London is certainly no stranger to a raucous shenanigan and none could be more raucous than the capital’s biggest indoor festival – Rumpus. Armed with healthy helpings of sparkle, mischief and a battalion of dressed-up revellers, this year the Rumpus travels south, crossing the river to embark upon a new adventure in the magical vaults of The Coronet, Elephant & Castle tonight.
Taking us in search of the fabled Dia De Las Criaturas Muertas, Rumpus invites you to come and explore 11 strange and wonderful lands in ‘A Rather Big Adventure’ – the apt subtitle of this year’s festival. From samba to Balkan Beats, electro-swing to dubstep and a bit of drum and bass, these guys are not messing around when they say the Rumpus is a smorgasbord of musical revelry across seven rooms. Throw some circus, cabaret, performance art, body art and promenade performances in the labyrinthine tunnels of south London and we’re in business.
Head to the vast coliseum of The Rumpus Arena for musical entertainment from Gypsy Hill and Slamboree helped along the way by Rumpus stalwart DJ Dr Malaka. Make sure you stick around to catch the Rubbish Sideshow Circus, made of rubbish not doing rubbish things, as they unleash their death-defying circus performances. Mystery and magic engulf The Other Stage with live sets from The Great Malarkey and The Turbans before the brilliantly named DJ CousCous and the Baltic Balkan crew see you through to the wee hours. In The Travelling Tavern, step back in time with the Queen of the Night to a steaming bayou in 1920, blasting the rowdiest jazz, blues and ragtime from Dakota Jim and His Family Orchestra.
Elsewhere, The Suck My Rock Forest is at once a photo booth and interactive theatre set – prizes to those that manage to capture The Dreaded Bobmonster. (And also prizes to the person who tells me what that is?!) Get yourself lost in The Rumpus Marketplace, an old time emporium populated by makers, crafters and merchants from the community and stocked with the wildest threads and animal appendages or get your hair done at Hairy Poppins Pop Up Hair Salon.
If that’s not enough, join the live body painting in The Happy Slap Boutique and join the Dia De Las Criaturas Muertas. The Rumpus Mega Cinema is exactly what it says on the tin, a humongous cinema screen upon which VJ Harper will astound and enthral with films to feed your soul. And then there’s The Lost Room of Doom – can you find it, will you solve its mystery? Yikes…
A Rumpus wouldn’t be a rumpus without a suitably baffling but enticing dress code with suggestions such as ‘explorers, far away lands, Marco Polo, Sinbad the Sailor, Sirens and Nympths and the Fountain of Wasted Youth’. While dressing up isn’t necessarily compulsory (though you do get in cheaper!) the Rumpus certainly hasn’t done anything by halves so neither should you.
And to be fair, they pretty much had me at ‘ball pool’. Oh, did I not mention there is also a huge ball pool?
Tickets are £20 advance / £25 on the door/ £20 if in costume.
Rumpus takes place on Friday 5 October from 10pm – 6am at:
28 New Kent Road
Elephant & Castle