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What can you do in London for £10 on a Friday night that occupies 5 hours?

The answer, not a lot. But tonight I managed it with Grace at King’s College London’s Arts & Humanities Festival 2014.

The night was called Kthonios: Orpheus & Eurydice and took place in the Waterloo and Stand campuses of KCL.

Upon the start of the piece, we were introduced to the evening and given World War II-esque gas masks. The introduction consisted of warnings about periods of sustained, moderate physical activity, mild horror, nudity, sensory deprivation and tight spaces.

The night started with some Lindy Bop dancing. It became quite apparent that I had lost my dancing ‘skills’ from when I did Am Dram in Spalding. We got to know the rest of the 20 people group by switching partners throughout the 2 hours.

Slowly, groups of three were led out of the room by silent ‘Shadows’. They did not speak but used chalk boards to communicate with us.

As we go to the lift, we were instructed to put on our blacked out gas masks and told not to take them off until the bell rang.

When we got out the lift, the bell rang and then we were led through a maze where we had to crawl. Getting out the maze, a Shadow asked us four questions; What’s your name, what do you seek, who do you love and what do you fear. My answers were Oliver, The Holy Grail (I had Monty Python in my head all night for some reason), radio and not waking up.

We then joined those who had gone before us in an auditorium and we watched some World War II propaganda videos.

The storyline of the piece then led us over the River Thames to the Strand campus of KCL. There we waited in the Chapel before a short chance to leave the evening.

After another lift ride in the gas masks, we were in a dimly lit room with easels. At about 2300, we started a life drawing class, where the nudity part of the night’s warning came to reality. It was very strange. I was terrible at art in school and hadn’t worked with charcoal in years!

After the conclusion of the night in another room, we then went back to the life drawing room to share wine with the other participants and cast.

I have to say it was one of the strangest evening’s I’ve ever had in London, but it certainly was enjoyable!

My only comment would be that it could’ve had a bit more pace as we were in the dancing room and auditorium for a very long time. But the cast were fantastic, keeping in character throughout the whole five hours.

I can highly recommend going along to any of their other events for the A&H Festival, which runs through to Friday 24th October.

Now Playing: One Way Ticket by The Darkness

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