An unexpected joy of lockdown is seeing world-class performers in their natural habitats. Habitat is the apposite word for Simon Keenlyside, who read zoology at Cambridge before focusing on his operatic career and who describes a love of nature as “the marrow” of his existence. He looks to music for its validation.
For Wasfi Kani, the unstoppable founder of Grange Park Opera, even a pandemic is only a temporary setback. As soon as she had accepted this summer’s country house opera season at The Theatre in the Woods was lost, she set about mobilising the “pandemicists” and amassing funding for a Found season.
Money and heroic self-sacrifice have been considered throughout history the rational motivations for risking life. In pandemic lockdown, we’re more aware of that than ever as governments weigh economic damage and national health, while workers battling on the frontline make the ultimate sacrifice.
For those suffering withdrawal symptoms, Stay at Home with Crazy Coqs is providing a thrice-weekly fix on YouTube as some of its regular artists post recordings from their homes or reissue previous Crazy Coqs performances.
Brontë’s angry classic, which has for decades fired up rebellious, ambitious girls and women, has found new resonance in our self-isolating times as the National Theatre at Home allows another frustrated generation to ponder its lot.
While we are forced to spend almost all our time indoors in order to help us stay safe and healthy, many people are using the time to learn new skills. Now the trailblazing Oak Circus Centre along with internationally renowned Lost in Translation Circus are offering interactive online courses in circus skills that anyone can join in with.
The theatrical brilliance of Endgame is thrown into relief by Jones’ decision to precede it with the rarely performed Rough for Theatre II, which Beckett is believed to have written around the same time as Endgame in the late 50s.