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Matthew in Wonderland

First Published 19 July 2012, Last Updated 20 July 2012

When I’m not in theatres, I do the odd bit of DIY. I’ve removed nails from many a situation, but never from a human nostril… until today.

Today was different. Today things happened to me that dwell outside the realms of normality. Today was, for a few minutes, like living in my own David Lynch movie.

Today I had a personal encounter with The Royal Family Of Strange People.

This melange of misfits has a way of entertaining that makes you cringe with enjoyment. They are a throw back to the Coney Island freak show with a liberated 21st century twist, that make your intestines flip with anticipation and revulsion.

“Roll up, Roll up. See the online theatre journo use a staple gun.” Okay, that’s not going to pull in many punters. But when said staple gun is being used to attach a show flyer to the face of one of the show’s stars, everything begins to become more intriguing, beguiling, a forbidden pleasure.

That is unless you’re the journalist in question, in which case it become a terrifying, gut-twisting, bladder-baiting proposition.

The Royal Family Of Strange People, who aren’t entirely intimidating when they’re not misusing anything from a fork to a bulldog clip, have set up home at the Priceless London Wonderground, the collection of sideshows, bars and entertainment so off the wall it has gone through the back door and into the garden, that is currently in residence on the South Bank.

It’s not just The Royal Family Of Strange People who are down at the Priceless London Wonderground. There’s a mini museum of the oddest preserved animals you are ever likely to see, a secret pub that can only be reached by navigating a pitch black maze, a rollercoaster, Fascinating Aida and Australian circus cabaret Cantina.

All of them are undoubtedly entertaining and exhilarating, but it will take an extra strong stomach to cope with my new ‘friends’, the family.

Today was a special day. Today I pulled a man’s skin away from his body and, like a much more fleshy version of the Arthurian myth, removed the sword from the throat. I may never be the same again.

Watch the video above.

More about the Priceless London Wonderground


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