'Weirdly, This Was A Pre-Lockdown Idea': Peter Helliar's Iso Pub Crawl Is An Inspiration
Peter Helliar and his wife Bridget have come up with a creative way to enjoy a cold one in style during lockdown.
While bars all over the world have closed their doors amid coronavirus restrictions, Pete and Bridget decided to transform various spaces at their home into themed bars.
"We’ve been getting quite creative, my wife and I have been doing pub crawls on the weekend around our house," Helliar told 10 daily via the phone.
"Weirdly, this was a pre-lockdown idea my wife had once when her friend came over and they sat in almost every seat in the house and had a drink."
Taking it one step further in the last few weeks, Helliar said they've gotten more adventurous with interior design, the establishment's name and even entertainment options.
"We’ve built it up where we’ve been decorating [the rooms] to look like a pub or a club and give it a name, it’s something fun we can look forward to throughout the week and plan," he added.
"We’ve done an Irish pub, Cillian Murphy’s, we did a German dance club called Von Schnitzel -- that was in Oscar’s room, our eleven year old," he laughed.
The couple even got front row seats (and a meet and greet) for an Elton John concert, and took in a certain local comedy icon.
"We went to a comedy night to see Hughesy at a place called the Smokin’ Joke which was outside next to a fireplace," he said.
"Hughesy wasn’t there, he was played by a coat rack with a shirt and a photocopied face, but he nailed it," Helliar added.
If you've seen Helliar's series How To Stay Married, the pub crawl absolutely sounds like something that married couple Em and Greg Butler would come up with if they were stuck inside with their two kids, Sophie (Willow Ryan-Fuller) and Chloe (Vivien Turner).
"I feel like if I was writing the series now, it’s what they’d do," Helliar said.
"And maybe they’ll be in lockdown in Season 3 and it’ll work its way into the script there.
"Considering Greg’s wish for this series is to take the family on a cruise, I think it’ll segue really neatly into the coronavirus and lockdown."
But in the world of the Butler family this season (which kicks off after MasterChef tonight) the pandemic hasn't hit just yet and the characters are instead more focused on teen angst, marital secrets, lost turtles and very exciting career opportunities.
Greg has settled into life as a stay-at-home dad while Em pursues her career and dream to be a writer -- even though she's keeping certain elements of her work life under wraps.
"Lisa’s character Em gets an opportunity at work, that she kind of stumbles into but it’s a great opportunity to finally write a book and be published," Helliar told 10 daily.
"It puts her on a collision course with Greg and she kind of keeps it a secret from him until very late in the series and, as you know, secrets in marriages are probably not a very good thing and it causes a bit of an explosion, a metaphorical explosion, at the end of the series."
Another explosion bubbling under the surface is Em and Greg's teen daughter Sophie, who's grappling with the embarrassment of her deeply uncool parents who are desperately trying to maintain a connection with her as she enters her moody adolescent years.
But while Greg is doing his best to impress his teen daughter's mates, he draws the line when he's asked to hide away his Star Wars merchandise, a storyline that, for Helliar, held a broader message about trolling.
"For me, it was almost a very personal thing, I was sick of the negativity of trolls and people trying to ruin Star Wars, it’s a very dear thing to me -- I grew up loving it, I still love it.
"And like Greg said, if you don’t like something, just move on. It’s kind of not specific to Star Wars but that’s certainly when I started really thinking about it. These things exist because creative people take chances. If you don’t like it, move on."
It's a mantra that also works when you're on a pub crawl -- with Helliar letting us know what he and Bridget are cooking up for this week's night on the town.
"We’ve got a hipster bar in mind this week," he laughed.
And goodness, we can't wait for Helliar to write this into the series one day.
The Season 2 Premiere Of How To Stay Married Airs Tonight After MasterChef. Only On 10 And WIN Network.
Main Image: Instagram.