30th August 2014
Jubilee Gardens, South Bank, London SE1 7JA
It wasn’t that long ago that the South Bank area was considered something of a highbrow’s playground: National Theatre, classical concerts, foreign films, obscure modern art, skateboarders… well, possibly not the skateboards.
Then a big wheel arrived, County Hall swapped politicians for ‘attractions’ and the neighbourhood gradually started to change. Both the Festival Hall and Jubilee Gardens underwent facelifts as more and more visitors came to enjoy a walk by the riverside. But what to do with that ugly car park space between the two of them? [soon to be the next home of the BFI apparently] Well, turn it into a pop-up cabaret venue, complete with food & drink outlets and some funfair rides, of course. Oh, and throw in a freak show for good measure.
Now, anyone who’d assumed these entertainments were the sort of exploitative diversions that belonged in the dark ages hadn’t reckoned on Man’s insatiable desire for some good clean revulsion, satisfied here by the amiable Lizard Man and his uniquely talented chums, including the Space Cowboy.
Meanwhile, the Festival Hall itself is feeling all loved up with its Big Wedding Weekend, in which not only did 70 couples plight their troths (not in this inflatable church, I hasten to add), non-combatants could enjoy a dance on the river terrace, or take part in some Wedding Olympics.
We’re here for the freaks today, though, so here’s something for a good night’s sleep…