Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

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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?

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