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 4.8 mile tour of Southwark, starting outside Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall and ending 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 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.
Walkers are encouraged to embrace this years theme of ‘Light’ by bringing along torches, lamps, glowsticks and light-up clothes. The Breakfast Club will provide a midnight feast at a secret location.
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.
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