Sadly, Largactyl is not a species of large, winged dinosaur. It’s usually spelled Largactil and it’s the world’s oldest anti-psychotic drug, infamous for inducing extreme physical side effects including a shuffling, lumbering gait. Don’t worry: the organisers of this summer solstice midnight walk will not try to drug you (in fact, the event is strictly alcohol free). They will, however, do their best to blow your mind on a four-hour tour of Southwark, starting outside Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall and ending with a reception and refreshments at the Maudsley Hospital in Denmark Hill, the largest mental health training facility in the UK.
Sensing a theme? CoolTan Arts is a charity run by and for adults with mental health issues, and the tour features expert talks about the psychogeography of ‘mad buildings’ and the summer solstice, a time when ‘the boundaries between the physical and spiritual world are at their thinnest’. Stop-off points along the route include the site of the Marshalsea, where Charles Dickens’s father was imprisoned; the Heygate, a hulking neo-brutalist housing estate awaiting demolition; Camberwell House, a former asylum; and the Cross Bones Cemetery, a disused burial ground that was once an unconsecrated graveyard for sex workers.
The walk is free, though voluntary donations are very much appreciated. Participants are welcome to come and go as they please: if you can’t find the group of walkers on the evening, ring 07985 658443. Just pack some water and snacks, and be sure to wear your most comfortable shoes.