Phantasmagorical is a supernatural spectacle of stories and magic, swirling with dark whimsy. A show of magic and mind-reading presented by Miss Sylvia Sceptre, at The Old Operating Theatre and Herb Garrett. The audience is immersed into Sylvia’s world of spirits and macabre obsession with death and asked to question whether she has the gift of second sight or is it the Victorian affliction of hysteria? Is she half-crazed by laudanum or a magician conjuring spirits? Whatever you decide, you will have an intriguing experience to remember. This 60-minute show is engaging, fun and very different to a typical magic show. Storytelling, drama and magic combine to resonate long after the performance is over. Find out more
Tag: The Old Operating Theatre
The annual Valentine’s Day horror screening returns to the Old Operating Theatre. “Completely horrible” – Time Magazine. The British Board of Film Classification originally intended to ban ‘Mad Love’ (1935); a deranged inspection of Grand Guignol villainy. An accomplished but lustful surgeon (Peter Lorre in arguably his greatest performance) is driven to psychotic behaviour over his perverse obsession with an actress. A hugely successful example of 1930’s horror at its most unhinged and portentously Germanic, this tale of madness, murder, dismemberment and forced love is also a wicked, penetrative chunk of psychological study. The film will be preceded by an introduction by Gareth Miles. Doors will open at 6:30 PM. Tickets: £12.00
Join Kirsty Chilton, assistant curator and museum researcher at The Old Operating Theatre, for a fascinating talk: The Fear of Being Buried Alive: A Georgian & Victorian Perspective Book tickets At a time when levels of consciousness were poorly understood, determining when someone was actually dead was an imperfect science. It still can be. The fear of being buried alive and of a desperate struggle to free yourself from your own grave was always present and retains it’s power today. This is a talk about some of the possible – and probable – incidences of people being buried alive or escaping from their own grave in the 18th and 19th century, and some ways to protect yourself from this fate… Doors will open at 6:30 PM. The talk will begin at 7:00 PM. Tickets: £12.00 *Access is through a 52-step spiral staircase. Please, visit our Visiting Us page for further details on access.
Experience an exciting event in the attic of St Thomas’ Church in London Bridge: a secret concert in the oldest operating theatre in Europe. This month features Russell Swallow, an acoustic artist who calls on the classic grooves of James Bay, the storytelling of Tracey Chapman, and the ambience of Ry-X. Russell’s sound is brooding, confessional, indie. Tickets £20 Book here.
As part of The Old Operating Theatre’s ‘Life’ talks series, best-selling author Wendy Moore talks about her new book, The Mesmerist: the society doctor who held Victorian London spellbound, which tells the story of Elliotson’s battle to spread the word about mesmerism – hypnotism as we know it today – in the face of furious opposition. When Queen Victoria ascended to the throne in 1837, a strange new idea wafted across the English Channel from France: mesmerism. Maverick physician John Elliotson, whot trained and worked at St Thomas’ and Guys Hospital, was the only British doctor to take mesmerism seriously. He staged demonstrations on his patients at University College Hospital which created sensational headlines but ultimately brought him disaster. Doors will open at 6:30 pm. Book Tickets
Those searching for an alternative approach to romance this Valentine’s Day need look no further than this special screening of Freaks (1932) at The Old Operating Theatre. “Anyone who considers this entertainment should be placed in the pathological ward in some hospital” said one contemporary review of this notorious film. The initial outrage over the use of people with genuine abnormalities overshadowed the film‘s real sympathies; if there are ‘freaks’ on display here, they are not the versatile circus performers to whom the title seems to allude. This tale of a ‘beautiful’ circus trapeze artist who conspires with her strongman lover to marry a dwarf for his money remain’s Hollywood’s boldest statement on the dichotomy between outer appearance and inner life. This event will be preceded by an introduction by Gareth Miles. Doors will open at 6:30 PM. Book here
Join The Old Operating Theatre on October 27th for a special Halloween screening of cult classic, Dracula. “One of the most revolting horror films I have seen in years.” (Daily Express review, 1958). Filmed in lurid technicolour for the first time, Hammer’s sexually charged Gothic nightmare blew away the black and white cobwebs of all previous versions and, with dripping blood and bared fangs, reinvented the image of the Count. Christopher Lee’s snarling, hissing portrayal became a model on how to transform a well-known character. His hot blooded animal instincts contrast brilliantly with Peter Cushing’s cool scientific rationalism in the role of Van Helsing. A watershed moment in the history of on-screen eroticism and gore, the film was key to the development of the horror film, sending shock waves through the decades that followed. It retains much of its bite today. This event will feature an introduction by Gareth Miles and the screening of the movie. Refreshments will be served. Doors will open at 6:30 PM. Book your tickets.