Friday 23 May 2014

Theatre Review: The London Dungeon Lates

Last week the Secret Victorianist was lucky enough to be invited to The London Dungeon Lates – a ‘grown-ups only’ tour of one of the capital’s spookiest attractions. The organisers promised to transport guests to a dark Dickensian underworld, where Jack the Ripper stalked the streets, as we all indulged in a Victorian gin palace (canes, fans and monocles to hand).

The gin was certainly plentiful. In almost every room we were encouraged to down further non-descript beverages (‘urine’ samples included), leaving me more than happy to devour one of Mrs Lovett’s meat pies even when dead bodies started coming down the chute from the barbers’.

The Secret Victorianist at London Dungeons
The historical element was less consistent. Dressed as we were in Ripper Street style costumes, our public house hostess soon deposited us with a Tudor jester, who led us to Guy Fawkes’ severed (and talking) head before we found ourselves suffering the black death and then hanging out with Sweeney, Lovett, doomed but friendly nineteenth-century prostitutes et al. The actors were uniformly entertaining and seemed to be enjoying the experience as much as were.

The most convincingly ‘Victorian’ aspect of the night was the experience of moving through a network of passages in the pitch black, ducking to avoid ceilings and viewing anyone you passed (human or statue) with increasing suspicion.

If you want to see the Dungeons without children this is certainly the way to do it – slightly tipsy, tittering at the bawdy humour and having no reason to feel too old or too embarrassed to scream.

The London Dungeon Lates will be running on June 6th and 20th. You can book tickets (£30/40) here.

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