The best part of summer in the most exciting cultural city in the world (yeah, we may be slightly biased) is that we don’t have to confine our theatrical goings on to the indoors. Snow be gone! This is why the London Wonderground is so perfect! It combines some essential true loves of mine; a fairground, pints in the sun, a lovely pub garden, a circus vibe and theatre! Hurrah! Also, let me tell you something that may or may not revolutionise your summer; tickets are pretty darn affordable too!
So this weekend I was lucky enough to have been invited down to the Wonderground (literally a ground filled with wonder…and fairy lights!) On rallying my lovely #LDNTheatreBlogger friends we had a fantastic evening drinking wine, taking a breathtaking ride on the Starflyer (THE VIEWS!) and watching the incredible Jamie Macdowell and Tom Thum. It was beautiful. The only small dampener on an otherwise marvellous evening was that the Side Show seemed to have packed up and gone home early, resulting in our troupe missing out on something freaky! Oh well..onwards and upwards. #WheresTheBar?
The Ground of Wonder
I’m not sure if the general public are aware of this but you can visit the Wonderground for free (i.e you can visit the ground without a ticket to an event) and just enjoy the experience of the venue and the festival style atmosphere; it’s a nice place for a casual drink at any time of day.
The Wonderground has several rides that the braver reveller can enjoy. Me and a few of the #LDNTheatreBloggers threw caution to the wind and had a lovely ride on the Starflyer just as the sun was setting over London. It was beautiful…but slightly scary! Seriously though…the views across London from here are beautiful (although for at £7.50 per person per ride…they kind of have to be!)
Jamie Macdowell and Tom Thum
After we had filled our boots with all the fun of the fair (literally) we headed to the architecturally fabulous Spiegeltent Theatre (which is kind of like an indoor saloony/burlesquey looking circus tent) for a performance by Fringe legends, Auzzie duo Jamie Macdowell and Tom Thum. I was soon to realise why Macdowell rhymes with WOW and Thum rhymes with..er…well bloody done?!
Jamie and Tom are a beatbox stroke singer song writer duo. It sounds a bit strange but it SO works. “BEATBOXING, Rebecca?” Some of you may cry! “But aren’t you a theatre critic?!” Yup, but there are a few strings to this here bow, and what you may or may not know is that I am also a radio DJ (no really) Nonetheless, you don’t have to have a strong musical ear to enjoy this sensational duo – they bring plenty of theatrics to the stage (not least the ability to make feathers fall from the sky!)
So if you haven’t heard of Tom Thum, get on google/ Youtube right now! This guy is a one man band. As in he can legitimately replicate the sounds and timbre’s of pretty much every instrument ever. He is amazing. He may or may not be an alien music box sent from outer space, but that’s neither here nor there…his skills are otherworldly! Together with Jamie, the pair raised the roof of the tent with their quirky and eclectic mix of tunes…some of which you may know (I personally LOVED their renditions of Ready or Not and No Diggity! Tunes!)
Jamie proclaimed to be suffering form a sore throat on this particular evening, but this did nothing to diminish his sound and charisma. He’s like Ed Sheeran mixed with Run DMC but cooler (yes, COOLER!)
The pair offer something for everyone; the intrigue of an otherworldy music box man, the sweet sounds of a heartfelt love song with acoustic guitar and some pretty gangsta beats. Also they aren’t too hard on the eye either!
Before moseying on back home we managed a cheeky night cap (vin rouge!) and a last swing on the ‘ol Starflyer, which was just as beautiful by darkness as you could see all the pretty lights of London town! #Swoon.
Jamie Macdowell and Tom Thum will be up at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival throughout August at the Underbelly. If you (like us!) are heading up to Scotland for the fest then definitely check these guys out. If Scotland is too far to venture, fret not…these guys will be back at the Wonderground in September.
All in all, fun was had by all at this most Wonderous of grounds. Do hop along even if J&T aren’t on the bill…I hear feature show Limbo is fantastic too!
(Stars are for the lads. The Wonderground is pretty sweet too though.)