Online Free Festival: The Definitive Pantograph Punch Lockdown List

Online ephemera for those long hours in lockdown.

Welcome to lockdown. You’ll be wanting some culture to consume.

There’s now a growing amount of cool free art stuff online, from national theatre institutions streaming live recordings to authors doing readings on Instagram. So we thought we'd collect up all the free online ephemera we’re most interested in – podcasts, online theatre recordings, Youtube wormholes – and put them in one place.

This list starts with our main Pantograph Punch art form categories, progresses to kids stuff, podcasts, New Zealand screen bits and pieces online (don’t fret, Amanda Jane Robinson has also brought us a curated list entirely focussed on film) and rounds off with some snackable Youtube weirdness. This collection is brought to you by the Pantograph Punch team and a select Snort comedy roundtable, and like our Pānui page, we’ll probably keep adding any notable extra links to it.

Keep a look out an upcoming self-isolation reading list from Verb Festival’s Claire Mabey and some fun plans we’ve got for our own Pantograph Punch Instagram account as well. We’ve got you.


  • The home of new writing, London’s Royal Court Theatre, has produced four seasons of the excellent Royal Court Playwright’s Podcast, hosted by playwright Simon Stephens (Birdland, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time). From midday Friday 27 March (GMT) for a month, Royal Court is also streaming their production of David Ireland’s Cyprus Avenue here.
  • Everything on Marquee (the home of RSC productions online and others) is now available to watch with a 30-day free trial. (Perfect lockdown length).
  • You can watch the whole bracket from Te Matatini 2019 champions, Ngā Tūmanako here.
  • The world's coolest theatre, the Schaubühne in Berlin, is streaming a play every night (our morning) that will then be up for 24 hours. Glory be.
  • Shakespeare's Globe has just announced they will be releasing six plays online from 6 April, and all of the 2012 Globe to Globe season, which is cool for us in Aotearoa as it includes Ngakau Toa's amazing production of Troilus and Cressida in te reo Māori, directed by Rachel House.
  • Heart eyes: The Wooster Group's Hamlet is now free to view online.

  • HEAPS of UK independent companies and artists, like YESYESNONO for example, have started to put their work up online for free. They’re filmed on a simple fixed shot of course, but if you’re keen on researching and inspiration, now is a good time to keep an eye out. This collection of online material on The Guardian is excellent, and The Stage's list of livestreaming and online theatre is updated daily and is outside the paywall. ​Livestream Archive is also a new digital archive of small-scale theatre up online here.
  • This is pretty cool – National Theatre have announced they'll be broadcasting shows online for free on Thursdays and they'll be up on Youtube for a week.
  • The BBC have announced Culture in Quarantine, which will include filmed recordings of productions such as Emma Rice’s Wise Children.
  • If you’re into opera and ballet, both the Royal Opera House in London and The Met in New York are streaming select productions for free.
  • I love this so much – Jo Randerson from Wellington's Barbarian Productions is sharing some of the weird and wonderful personal collections she has in her house in Things At Home over on the Barbarian Facebook page.
  • This isn't quite free but the small cost goes to chariy – peeps in New Zealand will be able to watch the NT Live Fleabag on the Soho Theatre On Demand site from 10 April for a minimum of around $8.


  • New Zealand novellist Pip Adam’s brilliant Better off Readpodcast has fantastic thoughtful and wide-ranging conversations with authors.
  • Papercuts, The Spinoff’s monthly books podcast from Louisa Kasza, Jenna Todd and Kiran Dass has great conversations, reviews and suggestions for your bedside TBR piles.
  • New Zealand writer and cartoonist Sarah Laing has a funny and honest cartoon project series – The Covid-19 Diaries, pictured above – running on her website and Instagram.
  • ​New Zealand Poetry Shelf is hosting an online reading on Friday 27 March at 6.30pm with Carolyn DeCarlo, Chris Price, Freya Daly Sadgrove. It will be emceed by Therese Lloyd and hosted by Chris Tse and Rose Lu.
  • A classic – the Guardian Books podcast contains discussions and interviews with authors all over the world.


  • Circuit is a treasure trove of film and video art from Aotearoa, including the above excerpt from If I die, please delete dy Soundcloud by Natasha Matila-Smith (Huni Mancini has written more about Matila-Smith's work for The Pantograph Punch here).
  • Circuit also has an excellent podcast, including conversations with artists.
  • The Whitney Museum of American Art is a good place to spend some time online, either here or on their Youtube channel.
  • MoMA’s Youtube channel also contains scores of artist and curator conversations, filmed Q&A sessions and more.


