The best of going out: by staying in

Handpicked arts, theatre, music and entertainment online courtesy of Wells Maltings director, Simon Daykin.

Welcome to February, everyone. Better days are ahead in so many ways, not least of which are a little more daylight and warmth. But if you are emerging out of your burrows on Tuesday this week, just hope that you don’t see your shadow …

Thanks to those who joined our Lockdown Zoom programmes last week, with no fewer than ten teams for our second Funk Pop A Roll music quiz, and a great range of musicians for our open mic classical concert. Check out the Squares Eyes TV and film quiz this week, and the return of our popular Strictly Speaking poetry event next week. We’ll also be adding more events later this week, up to mid March, including activities for families and young people over the half term. If you need a break from home schooling over half term (and who doesn’t?), head on over to our Zoom page for more detail later this week.

For now though, here’s this week’s hearty and wholesome hamper of happiness to keep your cultural tastebuds satisfied.


Uncle Vanya

Must check out Chekhov

We had planned in January to bring the stunning production of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya from the Harold Pinter Theatre to our big screen, but lockdown had other plans. Thankfully, our BBC pals know quality when they see it, and it’s available now on iPlayer. The original production from Conor McPherson and Ian Rickson took the West End by storm, closing in March as the pandemic took hold, but then reconvening to produce this inventive filmed version. The performances are exquisite – from Toby Jones in the title role, and Richard Armitage as Astrov, to the stupendous Rosalind Eleazar as Yelena and the ever-watchable Roger Allam as Serebryakov.


Moonlight Becomes You

A contemporary of Chekhov, although they may never have met, Claude Debussy’s music painted pictures in that evocative impressionistic style that continues to captivate and charm. Pianist Alexandre Tharaud and choreographer, dancer and acrobat Yoann Bourgeois have collaborated to combine the beauty of Debussy’s Clair de Lune with a gravity defying dance performance that gives new light – and lightness – to the music.


Re-evaluating a Classic

Many will know our connection with the film director Cy Endfield, through his daughter Suzannah, who was an enormous supporter of and driving force for the relaunched Maltings until her death in 2018. Endfield’s most famous work, the 1964 film Zulu, divides opinion in the light of re-evaluation of its colonialist subject matter, as this recent piece in the Daily Telegraph by Simon Heffer shows. As a piece of cinema, it’s a masterpiece and must be seen – provoking much to think about – and launching the career of Michael Caine to boot.

‘Zulu’ 1964

Read Simon Heffer’s piece here:

See the whole film here:


The Fresh North-Easterly of Bel Air

Sea shanties are still trending on social media, and proving to be as durable and as popular as we always knew they were. The musician Sam Pope has graced the heights (or is it depths?) of Tik Tok to give us his shanty version of a few recent hits, including Eminem’s Lose Yourself, and this one – an inventive take on the Will Smith modern classic that is the theme to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Those amongst you familiar with Tik Tok, why not join the party and duet with Sam?


Graeae Theatre Company

A World of Difference

Graeae Theatre Company is a pioneer in work with disabled artists, blazing a trail for many to follow since the 1980s. The work of deaf and disabled writers is championed through Graeae’s Write to Play programme, and the second batch of five of these commissioned short pieces has been launched for a limited time until mid February under the title . Two of the five, including Kellen Frankland’s How Do You Make A Cup Of Tea? with Dame Harriet Walter and Mandy Colleran, are available now, coupled with vodcasts discussing the topics raised. Thought provoking in a time of reflection.


Homeschooling to Hull and Back

Hull Truck Theatre

And finally, before we launch our half term antidote to homeschooling, our friends at Hull Truck Theatre have developed a range of resources and ideas to help with literacy and creative learning across the curriculum, based around their recent repertoire. As you would expect from Hull Truck, it is a real shot in the arm for those struggling with learning at home – as well as celebrating the company’s amazing output. Check out their other activities for lockdown too.


Stay safe and well everyone – more next week. Do check out our Lockdown Zoom programme too.