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Coronavirus / COVID-19

If you have a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell, do not come to our hospitals. Follow the national advice and stay at home for seven days.

Important information about our services and restrictions on visiting our hospitals can be found in the COVID-19 section.

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Arts for wellbeing - read, listen, watch

At a time when most of our arts programme is on hold because musicians and artists can no longer visit our hospitals, we have created a page of creative links to help us all relax and unwind.

Read

Literary festivals

Visit a literary festival online:

It's worth visiting the websites for online events outside the festival dates themselves.

Research Oxfordshire history

To research family or local history, visit the Oxfordshire History Centre website.

There are historic photos of Oxfordshire, and oral history recordings at pictureoxon.com and the Historic England website.

You can find Oxfordshire people on the National Portrait Gallery website.

Local historian Liz Wooley has recorded a lecture about how to do local history research.

Listen

Poetry

Sir Patrick Stewart reads sonnets. Known to many for Star Trek: The Next Generation, but also a longtime member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Sir Paatrick is giving daily readings of sonnets, delivered over social media.

Tune in each day on Twitter for a sense of calm that only one of our most revered actors can provide.

@SirPatStew on Twitter

Actor Sam West is reading two new poems every day on Soundcloud, available via this link.

soundcloud.com - Samuel West

The Poetry Foundation has a daily podcast of classic and contemporary poems read by poets and actors, delivered every day.

poetryfoundation.org/podcasts

Music

Royal Opera House on YouTube: opera and ballet - in full - from the archive.

NPR's Tiny Desk Concert Series features films of intimate concerts from a range of artists from Coldplay to Harry Styles. Styles sings folksy rock songs with sweet harmonies, interspersed with his explanations behind the tunes and his recording process.

Cello legend Yo-Yo Ma is sharing solo performances on social media. There's no fancy production, no accompaniment and no fanfare: just Ma alone with his instrument, performing for listeners everywhere as part of what he's calling a'songs of comfort' series.

@YoYo_Ma on Twitter

As part of the London Symphony Orchestra's 'Always Playing' programme a concert from their archive is being streamed each Sunday and Thursday on their YouTube channel. They provide digital programme notes and hope that you will be able to sit down and watch at the same time as friends and family, and get in touch via social media using #AlwaysPlaying.

Local musician Ben Heaney from Deltaviolin is offering live music performances of popular songs on Facebook.

Oxford Philharmonic have uploaded a video of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with soloist Maxim Vengerov (filmed in December 2014). If you want to hear what music the orchestra's players are turning to, to relax, see their blog with recommended tracks - a great mix of genres from classical to musical theatre and jazz.

Watch Don't Fence Me In by Man Choir, Oxford's Community Men's Choir on Facebook.

Join a choir

The Sofa Singers is an online choir that you sing in direct from your couch. It's been set up by musician James Sill, a 'vocal leader'. Each choir rehearsal is 45 minutes, during which James will teach everyone in attendance a new classic song.

There's even a post rehearsal tea break where people can swap photos or videos, as well as just general good cheer. To join in set yourself up an account on Zoom:

thenudge.com - the Sofa Singers

Comedy

A host of top comics have teamed up for the Stay at Home Festival, a free online comedy festival hosted by Robin Ince. There's a gig or two a day with some available for online viewing at a later date.

The Cosmic Shambles Network - the Stay at Home Festival

The Dave channel's hit podcast Conversations Against Living Miserably has released two special comic-led instalments to help anyone stuck indoors with tips on self isolation, hosted by Geordie standup Lauren Pattison and author Aaron 'TechncallyRon' Gillies.

Watch

Theatre

The National Theatre is switching to its YouTube channel under the banner of National Theatre at Home. Every Thursday at 7.00pm, a new National Theatre play will be released - free to watch for one week - with bonus content including cast and creative Q&As and post-stream talks.

Works will include 'Treasure Island' and 'Jane Eyre' as well as 'Hamlet' and 'Frankenstein' starring Benedict Cumberbatch and 'Coriolanus' starring Tom Hiddleston.

The Royal Shakespeare Company is broadcasting six plays on the BBC between now and September, including:

  • Macbeth (2018), directed by Polly Findlay with Christopher Eccleston and Niamh Cusack
  • Hamlet (2016), directed by Simon Godwin with Paapa Essiedu
  • Romeo and Juliet (2018), directed by Erica Whyman
  • Much Ado About Nothing (2014), directed by Christopher Luscombe
  • Othello (2015), directed by Iqbal Khan with Hugh Quarshie and Lucian Msamati
  • The Merchant of Venice (2015), directed by Polly Findlay

Dates to be published on the Royal Shakespeare Company website - www.rsc.org.uk.

For information about the best London plays to view online, visit the Time Out website.

Dance

Sadlers Wells Theatre on YouTube - dance films specially created for the screen, as well as workshops for children and older people.

One Dance UK digital calendar - live-streamed shows, classes and talks.

Galleries and museums

For those of you that are feeling (virtually!) adventurous the Google Arts and Culture online platform offers free access to over 1200 Museums and Galleries worldwide and shares highlights from their collections. You can also take virtual tours and create your own collection if you have a google account.

Google Arts & Culture - Collections

Among the Trees

Take a virtual tour on YouTube of the Among the Trees exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in London's Southbank Centre.

Immerse yourself in a painting

Take a deep breath and immerse yourself in a Chinese painted scroll. You can step inside and fly through the beautiful seventeenth century painting 'Reading in the Autumn Mountains' on the British Museum's Facebook page - see the post on 3 April 2020. Explore more of the collection and inventive postings on the page too.

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Wytham Woods by Paul Medley.