The Friday List: From a children's summer workshop to Netflix thriller, The Woman in the Window, your weekly calendar of virtual events

·8-min read

In the throes of a pandemic that has come to govern every aspect of our lives, what has been a crucial way towards staying healthy is keeping up our spirits and staying hopeful. Virtual programming has been significant in boosting our positivity levels as live events have dropped once again owing to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases. So as we fall back into the stringent restrictions that have us staying indoors, the landscape of our engagements and weekly dosages of entertainment continues to be moderated digitally, through the screen.

Every Friday, we'll bring you a curated list of online experiences €" performances, talks, tours, screenings €" to mark on your weekly calendar. On this week's #FridayList: a talk with actor Kabir Bedi around his memoir, a workshop that teaches essential camera skills and Amazon Prime Video's much anticipated series, The Underground Railroad.

€" Virtual dance recital

Brought about by the Royal Opera House is the streaming of The Royal Ballet's >Spring Draft Works, which showcases promising choreographic talent that was filmed on the Main Stage of the opera house in London. In this invigorating online experience, the performers will showcase their raw creativity through an exploration of what it means to dance in the contemporary context. The movement vocabulary will focus on the dynamic quality of dance as it modifies itself to suit the changing times. Among the choreographed sequences will be works created by choreographers like Matthew Ball, Ashley Dean, Benjamin Ella, Joshua Junker and Kristen McNally among others. For dance aficionados, this peek into choreography in its most rudimentary stages is a must attend.

To know more about the stream, visit Royal Opera House's Facebook page

When: 14 May

€" Virtual play

A new play brought forth by Surnai Theatre and Folk Arts Foundation, in collaboration with Mumbai Theatre Guide, explores the loneliness of old age in these turbulent times of the COVID-19 pandemic. When two elderly people attempt to break free from the isolation and chaos created by the pandemic in their lives, they find a means to relax in the early morning in the park. They stroll down a path named >Yeh Raste Hai Pyar Ke and their everyday chats lead to an unfolding of new dimensions and a dive into unimagined possibilities. Featuring actors Ila Arun and KK Raina in the lead, the play, named after this path in the fictional park delves into ideas of solitariness amplified by the pandemic.

To get your ticket for the virtual play, click here.

When: 15 May (7 pm)

€" Talks and panel discussions

In bringing forth a new series of talks following its virtual celebration of books, authors and bibliophiles, the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) continues to keep up its tradition of highlighting some of the more immediate concerns of our times through insightful talks and dialogues. For this Friday, JLF has set up the session, >Stories I Must Tell with actor Kabir Bedi and film critic Mayank Shekhar. The duo will discuss Bedi's latest book Stories I Must Tell: The Emotional Life of an Actor along with focusing on some of the turbulent incidences in his life, the lessons learnt from these heartbreaks and the insight into his craft that they provided. Stories are a powerful medium to raise hope and awareness in these grave times and a discussion such as this one highlights what we can stand to learn from such narratives.

To attend this session, register or log in here.

When: 14 May (8.30 pm)

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai has set up its Summer Fest 2021, a virtual event filled with interactive and engaging activities for children during the months of May and June. Organised by the CSMVS Children's Museum, the online event consists of fascinating talks titled >Backyard Ecology which explores the behaviours of animals in our immediate vicinity and how they build their houses and sustain themselves in the urban wild. Every Saturday, kids can explore a new element in the series through the hour-long sessions which will begin on 15 Ma with the talk, >Mysterious Nature and Feathered Friends.

To know more and register for the talk, write to

When: 15 May (4 pm to 5 pm)

At a time when it's more necessary than ever to keep our minds engaged, a healthy helping of mystery and fiction is the perfect antidote to the fear and anxiety of the everyday. In a live discussion brought forth by Sipping Thoughts, author Anuja Chauhan is set to talk about her new book,> Club You To Death, a whodunnit thriller that can well be the ideal read for a weekend at home. Through the course of the talk, the bestselling writer is sure to touch upon those influences that inspired her to write this story and discuss the role of fiction and imagination during these turbulent times.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 15 May (11.30 am)

