Dolly Parton bedtime stories, cocktail classes and a virtual rave: your weekend quarantainment guide
Wondering how to spend your weekend under lockdown? Lucy White finds five novel ways to ward off the boredom
1. Morning Gloryville Online Rave
It’s not so long ago that sober raves were a misnomer but teetotaling discos have become a roaring success thanks to a new generation of woke folk finding common ground with an older demographic of reformed revellers, tapping into the more spiritual aspects of throwing shapes.
One such organiser is the UK’s Morning Gloryville, which launched to many a raised eyebrow seven years ago, when founder Samantha Moyo announced her campaign for “conscious clubbing” by incorporating hardcore dance DJs with yoga classes, massage treatments, smoothie and mocktail bars.
And while the Irish offshoot has been on hiatus for a few years — make of that what you will — Morning Gloryville and its international copycats have long since proved that there’s huge and increasing appetite for temperate hedonism, sprinkled with obligatory face glitter.
Don’t be fooled that now we’re all social distancing, we can no longer shake our collective tail feather to boisterous EDM and slip into something more uncomfortable (these new age ravers can resemble the lovechild of Sue Pollard, Mr Motivator and a unicorn). Oh no.
This Saturday, April 4 at 11am until 1pm, Morning Gloryville is hosting a virtuous virtual rave in a Zoom-based, pay-what-you-can-afford pre-registered online jamboree. Ten per cent of donations go to help support frontline NHS workers — and be sure to hit Gallery View so you can see if anyone has out-extroverted your dashing bugle-beaded unitard.
2. Goodnight with Dolly
Stetsons ahoy! The woman who brought us Jolene and the biggest… hair since Marie Antoinette now brings us a ten-week storytelling video series (that is, after just donating $1 million towards COVID-19 research at Vanderbilt University).
Not just a pretty face and voice, businesswoman and philanthropist Parton is a longtime literary activist, founding the Imagination Library in 1995, which posts one book per month to each enrolled child from the time of their birth until they enter senior infants.
The initiative is a roaring success in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland and Australia — and for the next few months, age is no obstacle and we can all hunker down for Goodnight with Dolly in which Parton’s dulcet tones impart soothing bedtime stories.
Rhinestone pyjamas optional. Watch the trailer here, before tuning into a new book at the Imagination Library’s Facebook page every Friday at midnight in Irish time (or Thursday 7pm EDT).
3. Quarantinis: Cocktails at Home Masterclass
You might actually want to try this before getting in bed with Dolly… Dublin-based company Catch Events usually provide bar hire, bespoke drinks, specialist staff, glassware and catering, but have cleverly diversified during the lockdown, offering mail order Quarantini Boxes to lonely liquor lovers.
One kit includes full ingredients for four cocktails (€25), the other a shaker jar, measure and a pair of martini glasses (€40), and — because they’re really quite clever — every Friday they’re hosting live IGTV masterclasses so you don’t get it all arseways.
Just add Zoom, Skype, Houseparty or your preferred method of virtual interaction afterwards and you’ve a cocktail party right there in the comfort of your own home, where you can shake, stir and sip, while drawling one of Dorothy Parker’s greatest quotes: “I like to have a martini, two at the very most. After three I’m under the table, after four I’m under my host.”
(If you’re cocooning han solo, we’ll assume that’s under the dog/rug/armagged-den you created for Goodnight with Dolly).
4. The Red Hand Files
You don’t have to be a fan of Nick Cave’s music to enjoy his blog — but I guarantee you’ll become one after reading just one post. The Australian Maestro of Maudlin may not be your first port of call when seeking hope and salvation, however Cave’s honest answers to honest fan questions are heartening and life affirming.
In 2018 he invited “questions or comments, observations or inspirations” for a series of mail drops called The Red Hand Files. “You can ask me anything,” he said, “There will be no moderator. This will be between you and me. Let’s see what happens.”
What happened was and is a deeply moving and intimate engagement between artist and audience, a continuation of his “Conversations with Nick Cave” live events in which the latter was given an open mic.
Cave’s son, Arthur, died in an accident in 2015, and a key, transformative part of his grief has been to smash the fourth wall between himself and his followers.
So far so heavy, however the questions he answers range from the esoteric (‘what’s your favourite moment in the Bible?’) to the mundane (‘tell us a joke’) to the rhetoric (‘how long will I be alone?’), while his eloquent meditation on creativity at the time of coronavirus, in particular, is the perfect salve.
All posts are on the website but become a subscriber to receive his latest post in your inbox, which feel more like personal letters from a wise uncle than round-robin emails.
5. Free Films for the Confinement
Who knows when the lockdown, sorry, cocooning, will be lifted, so adopting a quality over quantity approach to small-screen consumption is advisable. And Conor Horgan’s gift to us is a free suite of films at his website, to offer gentle, cerebral respite from our existential angst.
The Irish photographer, writer — and filmmaker of the Panti Bliss documentary The Queen of Ireland — has made his 2010 film, The Beholder, available online for the first time.
Featuring three Irish painters James Hanley, Mick O’Dea and Brian Maguire, it explores the dynamics of portraiture between the artist and the subject.
As Horgan explains: “In a world where anyone can make a realistic likeness on their cellphone, the importance of the painted portrait remains: as an emblem of power and prestige, as a political act and ultimately as a memorial.”
The Beholder has played at numerous international film festivals and was nominated for Best Arts Film at the Celtic Media Awards and a runner up in the Audience Award category at the Dublin International Film Festival. And if you like what you see, check out his short films, also uploaded for our delectation.
Read more: Calling all Potterheads: JK Rowling launches free Harry Potter hub for kids
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