Enjoy live music, stand-up comedy, murder mysteries and even an afternoon with Sir David Attenborough – all for free
It’s set to be an action-packed April, with lots of great online shows, talks and events happening over the course of the month. There really is something for everyone – so, where will you begin?
You can rub shoulders (virtually) with an Olympic gold medallist, get horticultural tips from a BBC Gardeners’ World expert, join a book launch and watch West End performers – all without spending a penny!
1. Share the love of theatre
The StorytEllas, until 23 May
Credit: She Productions
Capturing the thrill of live theatre in a virtual production, The StorytEllas follows Cindy, Ruby and Pru on a fantastical fairytale adventure – a four-part show designed to keep young children enthralled. There’s lots of dancing and interaction along the way, with original songs and colourful animation from the talented She Productions team. Light-hearted escapism for people of all ages who are missing real-life performances.
2. Be inspired by nature
Air and Space Exhibition, until 31 December
Credit: Jill Ashworth
Jill Ashworth’s abstract paintings are a breath of fresh air. They’re influenced by her lockdown walks around Edinburgh, observing the changing beauty of the natural world – all springlike colours, pillowy clouds and light, voluptuous forms. For a new perspective on your own daily ramblings, take a look at her online exhibition. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to put paint to canvas, too…
3. Discover a new author
Book Launch: Every Seventh Wave, 1 April
Looking for a new novel to escape into? ‘Every Seventh Wave’ is set on the north Cornish coast – a wild, wind-battered setting for a tale of fate, hope and redemption. “Compelling, intense… and raw as the waves themselves,” raves one of the novel’s first reviews. On its launch night, tune in for a reading and interview with author Tom Vowler, hosted by Booker-longlisted writer Wyl Menmuir.
4. Test your grey matter
Online Quiz, 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 April
Pull up a virtual bar stool at Greg Agar’s online pub for a trivia quiz and live music. The fun starts at 8pm, and the quiz topics include movies, celebrities and ‘Guess the emoji’. Greg, who is a dab hand on the piano, even takes special requests for your favourite songs. Good fun for all the family, whether you’re taking part together or remotely.
5. ‘Meet’ Sir David Attenborough
In Conversation with Sir David Attenborough, 4 April
Join BBC presenter Liz Bonnin for an afternoon with Sir David Attenborough, as the great naturalist and broadcaster discusses his hopes and fears for the planet. Essential viewing for nature-lovers young and old.
6. Find the next stand-up star
Late Stage Comedy, 6 April
Comedy clubs are closed, but Late Stage Comedy still puts on a side-splitting show – hosted on Zoom, of course. Tonight is ‘New Material Night’, giving comics the opportunity to test new jokes and skits, with ‘King Gong’ winner Tadiwa Mahlunge (pictured) headlining. Viewers are encouraged to keep their mics unmuted and their videos on (though it’s optional), so that the performers can see their reactions.
7. Unearth nature’s dynamo
Nature Live Online: The Power of Fungi, 6 April
The unsung heroes of the natural world, fungi are key to everything from ecosystems to sustainable food sources – and yet, we know so little about them. In this Natural History Museum event, Doug Bierend (author and expert on all things mushroom) shares the true potential of fungi, and explores the pivotal role they play in our diets, lifestyles and green spaces.
8. Tune into something fresh
I’m All Ears: Live Readthroughs, 6 April
Be the first to hear two new radio sitcom pilots via this live-streamed readthrough. The first, ‘Break(it)Down’, is a darkly comic peek into the world of wellness influencers, while the second, ‘Clandestine Adventures of Agent 2147’, is a farcical spy spoof. Expect slapstick humour, entertaining stories and plenty of laughs. A great way to unwind without adding to your screen time.
9. Visit Narnia – and Westminster
Aslan and the Abbey, 7 April
Credit: Westminster Abbey
Step through the wardrobe and into the world of Narnia – with a little help from Westminster Abbey. Designed for children aged 5+, this online event will bring the tales and characters of CS Lewis’s beloved book to life, and reveal its parallels with the Easter resurrection tale. There’ll be storytelling, games and a mask-making workshop, as well as a virtual tour of the Abbey itself.
10. Enjoy an old tale for modern times
TatterFest, 7 & 9 April
This online play is inspired by the traditional Norwegian fairytale of ‘Tatterhood’, in which two royal twins are born – one beautiful and pure, the other ugly and wild. In this reimagining, the story takes place at a music festival: the ideal backdrop to explore themes of hedonism, duality and the power of the ‘hidden’ self. It’s performed by final-year students at Drama Studio London, whose alumni include Forest Whitaker and Emily Watson.
11. Re-wild your life
Woodland Artistry, 9 April
Credit: London Wildlife Trust
Fusing the natural world with literature and dance, this London Wildlife Trust event includes a screening of ‘Five Minutes Under the Canopy’ – an abstract dance film set in a forest – and a reading by performance-poet Loussin-Torah Pilikian. Also this month, look out for LWT’s historical account of London’s Great North Wood (1 April) and herbal balm-making masterclass (6 April) – both are free.
12. Take the top job
Impossible Office?, 9 April
Sir Anthony Seldon, one of Britain’s leading political authors, delves into the extraordinary history of British Prime Ministers – from the first PM office in 1721, to the true power of the role today. Seldon is the honorary historian at Number 10 Downing Street, and has interviewed almost all the Prime Ministers who’ve served over the past 50 years. As well as a 45-minute talk, there will be a 15-minute Q&A. The ultimate job or a poisoned chalice? You decide.
