BBC promises Culture in Quarantine programme

The BBC has said it will offer a new programme of Culture in Quarantine to help artists and audiences stay connected during the COVID-19 crisis.

Culture in Quarantine will include new plays for broadcast; interviews with authors to recreate the spirit of book festivals; performances from comedians and musicians; archive performances; a special series of chamber music studio recordings; and quarantine diaries from creatives.

Cited highlights include new filmed recordings of Mike Bartlett’s play Albion, director Emma Rice’s Wise Children, and choreographer Crystal Pite’s Revisor.

“We need to give British culture an audience that can’t be there in person,” said BBC director of arts Jonty Claypole. “We will run an essential arts and culture service across platforms that will keep the arts alive in people’s homes.”

He continued: “We want to provide everyone with activities to do either alone or with immediate family. BBC Four’s Life Drawing Live will return, by hook or by crook, to inspire and encourage everyone to take part.

“In short, we envisage a virtual festival of the arts – Culture in Quarantine – rooted in the experience of both voluntary and involuntary isolation. All this will be done hand-in-hand with the wider arts and cultural sector through coverage and collaboration.”

Claypole’s full statement is available online.