart.
  • G13 Gallery is proud to present 'Of Dream and Reality', a group exhibition that features new artworks from four aspiring local artists and an international artist from Thailand.
  • Join a visual arts competition and an open call by Yayasan Sime Darby Arts Festival to realise your creative ideas.
  • Immerse in a musical-theatre show, Bornean indigenous folklores, illustrations, craft from natural materials and guided video classes from elders in Borneo to your home by The Tuyang Initiative.
  • Don’t want to miss a beat? For more on the Malaysian arts and culture scene, keep updated with this list by Kakiseni.