Keeping Occupied 

In this section we will try and put together information about some of the stuff that's popping up online to keep us entertained, or to help us learn new skills. Scroll down, and/or click on the links to the right, for:

All ideas and discoveries would be very welcome!

  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Opera
  • Cirque du Soleil
  • Study Opportunities
  • Ancient Sites Virtual Tours
  • Virtual Museum Tours
  • Bird Spotting

Theatre and Musicals

Free Theatre

Amsterdam, Orange Tree Theatre

Maya Arad Yasur's acclaimed play about the legacy of the Holocaust on Europe's present will be available to stream from 7.30pm GMT on all Orange Tree Theatre platforms. It will be available for 'a limited time' though it's not stipulated when it will end. 


National Theatre at Home YouTube Channel

Every Thursday, a new play premiers

One Man, Two Guvners

Premiered 7pm Thursday 2 April, but still available.

The Wind in the Willows

Julian Fellow's music version of The Wind in the Willows played at the Palladium a few summers ago and is now available to stream in full for free.

Jane Eyre

Play 2,  Sally Cookson's epic Charlotte Bronte adaptation, will stream from Thursday April 9 at 7pm for one week

Treasure Island

Play 3, Bryony Lavery's family adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic, will stream from Thursday April 16 at 7pm, for one week.

Twelfth Night

Play 4, William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night starring Tamsi Greig as Malvolio, streams from Thursday April 23 at 7pm for one week.


Cheek by Jowl Theatre

Shakespeare's A Winter's Tale The iconic theatre company has brought back the archive recording of its hit version of Shakespeare's problem play, which was captured live at the Barbican in 2017. It's around for a month.


The Life and Adventure of Nicholas Nickleby, with Roger Reese

Does anyone remember this incredible RSC production? All 9 hours of it? Available through a 7-day Free Trial period with Broadway HD, as part of Amazon Prime. But don't let on we told you!


Reduced Price Theatre

Globe Player - Shakespeare's Globe's digital platform.

More than 130 professionally filmed plays from the Globe's vaults, mostly Shakespeare, but also a couple of other tragedies including The Duchess of Malfi, starring Gemma Arterton.

Cost: From £3.99 to rent a play and from £5.99 to own one, pus some compilation bundles.



Andrew Lloyd Webber is making one of his musicals available free of charge every Friday. Watch The Shows Must Go On 'live' at 7pm each Friday, or catch up with it later. But you only have 48 hours each time before it disappears again. 



The Paris Opera is promising to show its most beautiful shows from its archives online free of charge. From Don Giovanni to Swan Lake and The Tales of Hoffmann, there are many great classics to see or rediscover from home. Drop by at 7.30pm to see what's showing.

The complete program:

March 17 - 22: Manon (2020)
March 23 - 29: Don Giovanni (2019)
March 30 - April 5: Swan Lake (2019)
April 6 - 12: The Barber of Seville (2014)
April 13 - 19: Tribute to Jerome Robbins (2018)
April 20 - 26: The Tales of Hoffmann (2016)
April 27 - May 3: Carmen (2017)
March 17 - May 3: Cycle of Tchaikovsky's six symphonies played by the Orchestra of the Paris National Opera, conducted by Philippe Jordan 

Free Online Study

The Open University

A series of short courses are available free through the Open University 'Open Learn' website. The courses are short and accessible - they do not count towards a degree, but represent aspects of all OUs main subject areas. 

Ivy League

The eight Ivy League schools in America have between them made available a staggering 450 courses free online. There's got to be something in there that takes your interest!

Interested in Science? Visit The Royal Institution's YouTube channel, where they have made a large number of brief talks and explanations on various aspect of science available. 

Ancient Sites & Virtual Tours

3D modelling has provided four virtual tours of ancient sites courtesy of the Egyptian Tourist Board: 

  • The 5,000-year-old tomb of Queen Meresankh III
  • The Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Barquq, on Cairo's historic thoroughfare, Sharia Al Muizz
  • The Coptic Red Monastery in Upper Egypt
  • The Ben Erza Synagogue - founded, the story goes, on the site where Moses was discovered.

Bird Spotting and Bird Songs

With less traffic noise and lower levels of pollution we are getting more and more birdsong. The National Trust has produced an online guide to the birds you can spot out of your window, including a recording of some of their song. Learn to spot the most common ones by sound as well as sight. 

Virtual Holidays

The Guardian has begun a series of 'Virtual Holidays' gathering together articles about various destinations, beginning with Russia.