BBC Arts announces new programmes for Culture in Quarantine

Sam Amos and Jonadette Carpio in EGO. Photo Emily Nuttall.

BBC Arts today announced further programming for Culture In Quarantine, a virtual festival of the arts rooted in the experience of national lockdown, with more to be announced over the coming weeks.

Beginning this month, Culture In Quarantine across television, radio and online, will give the nation access to the arts at a time when we need it the most. Providing extraordinary access to shuttered exhibitions, performances and museums, a virtual book festival and much more besides. The BBC mission is to increase access to the arts, at a time when the buildings that support them are closed, and to support artists and arts organisations in the process. Here are some of the highlights:

CULTURE IN QUARANTINE FUND: As part of a wider collaboration between BBC Arts and Arts Council England, a new fund will be launched to commission and distribute around 25 new works by independent artists, in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. This will be reflected throughout the nations.

ACCESS TO EXHIBITIONS: Audiences will get extraordinary access to shuttered exhibitions and closed museums in a four part series, Museum In Quarantine.

PERFORMANCE: a repertory theatre service across platforms, with productions from the best of the BBC and the UK dance and theatre scene’s recent output; including a brand new play by David Greig on Radio 3 and new work from the  Balletboyz on BBC Four alongside 6 classical Shakespeares with the RSC as part of an education initiative for BBC Four featuring stars like Christopher Eccleston and Hugh Quarshie and with educational tools online for children learning these plays on the school syllabus.

ONLINE CULTURE RESOURCE: BBC Arts digital will be repurposed as Culture in Quarantine to support and showcase the work of the wider culture sector. 


As part of a wider collaboration between BBC Arts with Arts Council England for Culture in Quarantine, a fund for around 25 established England-based artists of any discipline to produce new works in creative media – video, audio and interactive.

Commissions do not need to be about the current emergency, but they do need to adhere imaginatively and lawfully to the principles of self-isolation. Depending on their nature, each work will be hosted by the BBC online and/or on-air.

We will be inviting brief expressions of interest explaining your idea, how it could be made, and a ballpark budget by Wednesday 8 April. Ideas can be submitted by artists or by the organisations that represent them. Collaborations between artists of different disciplines are welcome.

The online application form, terms and conditions, and FAQ’s will be live by end of the week.

Please send an email with the subject line “Please update me” to and we will email you as soon as the guidance and application form are published. More information here

BalletBoyz presents Deluxe. Photo by George Piper
BalletBoyz presents Deluxe. Photo by George Piper




Following Government advice on Monday 16 March and to protect the safety of audiences, artists and workforce, BalletBoyz cancelled the remaining performances of its 20th anniversary UK Spring Tour, but is now able to share the production with audiences watching from home. Deluxe features two new works choreographed by an all-female team: Ripple, the UK debut of renowned shanghai-based choreographer Xie Xin with music by electronic composer Jiang Shaofeng; Bradley 4:18 by Punchdrunk choreographer Maxine Doyle in a collaboration with Mercury Prize-nominated jazz musician Cassie Kinoshi and inspired by the Kate Tempest track Pictures On A Screen.



Northern Ballet’s Dracula brings one of literature’s most sinister creatures to the stage. Choreographed by David Nixon OBE, and based on the Bram Stoker novel that has seduced countless generations, this timeless adaptation is a gothic ballet with dramatic bite. Starring Javier Torres in the title role, Northern Ballet’s adaptation of this enthralling tale sees the famous vampire travel to England after becoming transfixed on a vision of the innocent Mina. Unable to curb his dangerous desires, Dracula terrorises the town as his tortuous yearning for the young woman grows. But, as Mina realises she is powerless to resist Dracula’s lure, the pair succumb to their mysterious lust, before the hunter becomes the hunted. Dracula is performed to a score compiled of music by Alfred Schnittke, Sergei Rachmaninov, Arvo Pärt and Michael Daugherty, orchestrated by John Longstaff. The gothic set is designed by Ali Allen, with costumes designed by David Nixon OBE and lighting by Tim Mitchell.

Further dance programmes will also be available as part of a previously announced BBC Dance Season feature works by Crystal Pite and Jonathan Young,  Sadler’s Wells Danceworks films with Sharon Eyal, Maria Pages, Ballet Black and Firedance, and a documentary inside the Royal Ballet with their all-star line-up of male dancers.

Find out more here!