Stories For Grown-Ups In a Magical Urban Wasteland
We’re so excited about this we might need a fortifying glass of ginger wine and a veggie sausage roll to calm down.
Storyteller Vanessa Woolf is the genius behind London Dreamtime, hosting offbeat storytelling walks in unusual places. Tonight, Vanessa and her co-conspirator Nigel will lead a motley crew through the derelict concrete wonderscape that is Elephant and Castle for their latest event, Darkness in the Secret Heart of the Urban Forest.
The path is peppered with eerie songs and stories about darkness, gods and local history, and winds through the walkways and playgrounds of the almost-abandoned Heygate Estate, finishing high up on the rooftops. We’re advised to dress warmly and bring a camera that works in low-level light – apparently we’re going to want to capture quite a few of the sights.
Advance is booking is essential, but don’t worry if they’re full-up this time – check out their website for more brilliant upcoming events. Otherwise, we’ll see you at the special meeting place tonight. After all, events like this are what legs, London and rooftops were made for.
Book now at http://www.londondreamtime.com/London_Stories.html
A Foodie Farewell to London 2012
Not managed to bag any Olympic closing ceremony tickets? Can’t bear the thought of sitting through another Spice Girls reunion? Pay tribute to the end of a brilliant London 2012 with a celebration of world cuisine instead.
Global Feast is pop-up restaurant offering “a journey through the best of world food” covering a different country every night of the Games. For the final two nights this Sunday and Monday you can book a “trip” to either Western South America or Brazil – no crappy argument with far-flung immigration officers required.
“Travellers” get to soak up the Olympics atmosphere over pre-dinner cocktails and canapes at Stratford’s Old Town Hall before experiencing the Worldscape installation.
With guest chefs including Martin Morales of Ceviche and Kym Kamel from the Shy Chili Supper Club, and entertainment in the form of tango lessons and bossa nova music, we can’t think of a more appropriate way to round off an incredible fortnight.
Book your trip now at http://www.globalfeast2012.com/
Hunt Down A Wandering Bar
Here at The Culture Geek we get huge satisfaction out of hitting up secret new joints before the raving masses descend on them. It makes us feel special. Perhaps we weren’t cuddled enough as children.
For many drinking establishments, staying one step ahead of the crowd is key. Which may be why popular Fitzrovia-based olden-time joint Bourne & Hollingsworth have launched their very own travelling bar. The Fourth Wall will hit a different, top-secret London location every weekend. The only way to find out where it will be? Sign up on their 007-covert website.
The folks at B&H have basically set up their own version of an egg-and-spoon race, but with cocktails in teacups, a heightened air of mischief and the chance of pulling someone fit-but-potentially-unsuitable around midnight. Exactly. This weekend’s clue is pictured above - race you to the bar.
A Hackney Halloween Horror-Fest
Yeah, we’re blatantly not going to get away from the Halloween theme this week…
Experience Cinema is hosting a series of “Halloween Screamings” in a bona-fide chapel in E5 this weekend. Hit up Hackney and enjoy your choice of The Exorcist, The Omen, Halloween or The Blair Witch Project: if you’re feeling masochistic why not see all four in some sort of crazed back-to-back viewing-frenzy of horror.
We promise that next week all events will involve sunlight and ponies and kittens in teacups.
In the meantime book tickets here: http://www.experiencecinema.com/
Don’t Make Us Go In There
“You must walk through alone” – words that fill us with fear but also make us immediately ask: “Brilliant - where can we get tickets?”
Word is spreading fast about Blackout Haunted House: an extreme walk-through theatre experience which has popped up in Manhattan in time for Halloween. Time Out New York simply said, quote unquote: “It will eff you up”, while those staggering out the exit door could only gasp that it was “the biggest mindfuck” and “sick” (all succinctly, but accurately, put).
Inside, it’s pitch black. The actors are allowed to touch you (and from the sound of it, boy do they touch you) but you’re not allowed to touch them. You have to sign a disclaimer before you go in, and you must be over 18. Few details are available about what happens, but apparently there’s nudity, crawling and a shedload of water involved (rumour has it you get waterboarded). According to the organisers, panic attacks and crying “are common”.
See you on the other side. Maybe.
Pant-Wettingly Scary Theatre
We went to this annual season of short horror plays two years ago, and frankly, it scared the shit out of us.
The final short was so shocking that when the lights went up, the whole audience just sat there in stunned silence, before silently collecting their coats and wandering off into the night.
We’re utterly in love with the Soho Theatre’s eclectic programme at the best of times, but we promise we’re not being biased about this year’s Terror 2011: it’s just flaming fantastic. Go and see this* and you’ll understand.
*we heartily recommend a stiff whisky in the bar beforehand
Tickets start at £10 http://www.sohotheatre.com/whats-on/terror/
Forget The Band: Go On Art Tour
We’re going to be honest: we like discovering new stuff because it makes us feel cool. And it’s quite handy for making us sound awesome on dates.
Which is why we’ll be pegging it down to this weekend’s Art Licks’ Tour in Hackney. Go behind the scenes with your in-the-know guide, down abandoned-looking alleys and behind corrugated iron gates to find the coolest, most tucked-away galleries and studios, open for your viewing pleasure.
Just do us a favour: don’t turn up in skinny turquoise ankle-skimmers, a checked hemp shirt and Dame Edna glasses, or we will have to hurt you with our bare hands. Thanks.
Book in advance at http://www.artlicks.com/
Dine With Basil Fawlty. Really.
Sometimes you hear about an event that’s so barking/genius you wonder if it’s a joke.
Well, Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience is no joke, but it is pretty bloody funny. Jump aboard the R.S. Hispaniola (sounds made up: it isn’t) and enjoy slapstick with your three-course meal courtesy of “Basil”, “Sybil” and “Manuel” as part of this acclaimed piece of interactive comedy theatre.
