It’s never too late to join the party

Posted on 29th January 2021
This installment of Proteus recommends is, admittedly, an epic one, but hopefully with something for everyone; from online theatrical gems, to some great TV to stream in celebration of LGBT+ History month. The Proteus team share their favourite digital experiences from the first 4 weeks of 2021.

Kicking off is a recommendation from Mary Swan for the London International Mime Festival. When it became clear that LIMF’21 couldn’t run as a live event the organizers began planning something very different, which included inviting five artists to create a series of short films for an online version of the festival, all of which can be watched over on their Youtube channel. The festival also boasts online workshops, free talks and the LMIF have released archive footage of some of the incredible performances from previous festivals. In particular we urge you to check out performances of both Arc and Momento Mori by our friends at Ockhams Razor, (who are also involved as movement consultants for Proteus’ next production The Bloody Chamber.)
This festival is a great opportunity to experience the diversity of storytelling that can be told without words and with most of the clips only a few minutes long, it’s a smorgasboard of talented artists, across many styles and genres that you can dip in and out of with a cuppa.

For those who missed the traditional panto season this year we have a bit of light-hearted fun for the family recommended by Mary G
“As someone who has always been rather vocal about not being the biggest fan of the ‘Great British tradition of panto’, this may seem like an odd choice for entertainment but last weekend we watched Nimax Theatre’s Potted Panto at home!
7 panto’s in 7 minutes was a complete madcap send up of all the panto clichés, performed predominantly by two actors and with plenty of knowing ‘lockdown gags’ to bring everyone together in the collective moment.
We made a real occasion of the screening, even printing out ‘theatre tickets and it didn’t disappoint, keeping a 4 year old, 6 year old and two 30-somethings engaged and laughing out loud throughout. You can stream the recording made at the Garrick Theatre just before Tier 4 restrictions hit London theatres.

Office Manager Matthew has been getting his teeth into new Neflix heist-thriller series Lupin. Imagine a mash-up of Hercule Poirot, James Bond, Mission Impossible and The Prestige, all set against the gorgeous backdrop of modern day Paris and you might be getting close. The show stars Omar Sy in the role of Assane Diop, a man who is inspired by the adventures of Arsène Lupin, a fictional gentleman thief and master of disguise and it is truly the perfect bit of escapism. For more Omar Sy goodness we also highly recommend the original French version of the Intouchables from 2011.

In the approach to LGBTQ+ History month we have some recommends for this coming weekend and hope to shine the spotlight on more work from the LGBTQ+ community and their allies in the coming weeks.
Janet wants to send a big hurrah for Eddie Izzard who has just 2.5 days left to complete her ‘run for hope’. Eddie is running 31 marathons in 31 days followed by 31 comedy shows after each marathon, all raising money for different charities in each of the virtual countries that Eddie runs ‘through’.
Over on her website there is a livestream of each marathon – with the celebrity guests popping up to chat Follow her progress on twitter @eddieizzard or download an app that creates an avatar where you can run on a treadmill with Eddie.
With a tagline of #makehumanitygreatagain Eddie believes that 2021 must be ‘A time to look forward, to work together, to be tolerant and to live and let live’ – definitely a message we can get behind.

CEO and Director Mary S has already fallen in love with the new C4 drama mini-series ‘It’s a Sin’, created by Russell T Davis (Queer As Folk) and starring Years and Years frontman Olly Alexander – charting the lives of 5 friends whose lives are turned upside down by the AIDS crisis.
Particularly brilliant is the handling of a very frightening and dark time for the LGBTQ+ community, striking the balance of portraying the devastation AIDS crisis , whilst still celebrating the with joy and humour as the friends navigate love, friendship and coming of age on the London gay scene of the 80s.
Although the looming spectre of the crisis means future episodes will undoubtedly be peppered with incredibly saddness , the show manages to stay on the right side of morose and is an important dramatisation of a piece of Britain’s modern history.

Alex our engagement producer just had one thing to add… Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK.
Yaaas queen! This joyful show is back on our screens for season 2 and is the perfect tonic of sequins, big hair, comedy and shady put-downs that we need, when we have been spending more time than we’d like to admit, in pyjamas these past weeks! May we draw your attention to the runway challenge in Episode 1, where contestants were challenged to create a runway look inspired by British gay icons. It felt poignant to see Tia Kofe’s Alan Turing, giving some of the younger girls a brief history lesson!

We also say, you can never be too late to the party when it comes to fantastic Netflix series that you may have missed the first time around:
Keeping with the theme of LGBTQ+ history month – we had to mention Ryan Murphy utterly absorbing drama about the New York Ballroom scene, Pose. With the largest ever transgender cast and many characters inspired by real-life people on the scene in the 80’s and 90’s, the show has both paved the way for transgender actors of colour and is a real education for audiences who may have been unaware just how much the scene inspired mainstream pop culture (voguing anyone?). See also ‘Paris is burning’- a documentary which heavily inspired the show.
For something completely different, perfect for binge watching and guaranteed to brighten your mood, look no further than Schitts Creek. What reads as an unlikely premise to be one of the most streamed programmes of the year, the show has been a ray of sunshine in these gloomy times. The comedy follows the filthy-rich Rose family, who suddenly find themselves broke and starting a new life in Schitts Creek, a small town they once purchased as a joke. If you can persevere through a wobbly Episode 1, you will not be sorry. These unique and hilarious characters will work their way into your lives and hearts, as we momentarily bask in a world where homophobia and prejudice doesn’t exist and imagine how wonderful that would be.

Last but by no means least, we would also recommend listening to Episode 5 of our Generation Protopia podcast. The young people delve headfirst into a discussion about equality and diversity, touching on both the gay and transgender experience of the group. It’s a heartening  insight into the mutual respect and friendships shown between the young people involve and also self-awareness that there is still so much to learn and improve on, no doubt we can all take a leaf out of their book. Find all the episodes on our website or stream via Apple Musica, Spotify and many other services.

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