There aren’t many things I regret in life, but never being picked to appear on the TV show ‘Fun House’ is one of my greatest disappointments. If your childhood was anything like mine, you’ll have spent hours in front of the telly watching kids tackle bouncing obstacles and gunge their parents as you wondered how they got so damn lucky.
Well, now I have the chance to live out my ’90s gameshow fantasy – at The Monster, a huge inflatable obstacle course at Alexandra Palace. At 300 metres long, it really is a beast. Inside, it has an 18-metre Mega Slide, tunnels and steep climbing walls. Sadly, no gunge.
Channelling Pat Sharp (minus the mullet), I arrive at The Monster’s mouth where I’m met by one of the Monster Maniacs (the hype guys and gals), who gets me jumping on the spot, dancing, chanting and ready to take on the obstacles ahead.
My first challenge is a big, electric-blue troll face, its mouth packed with inflatable teeth like chunky Dairylea triangles, which I have to squeeze past. After tumbling through I’m tasked with ricocheting off inflatable squiggles, squirming over cylindrical jumps, crawling through tunnels and hoisting myself over quaking, gas-filled walls while the Maniacs cheer me on from the sidelines.
The best challenges are saved till last when I get to jump from a sheer ten-metre drop on to a wobbling crash mat and zoom down the towering slide – filling my hardened twentysomething heart with juvenile joy.
As with all the best things from your childhood, the experience is over pretty swiftly. However, in true kidult style, there are some R-rated extras dotted around the course – boozy bingo, drag queen karaoke, unicorn ball pits, beer pong and street food – to keep the fun going after completing the course. Best forgo the tequila shots until you’re over the Mega Slide, or else you’ll really see some gunge. And not the kind Pat Sharp would’ve wanted.
The Monster is at Alexandra Palace from Fri Aug 23 to Wed Aug 28. Tickets start at £22.50.
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