So ridiculous you’ve got to try it. Just don’t mention the war.
Until 30th October. Tickets from £50 at http://www.hispaniola.co.uk/FaultyTowers.php
Commuting, But Not As We Know It
The last time someone spoke to us on a train platform it was an unshaven bloke who smelt of cider and wanted to “borrow” our mobile phone.
But thankfully, Audio Obscura is different. Sandwiched between Marks and Spencer and Le Pain Quotidien at St Pancras Station, you collect your free headphones and spend half an hour immersed in a world created by award-winning poet and novelist Lavinia Greenlaw.
Fragments of conversations, whispers of exchanges, snatches of sound – it’s a journey through a London only you can hear, laid over a visual backdrop of the usual commuters, workers and suddenly-whimsical drunks now zigzagging inaudibly around you.
Find your own story as you wander about, or peer curiously at others as you project your imagined tales onto them: as “Our Graham” on Blind Date would say, the choice is yours.
Get Him To The Greek (Play)
God, we love a tunnel. You can get up to anything in a tunnel.
That’s why we have gone faintly batshit for The Minotaur.
Set in the dark vaults beneath Waterloo Station known as The Old Vic Tunnels, it’s the chance to experience an artistic interpretation of the classic Greek myth The Minotaur (see what they did there).
Plus you get to wolf some tasty dinner creations by Michelin-starred chefs Nuno Mendes, Matthias Schmidt and Ollysan and Juan Amador. We’ve only heard of the first guy, but we’re assured they’re all excellent.
Dinner. And art. In an underground magical labyrinth. Where do we sign up?
A Play In A Church: Creepy
There’s something decadent about an immersive play that makes us come over all childlike.
All that wandering around an oversized, freakishly realistic set and getting to walk among the actors; it’s like being given the chance to return to the days of Wendy houses and Star Wars and play make-believe.
This summer The Woodshed Collective have created an imaginative landscape on a massive scale within this rambling five-storey church on New York’s Upper West Side. The Tenant is based on a book later adapted into a film by Roman Polanksi, and follows Monsieur Trelkovsky as he takes possession of an apartment in Paris recently vacated by a woman who fell from her window (yup, you know this ain’t gonna end well…)
Experience his slow descent into madness as you race alongside the characters from room to eerie room. We also managed to sneak a contraband snap of part of the incredibly creepy set when no-one was looking, just for your delight.
Best bit: it’s free. Leave your sanity at the door and book at http://www.woodshedcollective.com/productions/the-tenant/
Living Room Gigs. Because You’re Cool.
Culture Geek is very cool, you know. Sometimes we might be seen around town in a beret and Raybans, leaning artfully against a lamppost while clicking our fingers to some imaginary electro jazz…
Ok, so we may not be annoyingly pseudo-French, but we do know good music when we hear it. Which is why we hit up SoFar Sounds in New York this week - a brilliantly intimate night of unplugged music based out of a random stranger’s living room.
The ethos of this monthly pop-up is simple: get on the list, bring booze and a cushion for your bum, and get ready to meet your new favourite bands. Talking and texting’s banned, but you ain’t even gonna notice: so rapt will you be by the acoustic wonder occurring approximately two feet from your knees.
This month’s gig was in Brian, Brian and Neal’s wonderfully artful warehouse home, with a panoramic roof terrace overlooking the East River. We fell head-over-heels for acts Anthony Hall, Julia Haltigan, You Won’t, Will Knox and Pearl & the Beard. We even jigged about a little bit.
In two words? We’re hooked. See you there next time.
Go to http://www.sofarsounds.com/ to find out how to get on the list in New York, London and beyond.
Canals: Not Just For Shopping Trolleys
I’m on boat! I’m on a boat! Etc… jeez, those Lonely Island guys have a lot to answer for.
We can’t guarantee you a yacht (or that you’ll be serenaded by iconic rapper T-Pain) but we’re really digging Portavilion’s The Floating Cinema - a narrow boat-come-touring screening room currently traversing the salubrious London boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Newham and Waltham Forest.
Thursdays are open days, so hop on board. Bring your own scrumpy. Try not to fall in the canal, it’s dirty.
What’s on when? Find out here: http://www.floatingcinema.info/events/
Sshhh: A Secret Gin Speakeasy
And so to New York. Gin may be a London institution, but hip New Yorkers can’t get enough of good old mother’s ruin at the moment.
Hence the arrival of Bathtub Gin, a hidden cocktail venue tucked almost invisibly off a Chelsea street. Look out for the tiny coffee shop at 132 9th Ave with a miniature bathtub in the window - that’s your sign you’re in the right place.
Inside, there’s a false wall with a red light above, and when the light’s on, that’s your cue to enter. Whether you find your way out again after all that gin is another matter…
Wandering Cinema Goes to Parliament
Going to the cinema is so last year. This summer, it’s all about letting the cinema come to you. Kind of.
The Nomad is a roaming pop-up cinema bringing a wide range of films to lidos, palaces and parks in your ‘hood all summer long. Better yet, they’re theming each event in the style of the movie - so you can expect a bit of theatre, dress-up and immersive performance to help get you in the viewing groove.
This weekend sees Oscar-winning The King’s Speech and Breakfast at Tiffany’s at Hampton Court Palace, and the more quirky Balkan comedy Black Cat, White Cat at Hyde Park Lido.
But we’re PROPER excited about Inception, which is screening at the Houses of Parliament on the 5th August. Maybe we can get an MP to buy us popcorn on expenses.
Bag tickets starting at £6.50 and see the full summer line-up here: http://www.whereisthenomad.com/where-were-going/