  • If you and your kids haven’t yet discovered the joys of Kiri and Lou, the claymation musical comedy with songs by The Front Lawn’s Harry Sinclair and Don McGlashan, and voiced by Jemaine Clement and Olivia Tennet, now is the time.
  • Wind in the Willows the Musical, recorded at the London Palladium in 2017 has been made available online for free. It’s super fun and colourful.
  • Oliver Jeffers, undeniably the most well-dressed children's book author in the world, is reading his beaut books on his Instagram Stories all through this quarantine time under the hashtag #stayathomestorytime. They’ll live on his Instagram Stories for 24 hours then be posted to his website. Great for the kids, and that Irish accent is not... displeasurable for the parents, either.
  • The super popular Scottish theatre show for kids (around 6 and under) which has travelled all around the world, The Polar Bears Go Up, is now free to watch online!


Mana Moana and Identity

  • Musician, writer and director Jess ‘Coco Solid’ Hansell is a national taonga and she shoots the breeze with poet Manu Vaea in their Manu & Coco Podcast which covers the cosmic and the mundane.
  • In Snacks and Chats, Leilani Momoisea Dallas & Ben Lawson ask their guests (Teeks, Rose Matafeo, Jahra ‘Rager’ Wasasala) the loaded question ‘where are you from?’ and the conversations go from there.
  • In RNZ's Conversations With My Immigrant Parents Saraid de Silva Cameron and Julie Zhu travelled Aotearoa meeting families from 11 different countries, sitting in as they spoke to each other about love, disappointment, what home means to them – and where home really is.


  • If you’re not already a fan of Alice Snedden and Rose Matafeo talking shit in their podcast Boners of the Heart, you should tune in now while the two of them face lockdown together in a small flat somewhere in Grey Lynn, having just recently returned from the UK. (Related: Alice Snedden’s very excellent Alice Snedden’s Bad News, directed by Leon Wadham. One of the best TVNZ commissions in recent years).
  • The perfect balance to Alice and Rose are Eli Matthewson and Chris Parker talking candidly about life as Male Gayz. (This also comes in the form of an excellent web series). These two could basically host anything.

Conversations with my Immigrant Parents, an RNZ podcast from Saraid de Silva Cameron and Julie Zhu is accompanied by beautiful brief video clips



  • Still Processing is a podcast from Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham, two culture writers at the New York Times, which traverses film, comedy, music and more.
  • A transatlantic conversation between Financial Times editors Lilah Raptopoulos in New York and Griselda Murray Brown in London, Culture Call captures and investigates cultural trends of today. The recent ep, Culture in the time of coronavirus is good listening.
  • Longform is a weekly conversation with a non-fiction writer on how they tell their stories.
  • All My Relations is a podcast from Matika Wilbur and Adrienne Keene, two First Nations women exporing indigeneity in all its complexity, and relationships to land, identity, ancestors and one another.



  • In this talk, Moana Jackson explores the question Why Did Māori Never Have Prisons? and notes,"Nowhere in the Indigenous world view is there a belief that you deal with harm by locking people up"
  • Marilyn Waring’s recent excellent TED talk on feminist economics is like going to see one of your favourite bands play their greatest hits.
  • Heperi Mita’s brilliant keynote (above) at the NZFC Power of Inclusion summit in Auckland last year was the most powerful opener. It’s available on Youtube and definitely deserves more views. He touches on the vital issue of story sovereignty for Indigenous filmmakers and incisively names the tensions within a capitalist-colonial film culture. "At the end of the day it is those who hold the purse strings who have the final authority and it is exceedingly rare that those people are Māori"


  • Amanda Jane Robinson has curated a beautiful Lockdown Film Festival for The Pantograph Punch, so I’m just letting you know there’s some really excellent shorts in the New Zealand section of Short of the Week that can be viewed for free. Everything from the Waititi classic Two Cars One Night to Roseanne Liang’s incredible action short Do No Harm and a personal fave of mine, Ellen Is Leaving from Michelle Savill. Oh what's that? You can also watch the short I wrote and produced called Eleven, directed by Abigail Greenwood? Yes, yes you can.
  • I love Loading Docs so much. One of the best from last year's batch was Mana Wahine, Corinna Hunziker's gentle profile of Ihumātao protector, Pania Newton.


NZ on Screen is an absolute treasure trove and we are so lucky to have it. Sometimes you just gotta know what to look for.

