Sophisticated costume party connoisseurs White Mischief took over the Scala nightclub to create “four themed rooms of Sci-Fi, Science and B-Movie fun”.
An impressive line-up of circus, burlesque, bands and cabaret acts perform on the main stage, with interactive improv and sideshow attractions around every corner and a terrifying costumed character on stilts blocking the staircase. White Mischief’s parties are an immersive and involving audience experience, taking the Theme Night concept to another level. Face-painting booths and stalls selling embroidered corsets, macabre jewellery and hand-made nipple pasties promote their wares to a soundtrack of vintage favourites.
The venue’s walls are decorated with 3D-effect images (specs are provided), hanging spacecrafts, Schwa alien faces, V symbols and the legend “They are here”. Plenty for the sci-fi geeks to delight over, even though the cardboard props and powder-painted polystyrene resemble the set of a primary school play. The creative and crazy costumes of the party-goers dress the “set” beautifully; steampunk time travellers and B Movie starlets mingle with Star Wars characters, Seymour from Little Shop of Horrors and a couple dressed as the clockwork robots from Doctor Who, resplendent in their Madame Pompidou-style finery.
This is serious fancy dress, and I’m sure it’s no accident that the event coincides with London Comic-Con. One helpful reveller uses his lightsaber to illuminate the floor when a masked droid drops her earring.
On the main stage, the always adorable Desmond O’Connor is MC for the evening. Dressed as a priest for the first half, he preaches wickedly to the audience, later treating us to some of his comedy songs on the ukulele. The cabaret acts fit well with the event’s theme; burlesque performer Beatrix Von Bourbon slowly and sensually removes her fur-trimmed Queen Amidala cape, Kiki Lovechild delights the crowd with a lightsaber human light show featuring Darth Vader and Close Encounters sound effects.
The mime artist Ungewinster gives an eerie but graceful performance, dressed as a masked Jack Skellington-meets-Doctor Who-Scarecrow figure, with green illuminated eyes and fingertips. Appearing on both the main stage and as a sideshow act in the bar area, the strongman known as The Mighty Moustache was a valuable addition to the event’s atmosphere. He incorporates fun elements of audience participation into his simple yet effective routine, transporting the audience back in time to the days of the Victorian circus.
My first White Mischief experience was at Halloween, when the venue was so full there was a one-hour queue for the cloakroom. There’s a much smaller crowd at tonight’s event, but the main stage room is packed. The headline act, swing/hip-hop duo The Correspondents, receive an enthusiastic response from a crowd already whipped up into a frenzy by the previous band, Sam and The Womp.
The Womp play psychedelic electro dub-step, featuring frontman Sam Ritchie on trumpet and Dutch singer-musician Bloem de Ligny on vocals, plus guest rapper MC Solomon. De Ligny’s strong post-punk vocals and sparkly leotard-clad stage presence are a driving force, with Ritchie teaching the audience the official “Womp” dance moves to go with their new single Rollercoaster, out in August.
The Correspondents keep the bar raised high after all the synchronised Womping, with singer/MC Mr. Bruce bouncing around the stage like a ball of pure hot energy to DJ Chucks’ beats. Mr. Bruce’s lyrical New Romantic-style vocals on top of a remixed 40s jazz band backing track create an original musical fusion. Catch them on the festival circuit this summer, including The Secret Garden Party and Glastonbury.
If an alien invasion comes with a party like this, the end of the world might not be so bad.
White Mischief. Scala, 275 Pentonville Road, King’s Cross, London N1 9NL. 25th May 2013, 9pm-4am. £19.99-£35. www.whitemischief.info
Photo credit: Simon Smith: firstname.lastname@example.org.