It’s hardly surprising that Halloween is one of Torture Garden’s biggest events of the year. This time, 1,850 tickets sold out a week in advance.
This particular event always gives a chance for fetish clubber wannabees and tourists to test the waters without ponying up for an expensive latex outfit, since TG’s dresscode for the night accommodates the kind of Halloween-themed outfits that a creative exhibitionist could assemble with little expense.
As has happened a few times previously for the bigger TG parties held at this venue, the bar in the crypt that usually hosts its own separate events when Torture Garden’s regular monthly nights are going on upstairs at Mass proper was annexed, enabling the whole of the former St Matthews in Brixton to be used to devour the extra large TG crowd.
The resulting extra cloakroom space and the chance to change in comfort within a few metres of the entrance (without climbing stairs) makes the venue feel completely different, and provides two areas for fetish clubbers who come out to play rather than dance.
The dungeon area benefits from the extra exit and the shared access to the smoking area from two levels presents another way to avoid the crush on the main stairs.
Strict controls on ticket numbers at the Halloween event meant that the crowds, though busy everywhere, never felt overwhelming, other than when the usual self-absorbed types stopped for chats in doorways and on staircase landings.
The were a number of Halloween-themed 'neo-burlesque' shows (as we can now call them) in the burlesque lounge area. But there was no posted running order and, this being by coincidence the night on which British Summer Time ended, a certain ambiguity about when the clocks went back led to some confusion about when things would happen.
Roxy Velvet's show was a highlight, swapping balletic aerialism for full-on needle play and gory theatrical self-disembowelling, as she literally gave her all to the audience in the form of bloody entrails and bleeding sliced-off scalp!
‘Roxy Velvet's show was a highlight, swapping balletic aerialism for full-on needle play and gory theatrical self-