  • Ever since working as the archivist on TVNZ’s Funny As: The Story of New Zealand Comedy, I became obsessed with this 1989 doco on Wellington icon Carmen, which you can watch in its entirety on the site.
  • I also fell in love with Tina Cross in a sequin dream singing Nothing But Dreams in the 1979 Pacific Song Contest and during production would listen to it several times a day. It started ironically, then became a completely earnest love affair with the song.
  • Has anyone else always been fascinated with this portrait of the 1987 stock market which also features star play John Key? Well, get fascinated. It’s fascinating.
  • Have a nostalgia trip on the New Zealand commercials page.
  • Speaking of Funny As: The Story of NZ Comedy, this hasn’t been publicised much, but the ENTIRE COLLECTION of interviews we did with New Zealand comedians for the show are now sitting in their almost-uncut state on the site. You can of course watch the series on TVNZ but if you were in the mood for some longform convos, this is a collection to check out. Highlights for me are Jackie Van Beek, Coco Solid, and Tom Sainsbury. And okay, if you only watch one, I highly recommend the entire 80-minute interview with Flight of the Conchords’ Bret and Jemaine. It’s astonishingly good.


  • Li Ziqi – imagine this life. The Chinese cook / farmer who makes mouthwatering meals for her mum is possibly the most calming and wholesome thing to watch right now.
  • Bon Appetit – no explanation required.
  • Wakako Zake – a Japanese anime of a 26-year-old woman who goes out and eats alone.
  • Cream Heroes – a Korean woman with eight cats. These are just videos of her doing things with her cats
  • The Tiny Chef Show – a very funny animated Tiny Chef. Great for kids too.
  • Vintage Cakes – incredibly detailed, retro, slightly unnerving videos (the lighting!? the music!?) of cakes being decorated by Korean cake-maker benny.cake
  • SCTV – Second City Television was a Canadian sketch comedy TV show that broadcast from 1976 to 1984. You can watch an entire broadcast complete with original canadian ads from 1988
  • Architectural Digest and The Cut – love/hate watches of celebrity home walkthroughs and highly addictive


Okay we’re getting into crazy territory now – I shouldn't even try to go here. Safe to say there’s so many comedians, filmmakers and poets taking their work to Insta already. And you’ll probably know about them cos you already follow your faves! But here’s a tiny segment:

  • Cat Cohen (below) is a hilarious New York comedian who won Best Newcomer at Edinburgh Fringe 2019. She usually hosts a show called Cabernet Cabaret with a bunch of different guests at Club Cumming in NYC but will now be doing it every Wednesday at 8pm EST from the comfort of her own home.
  • Musician, actor and phenomenal artist in general, Riz Ahmed was about to be taking his new album The Long Goodbye on tour. Instead, this week on his Youtube channel he’s been doing #TheLongLockdown Festival. On Monday he streamed a live commentary of seminal Chris Morris comedy Four Lions with fellow actor Kayvan Novak, on Wednesday he dropped new single The Breakup and on Friday at 8pm (GMT) he's having a live conversation with comedians Guz Khan and Hasan Minhaj.
  • Aotearoa poet and curator of Silo Theatre’s powerful UPU, Grace Taylor, is doing a live poetry reading on her Instagram from 8pm on Thursday 26 March.
  • Satellites the passion project of The Pantograph Punch founder and estranged mom Rosabel Tan, which platforms contemporary Asian art in Aotearoa. It’s also an Instagram account you need to follow right now if you don’t already. Throughout the month they will be doing a #lockdown advent calendar from their account. Every day, a new Satellite artist will share their work and an activity inspired by their mahi.
  • Non-binary writer and performer Alok Vaid Menon is one of my favourite ever Instagram follows. They are deeply inspiring and gently informative and often do Instagram Lives unpacking queer theory to break down barriers of accessibility around scholarship and theory. They are also an incredible fashionista. Throughout lockdown they're having conversations on Instagram Live with various artists and activists. It's worth just following Alok's account to catch one.


  • Night Walk in Canada takes you through the streets of Toronto in 1986 accompanied by sexy jazz.
  • Here’s a pic of a corndog set to some funky music.
  • Here’s some weird things for sale on the internet.
  • Why not revisit your teenage neopets account?


You’ve got this far? Congrats. Now you need some activities. Here are a few things:

  • As mentioned in our Pānui, Silo Theatre announced a cool low-key Instagram residency to help artists feel connected and continue to be creative. Over a period of eight weeks, a different artist or creative is resident for one week on their Instagram channel and can fill that space with their work. They will be paid $500 for the week. See announcement from Artistic Director Sophie Roberts here and more info on their Facebook post.
  • Bitter Melon Poetry have put out an open call (above) for Asian writers, artists and zinemakers worldwide.
  • OLGA Art Space in Kirikiriroa has put out an open call for images or video links of your performance art works, live streams, paintings, drawings, photographs of your activities over this time of mass social and physical distancing.

Failing all that, here’s a hot tip from comedian Alice Snedden. Good luck team.

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The Pantograph Punch publishes urgent and vital cultural commentary by the most exciting new voices in Aotearoa.

The Pantograph Punch publishes urgent and vital cultural commentary by the most exciting new voices in Aotearoa.

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