Meryl Streep’s damn fine singing and drinking, and three other things lifting our spirits

Actor toasts Stephen Sondheim; Abbey sends us a postcard; and socially distanced dancing

The Ladies Who Lunch: Meryl Street in Take Me to the World. Photograph: YouTube/

The Ladies Who Lunch: Meryl Street in Take Me to the World. Photograph: YouTube/


We’ll drink to that

A cocktail of stars toasted and trolled the idle rich, and the lockdown lifestyle, last night as Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski and Audra McDonald performed The Ladies Who Lunch in a free online concert. The song, from the Stephen Sondheim musical comedy Company, was a highlight of Take Me to the World, a two-hour celebrity livestream, already watched more than 1.1 million times, to mark the composer and lyricist’s 90th birthday. The video features Streep, Baranski and McDonald – at home in their bathrobes in isolation – singing a damn fine rendition:

“I’d like to propose a toast.
Here’s to the ladies who lunch.
Everybody laugh.
Lounging in their caftans
and planning a brunch
On their own behalf.
Off to the gym,
then to a fitting...
And here’s to the girls who stay smart –
Aren’t they a gas?
Rushing to their classes in optical art,
Wishing it would pass.
Another long exhausting day…
I’ll drink to that.”

Getting the teeniest look inside their homes is a welcome bonus.

A postcard to ourselves

We’re arranging the chairs in the living rooms for another free livestream, tonight’s world premiere of the Abbey’s Dear Ireland project. The theatre’s rapid response to the times we’re in was to commission 50 playwrights to write a short monologue, then get 50 actors, all in isolation, to perform and film each separately. They’ll be knitted together to create a sort of time capsule of our experiences and emotions during the coronavirus crisis – like a postcard to ourselves. Tonight is the first of four consecutive evenings, beginning at 7.30pm on the Abbey’s YouTube channel. The whole shebang will be online from Saturday for six months. We’ve had a peek of a couple, and this will be special.

Saturday Night already

They are having the crack, socially distanced, at Canon Mooney Gardens. Its residents’ association has organised a bunch of community activities during the lockdown, from bingo to stair climbing in aid of Pieta House. The latest highly imaginative wheeze was a mass boogie in the car park of the estate, in Ringsend in Dublin. The video of 200 people dancing to Saturday Night, Whigfield’s hit from the 1990s, has captured lots of people’s imagination.

Easy as anything

Our latest Kitchen Cabinet recipe is Alan McArdle’s granny’s easy cheesy cod. The executive chef at Ballynahinch Castle, in Connemara, describes his family favourite as the ultimate quick and simple dinner, where you top fresh cod with a mix of cream, mustard and cheese before a speedy bake in the oven.