Fleabag Live, birdwatchers bingo & bed with Jarvis Cocker: your Easter quarantainment guide

Not feeling the Easter buzz this year? Lucy White has five confinement highlights to help put a spring in your slippers


1. Fleabag Live

You saw the series, which had you humid under the (dog) collar at Andrew Scott’s Hot Priest. But not everyone had the chance to see Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s titular stage version - the one-woman play she wrote and performed for the Edinburgh Fringe in 2013 and was reprised on Broadway and the West End to sell-out audiences last year. 

But fret not. Soho Theatre Live is streaming the bittersweet comedy that sent Waller-Bridge’s career stratospheric, with all proceeds going towards (British) healthcare and arts charities, including the Fleabag Support Fund, which will distribute grants of £2,500 to freelancers working in the theatre industry. Could something similar happen in Ireland? 

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2. Jarvis Cocker’s Bedtime Stories

Hot on the rhinestone heels of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library series on YouTube is the Pulp frontman’s weekly IGTV readings of his favourite short stories. “The calm after the storm,” wrote Cocker on April 5, “I know it can be hard getting off to sleep at night at the moment so, as of tonight, I will be posting a bedtime story – read by yours truly – every Sunday evening. First one drops at 9.30pm.” 

His first instalment, delivered in his unmistakeable Sheffield brogue, is Times Square in Montana by Richard Brautigan, with many more in the pipeline. Sadly, he isn’t filmed tucked up in bed wearing striped pyjamas and a quilted smoking jacket, glass of sherry in a louche wrist. For that, we can only dream. 

3. Blinder Films

Put Netflix, Sky Atlantic, Amazon Prime et al to one side for a sec, to support Irish talent: a clutch of freshly released award winning movies by Blinder Films’ at Vimeo on Demand.

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Riveting films include Sinéad O’Shea’s unflinching documentary, Her Mother Brings Her Son to Be Shot (2017), which explores the familial repercussions of an organised “punishment shooting” in post-Troubles Derry and Finola Geraghty’s sympathetic drama Come On Eileen (2010) – featuring cameos by Keith Allen and Noel Fielding – about a teetotaling divorcee whose comfortable equilibrium becomes uncorked by just one glass of champagne… and then another… and then…

Each rental is fairly priced - less than a takeout coffee that you’re no longer taking out anyway - and for those that have been indeterminably furloughed but would still like to watch, email [email protected] for assistance.

4. Aubrey Beardsley at Tate Britain

Tate Britain’s new Andy Warhol exhibition opened to much fanfare on March 12 – and was closed within the week, due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Thankfully the London gallery created a virtual, guided tour via its YouTube channel, and will do the same for its new Aubrey Beardsley exhibition.  

From Easter Monday, art lovers can get up close and personal with the works of the trailblazing English illustrator (and inspiration for our very own Harry Clarke), who shocked polite Victorian society with his risqué monochrome illustrations that caught the eye – naturally – of fellow enfant terrible, Oscar Wilde, for whom he illustrated his salacious play Salome. Beardsley’s works may be more than a century old but they’re as fresh and racy as the day they were first inked. 

 

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The Climax, Aubrey Beardsley, Line block print on paper, Stephen Calloway, Photo: © Tate

5. Garden Bird Bingo

Since all of the above are of the couch potato variety, be sure to make time for the great outdoors this Easter “break”. With the nation now confined to just two kilometres, many of us our flocking (sorry…) to our backyards, windows, gardens and local parks to spy on our formerly under-appreciated feathered friends. 

BirdWatch Ireland is, unsurprisingly, active on Twitter (sorry again…) and has shared a cute/handy Stay-at-Home Birdwatching Challenge Poster, meanwhile the National Botanic Garden of Ireland has introduced Garden Bird Bingo, an online activity sheet that’ll help you recognise one tit from another (and possibly inspire a much-less-wholesome daytime-drinking game?).


Read more: Dolly Parton bedtime stories, cocktail classes and a virtual rave: your weekend quarantainment guide

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