New things to try during the lockdown

6 mins
Nedbank Private Wealth, 
May 2020
New things to try during the lockdown

Life continues to remain restricted due to the COVID-19 crisis. And, alongside the various updates we have been publishing on financial markets, we have a list of new things you might want to try.

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This is possible because businesses and cultural organisations have had to adapt to the lockdowns. So, here is the list that we  pulled together (and kept updated) on a variety of topics including culture, education, home, and well-being.



Ballet and opera

The London-based Royal Opera House may have physically closed its doors to its ballet and opera performances, but instead is offering a free programme online. Stream the following productions live or on demand for a two week period via its YouTube channel, all starting at 7pm BST:

  • Friday 15 May – Anastasia, The Royal Ballet
  • Friday 22 May – Cendrillon (Cinderella), The Royal Opera
  • Friday 29 May – The Cellist, The Royal Ballet 


New York-based, The Met Opera’s ‘Nightly Met Opera Streams’ continue to be first streamed each night at 7:30pm EDT (11.30pm BST) and remain available via their homepage for 23 hours. The on-demand service is free for a 7-day trial, before you need to pay, although the subscription service then makes their full library of performances. You can also rent individual performances. Coming up for a global audience are:

  • Friday 29 May – La Sonnambula
  • Saturday 30 May 30 – L’Elisir d’Amore
  • Sunday 31 May – Salome
  • Monday 1 June – Puritani
  • Tuesday 2 June – Lulu
  • Wednesday 3 June – Orfeo ed Euridice
  • Thursday 4 June – Tosca
  • Friday 5 June – The Exterminating Angel 


Meanwhile, if watching isn’t sufficient, the English National Ballet has a catalogue of classes for fans to join in from home.


If the West End stage is more your scene, The Show Must Go On YouTube channel is streaming a performance each week for the foreseeable future. This week takes us to Baltimore in 1962 to see Hairspray Live! Watch the show here from 7pm BST on Friday 29 May 2020. The recording is only available for 48 hours, and due to copyright restrictions is not available in Asia, Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America, but highlights of many of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic hits can be found on the YouTube channel.


The National Theatre in London broadcasts a play every Thursday on its YouTube channel. The videos are available to stream for a week after they launch. The current line-up is:

  • Thursday 28 May – This House
  • Thursday 4 June – Coriolanus (with Tom Hiddleston)


Meanwhile, Sir Patrick Stewart remains popular for the Shakespearean sonnet videos he’s posted on his Twitter feed, which you can follow or access via the #ASonnetADay hashtag.

Some lighthearted relief from a variety of comedians is also available here.

Virtual tours

For a ‘fix’ of art and culture, famous museums around the world are offering virtual tours of their galleries. Here’s our list to get you started:


Many more tourist sites can be found by clicking here.

Last, but not least, Marquee TV, the arts and culture streaming platform, has extended its trial period to 30 days, giving free access to a huge array of theatre and ballet productions.



Behavioural science

In an article by Rebecca Cretney, we highlighted the role that fear plays in investors’ reactions to market volatility. If you wanted to find out more about the behavioural biases that you may be prone to, you can download the BEAM – Self Awareness mobile app for free on the Apple store. The android version is due out later this year, and you can find more details about the project here.


The enormous digital library, Scribd, has made all of its content free for 30 days if you sign up to the site.

Many more free books, as well as a host of other media is available at the Internet Archive project, with its open library portal being the best way to access the books.

University courses

Always fancied attending an Ivy League university class? Well now you can, with a wide variety of online courses available here.

Also offering courses from multiple institutions is FutureLearn, which enables you to join a large number of free courses through to full degree programmes.

Internationally known for its programs that help people study while working, the UK’s Open University also offers a long list of nearly 1,000 free classes to attend across eight disciplines.



CookeryThe closure of restaurants and cancellation of supper clubs around the world has prompted an onslaught of content on Instagram. Our favourites are Samin Nosrat of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat fame, and Raymond Blanc who started his Instagram TV lessons during the lockdown, but the world really is your oyster, even if you cannot get hold of flour.
Cocktail hour

When Stanley Tucci’s negroni recipe went viral, he realised the opportunity to show off more of his bar skills. So, alongside a read of his diary entry in The Atlantic for the meals he prepared on the same day as he made his famous quarantucci, you can now tune in to a series of cocktail sessions (and more) on his Instagram feed.

CraftsSearch either Instagram or Twitter for #quarantinecrafts and #coronacrafts, and you’ll soon find a host of crafts for you to create, no matter what your level of skill. One site that caught our eye was The Spruce Craft’s origami section to help you create animals, flowers or geometric 3D creations.



FitnessIt’s no secret that Joe Wicks has become known as the UK’s PE teacher via his YouTube channel – bagging the Guinness World Record for the most watched fitness workout. But Joe hasn’t been the only one to spread the word on staying active. There are also daily workouts from other fitness fanatics, such as Mr Motivator, and a host of others providing either daily sessions on Instagram or YouTube, or showcasing more focused sessions on the providers’ websites.
Mental healthWe flagged FutureLearn earlier, but wanted to provide a link to three courses that focus specifically on mental wellbeing at a time when everyone is seeing their day-to-day life disrupted.

We will almost certainly have missed a number of activities, and will update this page on a weekly basis. So please, share any activity you have been enjoying by email, and we will include your suggestion (anonymously of course) in our next update at the end of next week.

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