On plinths and mentalists

On Saturday afternoon Chris and I went to London. First stop: Trafalgar Square. The famous tourist trap and pigeon restaurant is currently playing host to a bonkers piece of art called One and Other. As art goes it’s not entirely my manbag, since I like my art to be in some sense permanent and very definitely lacking a pulse. The idea is that, every hour, 24 hours a day, for 100 days, someone gets to stand on top of the reserved-for-future-wars empty plinth and do whatever takes their (legal) fancy. It’s broadcast constantly on one of Sky’s zero-viewer Arts channels; I like to think it has a Come Dine With Me sarcy voiceover.

Quite what makes this art I’m not sure. By the same token Big Brother is art.

The plinth occupier upon our visit was a woman who occasionally threw paper aeroplanes but did little else. She did have a wendy house adorned with a charity logo, though; similarly branded chuggers were shaking their buckets illegally at bemused Spaniards in a small radius. This exciting yet deeply dull sight I immediately tweeted to an eager world.

We lasted about ten minutes before looking for a pub. You will hear a different story about this from Chris. Mine is true.

“Let’s find a pub off the beaten track!” he said.

“We’re in the middle of London. There’s no such thing,” I replied.

“OK, then let’s get lost. You have an iPhone, we can always find out where we are.”

We headed roughly in the direction of Leicester Square. Chris navigated. Left here, right here. A tell-tale pagoda indicated Chinatown. Cross this road.

At this point I started giggling. “You have no idea where we are, do you?” I said.

“Since you’re laughing, I imagine you do.”

“Yeah.” I pointed at the sign saying Old Compton Street.

We found a bar and sat by the window, watching the gays promenade. I tested Chris on his straightdar: you can always tell the heterosexual couples in a gay environment since they hold hands, paw each other or are otherwise blatantly affectionate. Bless their insecure little ways.

After a drink or two we went to Mildred’s and met up with my friend Damon for a splendid meal. Then the main event: Derren Brown’s new show Enigma at the Adelphi Theatre on the Strand.

I will say very little about the show to avoid spoiling it (Derren also asked nicely). But I can confirm that it’s pretty damn good – jaw-dropping in places. The ending is very clever indeed and you leave the theatre with mind suitably blown. Chris was desperate to be one of the few Chosen Ones selected by frisbee to go on stage, but failed by one row (the person directly in front of us got to go). Oh, we did work out one trick; but others, no luck.

At one point in the show Derren Walked Amongst Us and was briefly beside Chris, who whispered “we love you” at him (yes, he had been drinking). Derren didn’t hear, thankfully.

Amazing show. See it if you can.

Avaragado’s rating: is written on the back of a playing card inside a sealed envelope

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “On plinths and mentalists

  1. Anonymous

    “you can always tell the heterosexual couples in a gay environment”

    Since one is male, and the other female?

    • That is often a good clue.

      But if you see a random man and random woman together, they might be a couple or they might be a theatrical gentleman and his fag hag.

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