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Alice Street

To Hell And Back

On Saturday I did something I'd never done before: visited the London Dungeon with yagfox. (To clarify, I'd previously never been at all, with or without yagfox.)

When I worked on Borough High Street, I would regularly see actors from the Dungeon buying their lunch at McDonalds still clad in mediaeval costume and caked in pretend bodily fluids. I always meant to pop along and see them in action some time, and I was not disappointed by their performance.

Any pretence at being educational has long vanished beneath a sea of blood, pus and vomit, but the tour, undertaken in groups of about 20, is highly entertaining. The live actors are by far the best bit, even though performance quality is variable; my favourite scene was our trial by Judge Mental (boom boom!) in which members of the group were picked on to defend themselves against accusations of naked witch-dancing or sexual congress with a horse.

There are genuinely scary moments as you pass through Plague, Great Fire and a ride in the Traitor Boat to Sweeney Todd's barber shop and Jack the Ripper's Whitechapel, but the tension is always defused by a gag at the end. For the grand finale, everyone except those with child or with back problems gets to be hanged from the walls of Newgate Prison. Yag forewarned me that this was a drop ride, and a very short one at that, so I was prepared. But I was still embarrassingly sweaty and shaky afterwards.

We finished the day with an Ethiopian meal, and finished that with Ethiopian coffee, which ensured I didn't fall asleep on the way home, or indeed for some time afterwards. Or was that the thought of Jack the Ripper?

Comments

Heh. Sounds like you had fun... of a sort...

I visited the old Chamber of Horrors at Madame Tussauds once. I think I'll give the London Dungeon a miss...
The only time I visited Madame Tussaud's, I found it far too full of celebrities I'd never heard of!
I think it's been a very long time since I visited the place. It was certainly while the Planetarium still did proper astronomy shows, so I'm guessing early to mid eighties...
Sounds like a pretty neat day out.
I'm afraid the closest I've ever been to that was the Dover Gaol, which used mannequins with plain white faces with a projected face onto them. It was all going fine until the "Workroom accident" room, and then with the clinical antiseptic smell and simulated mangled flesh, I came-to in the gift-shop, with my mother looking down at me worriedly :P

How did you enjoy the Ethiopian meal? I've only ever once had Ethiopian, in California - was it all large pancake-bread type stuff with vegetables and meat?
That's the stuff! I've had it before at a different restaurant; very yummy pancakes.

And that's the sort of incident that puts me off going to these places, in case it happens to me!
That sounds like good silly fun!

Mmm, Ethiopian food. Haven't had injera in far too long!
And now I want more!
Many thanks for coming along, next time, you choose something as I always worry that I always end up doing my suggestions with friends! :)

Though I stand by the Ethiopean choice!
Battersea Park Zoo? There may not be any Ethiopian cuisine in the area though.