If someone (like us, say) were to tell you that “a journey into the worlds of Faery and science, madness and ecstasy” could be had on the streets of Holborn and Bloomsbury, you’d probably think we were two Fools short of a Tarot. But this is the description of The Thin Veil of London, a new theatrical walking tour of mid-town mysteries running through June and July.
The route and tales are inspired by novelist Arthur Machen, who was born 150 years ago in 1863. His works teem with the creatures of folklore, lurking beneath the surface of modern life. Or, as Machen put it: “the eternal beauty hidden beneath the crust of common and commonplace things; hidden and yet burning and glowing continually if you care to look with purged eyes”. Yes, even in the Holborn Wetherspoons. It’s a two-hour journey, beginning and ending in a pub.
Robert Kingham leads the tour, in collaboration with Rich Cochrane. The pair have twice wowed us with their creative approaches to London storytelling: three years ago with psychogeographic performance piece Align; and last year with a mystical tour of Finsbury, called The Grey Soul of London. On that pedigree, we expect to find potent mythspinning and masterful storytelling beneath this Thin Veil of London.
The Thin Veil of London runs on selected days from 30 June till 28 July. Tickets are £12 (£10 concessions), and available through the creators’ website or the Museum of London, which is partnering on the first two events.