13. Lose yourself in a story
Portuguese Tales, 9 April – 7 May
Credit: Camoes Centre for Portuguese Language & Culture
Join storyteller Rui Ramos for an evening of traditional tales and poems from his native Portugal. Armed with his acting prowess and clever props, Ramos illustrates the country’s history via a medley of personas. One moment he’s a Moorish traveller, the next a marauding pirate – and before you know it, you’ve learned more about Portuguese culture and heritage than you ever thought possible.
14. Unleash your jazz hands
Uplift London Brunch Concert, 10 April
Get swept up in the razzle-dazzle of the West End with this at-home concert of musical theatre gems – perfectly timed for a Saturday morning brunch (11am). Featuring some of London’s best-loved theatre actors and up-and-coming talent, this will be a toe-tapping, high-kicking, jazz-handing riot of family fun. Look out for songs from animated films and movie musicals, as well as classic theatre favourites.
15. Feel the power of print
Choose to Challenge, until 11 April
Credit: Moyna Flanigan
Celebrating women creatives all over the world, Edinburgh Printmakers presents Choose to Challenge: an online exhibition featuring works by female artists including painters Moyna Flanigan and Kristin Nordhøy. Exploring the body, mental health, the ideals of ‘womanhood’ and much more, the collection is both eye-catching and thought-provoking.
16. Get to know an Olympic legend
To the Olympics and Beyond, 13 April
As part of our series of exclusive, immersive online events, Boundless presents an evening with ice-skating legend Robin Cousins MBE. He’ll be sharing stories of his life and career – from the chance encounter that sparked his passion for skating, to the thrill of winning gold at the 1980 Winter Olympics. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask him your own questions, in an informal Q&A session afterwards.
17. Solve a whodunnit
In Custardy!, 15 April
If you’ve been catching up on your favourite murder-mystery telly during lockdown, test your detective skills with a live-streamed whodunnit – complete with clues to help you solve the case. It’s performed by the Levenshulme Players over Zoom: as the evening develops, you’ll be sent into ‘breakout rooms’ to discuss the murderer, means and motive, with the savviest team being crowned the winner.
18. Explore electric
Lewes Electric Car Show, 15 April
Fascinated by electric cars, but unsure whether to take the leap? Featuring interviews with electric car owners and experts, this online event will reveal both the perks and pitfalls of embracing the change. From costs and charging times, to the mileage achievable in a secondhand vehicle, this is your opportunity to get some honest answers. A must-watch for any petrol (or electric) head.
19. Perfect your planting
Virtual Flower Show, 17 & 18 April
Supported by the Royal Horticultural Society, the Virtual Flower Show is a two-day celebration of all things bright and blooming, featuring webinars and interviews with expert horticulturists from across the country. As well as live content on 17 and 18 April, you can watch all of last year’s highlights for free, including tips on everything from taking cuttings and pruning perennials, to nurturing your vegetable plot.
20. Put a spring in your step
Music in Springtime, 18 April
From classical pieces to jazz and pop, Music in Springtime presents musical styles to suit every taste – with an uplifting seasonal theme. Performed by KSL Music Collective, who have been rehearsing remotely at home in Kent, Surrey and London, this online recital will raise funds for the Young Minds mental health charity, so donations are appreciated (though not compulsory). Expect a joyful celebration of spring, with a message of solidarity at its heart.
21. Join the flock
Nature Live Online: Where the Penguins Live, 27 April
Penguins don’t just thrive in the polar regions: you’ll find them in South Africa, New Zealand and even on Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands. Ideal for wildlife lovers with itchy feet, this webinar – hosted by the Natural History Museum – will be full of fascinating tales about these flightless birds, and will reveal how they’ve adapted to myriad climates and coastlines. Featuring expert insight from Dr Alex Bond, senior curator at the NHM Tring.
22. Set your sights on Italy
Italy: Cities, Culture and Cuisine, 27 April
If you’ve spent lockdown dreaming of Tuscan vineyards, Rome minibreaks and Amalfi Coast roadtrips, join National Geographic Traveller’s online celebration of all things Italy. It’ll whisk you away to discover the food, culture and historical highlights of the country – as well as Italy’s lesser-known side, with insider secrets provided by a panel of experts. Essential inspiration for that long-awaited holiday…
23. Master some top gardening tricks
10 easy ways to upgrade your garden, 27 April
When he’s not sharing expert advice on BBC Gardeners’ World, Nick Bailey is a designer of award-winning green spaces, with over 25 years’ experience and numerous books to his name. And now, exclusively for Boundless members, he’ll be hosting a gardening webinar, in which he'll explain how to make your plot more beautiful, colourful and wildlife-friendly than ever before. As well as planting, he’ll delve into easy projects and outdoor DIY. Think wow-factor aplenty – with minimal effort!
24. Swot up on tech
Leeds Digital Festival, 27–29 April
Technology touches every part of our world – from communication and transportation, to the ways we socialise in the ‘new normal’. But how much do you really know about it, or its potential? Leeds Digital Festival presents a three-day programme of talks, debates and events (all online, naturally), with the aim of demystifying technology and revealing its possibilities. You’ll hear from some of the greatest minds in the field.
25. Confront climate change
1.5 v 2 Degrees Celsius: Why Half a Degree Really Counts, 29 April
Hosted by the Science Museum, this online event puts climate change in the spotlight – featuring debates and insight from true experts. What is the science behind the Paris Agreement? How are communities around the world living with global warming already? The panel includes Nobel Peace Prize nominee Anote Tong and The Carbon Trust’s Julia King, who will answer these questions along with many more.
Photos: Getty Images, unless otherwise stated