This November, the City Assembly House becomes home to a mesmerizing and strange amalgum of occurrences, as Hendrick’s Chambers of the Curious visits the city for the second year running.
Readers will be aware that we count ourselves amongst those denizens of Dublin who are particularly partial to the uncanny, the mysterious and the downright weird. Just 12 short months ago this innate sense of curiosity moved us to accept a peculiar invitation to immerse ourselves in the bizarre and bewildering enticements of the Chambers of the Curious.
Events unfolded over the course of a late winter evening, preceded by a brief assignation in the heart of downtown Dublin. Arriving at our destination, we were swiftly decanted outside a vast and ancient building where a bowler-hatted butler urged us to join a small group of inquisitive guests already gathered in the main drawing room. Propelling ourselves eagerly forward, the door to the room creaked open and we had our first tantalizing glimpse into a world of staggering peculiarity.
To our bemused surprise, a team of white-coated phrenologists were to be seen observing us steadily in the gloom. Emerging from their quiet contemplation, they amiably invited us to partake of a cordial or two, proffering a curious selection of liquids, which they quietly assured us would help strengthen our resolve for the experimental oddities ahead.
Setting expertly about their ministrations, they reminded us that the experimental nature of the procedures we were about to undergo had been lovingly refined over the course of many years, inspired by a dogged adherence to their vocational pursuit as ‘purveyors of the unusual’.
As the evening progressed, we moved from room to room accompanied by the cheerful sounds of a bygone age. A series of delicious and refreshing concoctions were delivered, each timed to match the intermittent chirping of a pair of budgerigars surreptitiously witnessing proceedings from the corner of the room.
As we subsequently set about disentangling ourselves from the charms of the Chambers, we agreed that the evening’s events were possibly best filed somewhere between “discombobulating” and “enigmatic”. Quite what our fellow Dubliners might make of it remains as mysterious as the delightful workings of the Chambers themselves.
Words: Martina Murray
Peculiarity and secrecy notwithstanding…
The brains behind this botanical excursion have exhorted us not to share too much, but we can reveal that the event will involve an inordinate amount of cucumbers, lashings of roses, twelve bags of ivy and a gramophone or two.
The piece de résistance may or may not involve a gold scaffold tower and approximately 1,500 canapés. It goes without saying that a liberal dash of curiosity is de rigueur.
The Nitty Gritty…
Chambers of the Curious takes place in The City Assembly House with a series of stimulating events over seven days from Friday 18th to Saturday 26th November.
Tickets are extremely limited and available on a first come, first served basis at a rate of €15 per person. This ticket price includes exclusive access to odd experiences and a range of refreshments.
More tickets may become available closer to the event once the initial batch are sold out.
Two hostings per evening will proceed on the following nights:
Friday 18th November – 6.30pm & 9pm
Saturday 19th November – 5.30pm & 8pm
Sunday 20th November – 5.30pm & 8pm
Wednesday 23rd November – 6.30pm & 9pm
Thursday 24th November – 6.30pm & 9pm
Friday 25th November – 6.30pm & 9pm
Saturday 26th November – 5.30pm & 8pm
Each event is two hours in duration. Access is by tickets only. Over 18s only and ID may be required. To reserve tickets to this most peculiar event, visit Eventbrite.
Enjoy the Unusual Responsibly