Boosting Your Cultural Literacy

Boosting Your Cultural Literacy


Danielle Bowe
Danielle Bowe
Boosting Your Cultural Literacy
Whilst remote teaching and learning during a lock down situation is never completely ideal, I have been thoroughly enjoying some rather unexpected plus points. Never has there been a better, more productive time, to boost your cultural literacy as many museums, theatres and learning venues are putting content online for FREE!
What is cultural literacy? Well, it’s an understanding of the culture of your society-things like art, theatre, music and literature. Often mixed in with the term ‘cultural capital’, schools acknowledge that part of success in education and a wide range of professions, can be down to having a rich experience of the arts and access to higher level knowledge. This is something some parts of society can take for granted, but going to the theatre, for example, is usually a costly exercise.
During lockdown, sadly, theatres all over the world have had to close their doors, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy plays. Many theatres have moved some of their content to online platforms and we can experience fantastic productions in our front rooms for FREE!
This week, the English faculty asked year 10 to watch The Globe’s production of Romeo and Juliet online. This is a set text at GCSE and we’re about to begin revision activities. The Globe are rotating their shows so hurry, this runs out on Sunday 3rd May.  A whole host of Globe productions are to follow.
The National Theatre are putting on different plays each week-broadcasting on YouTube every Thursday at 7.00pm. You can then access the play until the following Thursday at 6.59pm. (just search National Theatre at Home on YouTube)
The National’s next production is Danny Boyle directing Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller in Frankenstein. I was lucky enough to see this play at the National Theatre back in 2011 and I can tell you it was one of the most spell binding productions I have ever seen. I can’t wait to watch it again! Both actors alternated daily the roles of Dr Victor Frankenstein and his monster. Imagine the talent required to learn all the lines for BOTH roles! Ticket holders didn’t know who would be playing what role until we arrived at the theatre. I really enjoyed seeing Jonny Lee Miller as the monster so I will be tuning in this week to see him play Dr Victor Frankenstein this time with Cumberbatch as the monster. The National are extending this to a two week run so fans can catch the roles being switched the following week!
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As you know, it’s not just theatres showing content, Audible have put a wide range of books available for free on their website: https://stories.audible.com/discovery
The Tate Modern is showing some of their exhibitions for free online: https://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-modern
While you’re at, why not check out the vast archive available at The National Portrait Gallery-it’s fascinating! https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/explore/
A personal favourite of mine has been The Victoria and Albert Museum: https://www.vam.ac.uk/collections?type=featured
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I have recently really enjoyed Secrets of the Museum (All about the V&A) on iPlayer and am determined to make the V&A one of the first places of culture I visit after lockdown: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000f1xp/secrets-of-the-museum-series-1-episode-1

London’s Royal Albert Hall has just launched its ‘Royal Albert Home’ Online concert series as well.

As I’ve just had my summer The Killers tickets cancelled, I’m consoling myself by watching a huge range of concert material from my favourite artists on a variety of platforms at the moment.  

So, there really is a lot to keep us not just entertained, but also learning and boosting our cultural literacy.
Enjoy!

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