Culture Clinic: unusual nights out

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Great ideas for quirky nights out that won't break the bank

  • Culture Clinic: unusual nights out

    Swap-a-rama Razzamatazz

  • The problem

    Liz, SE17

    ‘My twenty-sixth birthday is rapidly approaching. I have no idea what to do! I’d like to do something a bit different for a change, maybe burlesque or something unusual. I’m planning on inviting maybe a dozen people, I’d reckon on a fairly small budget and it needs to be towards the end of May. I realise that this is a bit of a tall order, but if anyone knows the answer, it’s you.’

    The prescription

    In keeping with your namesake, your birthday deserves at least a fortnight of celebrations. Start with Birthday Party at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club on May 16. It’s the latest event courtesy of our fave lil’ burlesque party throwers, Oh My God I Miss You. Be sure to dress up in your prettiest prom frock and wear shoes you can dance all night in. It’s £8 each to get in, but there’s a cheapity-cheap, cash-only bar. Come May 22, Swap-a-rama Razzmatazz is at Favela Chic and £3 to get in. It’s a huge and extremely silly clothes-swapping party, where Beyond Retro supply the unwanted garb you swap each time the klaxon sounds. Result? Car-crash outfits and plenty of new friends. Take a supply of wigs, masks and boas to give you extra swapping-kudos. For something south of the river, check Kimono Krush at South London Pacific on May 30. It’s BYO hula skirt or frilly bikini – which will make no sense until you step inside the tiki-tastic bar and start shimmying to the bossa and 1960s girl pop with lashings of burlesque on the side. All this for just £4.

    For something really different, try an old-timers Art of the Dog tea dance on June 1 at the Old Finsbury Town Hall. It’s an afternoon affair, and they’re encouraging people to bring and share cakes, one of which should, of course, be your birthday cake. Work off the Victoria sponge with lessons in proper dancing, such as the cha cha and waltz.

    Do you agree? Post your suggestions for Liz's's night out.

    Help us to help you…

    Whether you want to drink, dance, immerse yourself in high culture or stuff your face, London has everything, and our own expert team can help you sort the best from the rest. Email your cultural conundrum to cultureclinic@timeout.com.

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