Go round and round this maze of music, burlesque and dance. Mind the snake.

Carousel is a twisted affair with gypsy folk punk and a cup of tea thrown in for a jolly good time.

Carousel is a twisted affair with gypsy folk punk and a cup of tea thrown in for a jolly good time.

If we were to say we’re about to review Carousel – how many of you would think of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical? None? Excellent.

Carousel is a “twisted affair” of all things circus and burlesque with gypsy folk punk and a cup of tea thrown in for a jolly good time. The late-night party kicks off at 10pm in Islington Metal Works, right next to Angel station, then swings on the floor and from the rafters until about 6am. The venue is a sprawling factory, and yet with many rooms it creates an intimate atmosphere. There’s also a large skylight and lots of little trailers, which gives the night more of a little outdoors festival feel, than a London cabaret club.

As you arrive, you can enjoy cake and a cuppa while you browse some trinkets and maybe get your face painted with psychedelic swirls. Daniella D’Ville strolls around introducing her gorgeous albino snake Tarzan, and it’s all very wholesome. But it isn’t long before someone’s already taken their top off and it seems appropriate to hit the gin instead.

Blind Pig
provide the burlesque, boylesque, pole dancing and silks. The acrobatics impress more in this pop-up space (as opposed to the “popping out parts”, which generally look better with a bit more “show”). If you’re feeling like you want to get in on some sexy action yourself, then look no further than Dissocia’s Mexican glitter wrestling, and find yourself covered in the sparkly stuff for days to come.

Now you’re glittered and ginned up, and feeling raunchy, it’s time for a dance. Music comes courtesy of Wonk#ay Records and Alan on the decks, with live tunes from the very crowd-pleasing Bootscrapper, The Great Malarkey, The Soul Circle Gang and Drop Velvet. If you’ve somehow failed to pick up a few basic Charleston moves (given it’s proliferation on the scene) then Swing Patrol are on hand to offer lessons and show you how it’s done with their own show dancers.

And when the early hours hit and you realise you’ve wandered away from your friends down a dark corridor, you may find the hidden theatre, housing The Late Night Shop cabaret and their sinister, subversive brand of humour.

There’s a lot on offer for what feels like it’s been organised by friends in their back garden. The key to this event is get stuck in, be sociable and party; but in a reasonably relaxed way.

Carousel. Islington Metal Works, Torrens Street (near Angel tube station). 22:00-06:00, check website for next event. £8-£15.