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Late Night Library Club: literary larks and filthy fun

Tristan Parker

Remember books? Before Tinder and cereal cafes, they were pretty popular, and now, arty club crew Amy Grimehouse are giving Londoners a highbrow literary fix at a series of new immersive parties, mixed in with a good dose of hedonistic partying.

It’s part of a new venture named Late Night Library Club: ‘It’s a book club-plus,’ says Alex Menace from Grimehouse, ‘so once you’re inside and the doors are closed, you’re immersed in a world that relates to the book.’ The events will bring everything to life at incredible locations around London, chosen to suit the mood of each book.

The first book being tackled at the launch – this Friday – is Sarah Waters’ steamy historical novel ‘Tipping the Velvet’, which follows its heroine through Victorian London, exploring themes of gender, drag and male impersonators. It takes place in Sutton House, a grand, National Trust-owned Tudor house in Homerton.

‘There’ll be music hall performers, life drawing classes, a cockney singalong and a “dress like a king” room, where you can learn how to drag up’, says Menace. ‘But we’re also focusing on the party element’ says fellow Grimehouse member Mia Pollak. ‘There are parties held in ‘Tipping the Velvet’ and we’re recreating that with a bit of smut and a few dildos. That does feature in the book by the way!’

The bad news is that this Friday’s event is sold out. But there are more planned, including one on Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ on October 10, also at Sutton House. So, do attendees need to have read the book beforehand? ‘They don’t have to – you won’t get tested or anything – but ideally they will have done’, says Pollak.

‘We’re hoping there’ll be something for everyone’, says Menace. ‘If you’re not into parties, you can talk to people about the book and take part in a lively discussion. But if you’re not interested in that and you just want to get drunk, draw cocks and have your picture taken in a photobooth, you can do that as well.’

Phew. That’s all bases covered, then.

Read more about Late Night Library Club.

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