€" Virtual poetry reading

In continuing its series, >Poetry With Prakriti, that features poetry readings for the first three Saturdays of every month, Prakriti Foundation will be hosting poet K Ramesh this weekend. Known for his works like Soap Bubbles and From Pebble to Pebble, Ramesh's craft lies in composing thought-provoking haiku, a form of short poetry with origins in Japanese literature. The poet is well versed with other genres of Japanese poetry as well and in this session is sure to shed light on some of these creative approaches whilst reading out verses of his own.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 15 May ( 7 pm)

€" Workshops

Essential Camera Skills for Teenagers and Adults is a new workshop hosted by Chennai Photo Biennale in which photographer Shannon Zirkle will teach participants the basics of using a DSLR or a mirrorless camera. Through the five-day-long course, she will mentor the attendees setting in-class and out-of-class activities to do for practice every day. The workshop will cover some essential learnings including how to shoot manually, adjust camera settings, compose and expose a photo properly. Beginning this week, Zirkle will enunciate the importance of keeping objects in focus and in the coming days talk about aperture, shutter speed, exposure compensation and manual settings in a course that is the perfect fit for beginners wanting to familiarise themselves with the workings of a DSLR.

To know more and register, visit CPB's Facebook page

When: 17 May to 21 May (4 pm to 5 pm)

Poet, curator and artist Anaïs Duplan and artist Nikki Gamboa explore the concept of Afrofuturism in an experimental writing and visioning workshop that seeks to imagine spaces for liberation, in reality and in fiction. Brought about by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, the programme is set up in conjunction with the ongoing exhibit, Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America. With simple exercises and group prompts >Black Reconstructions: Collective Visioning Workshop, is a workshop in which participants will be asked to reflect on their own perspectives towards the future and try to decipher how writing can help us dream of a better tomorrow.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 13 May

€" Streaming this week

The Underground Railroad, the much anticipated drama series is set to drop on Amazon Prime Video this weekend in what is sure to be a promising adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. Written by Colson Whitehead, the book follows the story of Cora, who escapes a plantation in Georgia and boards a train that would take her to freedom. While in reality this underground railroad functions as a network of hidden routes and safe houses that help African Americans escape slavery, what acts as a metaphor for the abolitionists and their escape route is an actual railroad on which workmen, engineers and conductors go about their daily jobs. The series tells the story of the protagonist Cora who joins another fellow slave Caesar in her flight to freedom.

When: 14 May

Where: Amazon Prime Video

Arriving on Netflix this week is the film, >Sardar Ka Grandson, which follows the story of a young man who tries to reunite his grandmother with her ancestral home. Featuring Neena Gupta, Arjun Kapoor and Rakul Preet Singh among others, the film directed by Kaashvi Nair is a comedy drama that showcases the emotions of love and loss in a quintessential Punjabi family full of colourful people and their multiple eccentricities. While Kapoor, who essays the grandson makes a pitch to move entire homes from one place to another, his grandmother, the Sardar herself has her family do her bidding with promises of leaving behind a sizeable share of her wealth for each one after her death.

When: 18 May

Where: Netflix

A thrilling story of a woman with agoraphobia struggling to make sense of a crime she thinks she witnessed is coming up on Netflix in the film adaptation of AJ Finn's novel, >The Woman in the Window. With Amy Adams, Julianne Moore and Gary Oldman in the lead, the film follows the story of Dr Anna Fox (Adams), who is terrified of stepping outdoors and rather awkwardly befriends her neighbour, Jane Russell (Moore) from across the street. The seemingly happy Russell family, which she observes from her own window is like a peek into a better life until her friend disappears, and she begins to suspect that something is not quite right. A chilling narrative of a woman whose life falls apart as she struggles to cope with her own demons, the film, much like the novel and its author promises to be full of drama, intrigue and mystery.

When: 14 May

Where: Netflix

A Telugu comedy drama set to arrive on Netflix is >Cinema Bandi, that tells the story of a group of friends who try to make a film using a camera they found. Set against a rural setting somewhere on the Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka border, it is a heart-warming story of the village locals who believe that the film they are about to make will attract the attention of the world at large to their drought-hit region. The directorial debut of Praveen Kandregula, it features Ram Charan, Trishara and Davani in the lead, and becomes at once a stark commentary on rural India and an exploration of a love for cinema.

When: 14 May

Where: Netflix

Also read €" Coronavirus outbreak: A database of books, performances, courses available online in these times of social distancing

Also See: The Friday List: From a talk on Satyajit Ray to a session on aircraft restoration, your weekly calendar of virtual events

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