Arc took a little mental refreshment…

1 Jun

… last night at the Enlightenment Cafe. It’s a pop-up theatrical event in the tunnels under Waterloo Station and it’s running until June 3. We had a very good time. But you don’t need a review from us. You need this:  

And this: Barra Collins (the chap in the great suit, above) wrote us this sketch of what it’s all about.

“The year is 1882, Londoners wait in anticipation for the Transit of Venus. This celestial journey across the face of the sun happens but twice in a life time and the next journey will not be for another 122 years. Scientists and artists have gathered together in a vault underneath Waterloo Train Station, trains rumbling overhead, some to celebrate this rare event others to capitalise on this meeting of
great and inquisitive minds…

“The Enlightenment Café  is part science exploration, part immersive theatre. In the depths of The Enlightenment Café find a theatrical Victorian world for aesthetes, geeks, bon-viveurs and enquiring minds. Do the rounds at a Victorian Psychiatric Clinic, be schooled in the science of love at the Institute of Victorian Dating Etiquette, experiment with the inebriating alchemy of Gin Distillation and flaunt your wits in a Speed Debating Tournament. Deeper still, discover a series of laboritories and dens where people can congregate and be Enlightened by the likes of Stuart Clark (The Sky’s Dark Labyrinth), Alex Bellos (Adventures in Numberland), Joanne Baker (50 Ideas You Really Need To Know: Universe), Claire Benson “Burner” (Fire & Explosion Scientist), Tim McInerny (Forensic Psychiatrist) and even dance the night away with a twisted brass, art punk marching band, Perhaps Contraption.”

So there you are, Londoners (and don’t despair, the rest of you: The Enlightenment Cafe has grand peripatetic plans for the coming year).

Tickets are available from


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