Plum Viewing

Maggie Fairs
4 min readMar 26, 2021

Welcome to the latest edition of Plum Viewing, my weekly roundup of arts and culture to view online.

Hello lovely readers! What a gorgeous week we’ve had. The weather has been glorious. Mr Fairs and I had a bbq last night. How’s that for March 25 in Canada? I will take it! I think we can all agree that being stuck inside becomes a little more tolerable when our ‘inside’ includes some outside space. In fact, it makes today’s grey rainy weather more tolerable and to my mind at least, gives us the perfect excuse to relax with a couple of our old favourites (by which I mean cocktails of course!). Tonight, I think I’ll treat myself to my old faithful, the tequila gimlet and for Mr Fairs, it will be an ice cold gin martini. Why not. How lucky are we!

So, with that, here are this week’s picks. Enjoy!

Well, Montreal’s arts and culture centres are opening their doors this week (slowly and carefully, of course) but thankfully for us, most are still broadcasting many of their wonderful programs online and boy, are we in for a few real treats courtesy of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.

First we have renowned conductor Kent Nagano conducting The Art of Contract, available until April 6. Then, we can move to Surprise and Triumph: Kent Nagano conducts Hayon and Mozart, available until April 13 and we can finish with A Nordic Adventure: Sibelius and Shostakovich conducted by Dalia Stasevska, also available until April 13. Each concert is $20 and tickets can be purchased here.

Ok, if you have been reading Plum Viewing, you KNOW I am a big fan of Hannah Moscovitch. So, imagine how excited I am to share this little gem: Post Democracy. Produced as a digital only production, it explores power, privilege and corruption. Are you hooked yet?? If not, here’s the description: “Welcome to the world of the 1%, the corporate elite, the “C-suite” — the “king-makers” whose influence flows through every aspect of our lives virtually unnoticed. When a CEO and his top executives are on a business trip for a major deal, a damaging sex scandal at the company is unearthed back home. As the pressure to complete the deal mounts, more secrets come to the surface, endangering the CEO’s company, his family, and his legacy. What happens to morality when human beings have limitless power?”

Brought to us by Winnipeg’s PTE Theatre, tickets are $20 and the running time is 60 minutes. Mark your calendar — it’s available from April 8–25. Learn more here.

So here’s a real shocker for everyone: I am a big fan of book clubs (bet you would never have guessed that LOL!). To me, there is just something joyful about discussing a book with a group of people. Some will love the book, others will hate it but everyone has an opinion to share.

This month’s Get Lit, the online book club hosted by the delightful Alison Stewart of WNYC’s All of It, is diving into No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood. Here’s the premise: “We follow a woman who has recently become famous after some of her posts go viral on a social media platform called ‘the Portal.’ The woman spends her time touring the country to meet with her fans in person… but when urgent texts from her mother break through the woman’s virtual reality, her life is turned upside down.”

The New York Times says, “Lockwood is a modern word witch, her writing splendid and sordid by turns.” I am nearly finished and I am absolutely loving it. For anyone interested, the author will be joining Alison on Tuesday, March 31 for a discussion and we’ll have singer/songwriter John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats as our musical guest. It starts at 7 pm ET and you can reserve your free ticket here.

Early readers of Plum Viewing might remember Matthew Bourne as the talented choreographer who brought us The Red Shoes from Home, which is 12 minutes of sheer pleasure. Well, Matthew is back to give the same treatment and love to Cinderella.

Under his direction, we meet Cinderella and her dashing young RAF pilot in London during the Second World War. They are together just long enough to fall in love, before they are parted by the horrors of the Blitz. Among the obstacles to their reunion is Cinderella’s sinister step-mother, while the Angel weaves his magic to protect our heroine. This sounds SO good. It’s available to either rent ($8 Cdn) or buy ($16 Cdn) here.

Let’s end with a real crowd pleaser. How’s this for a starry line-up: Stephen Fry (Oscar Wilde himself!) and Joanna Lumley (Patsy to us mere mortals) in a retelling of Dorian Gray, where we see our protagonist reborn as a social media influencer. Reading this you kind of think, but of course! It’s available on demand until March 31. You can reserve your ticket here.

See you next week my lovely readers!

And, and ask: While we’re enjoying these wonderful performances, let’s remember that for the arts organizations producing this incredible content, this is their livelihood; not a hobby. If we can, now is our time to continue to support our incredible arts community!

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