A dear old friend, Helen Varley Jamieson, is Impressario for a show called Demeter's Dark Ride- An Attraction, on in Wellington at the moment, so I went along with a bunch of friends to check it out. I highly recommend it, so I'm not going to give away the many phantasmagorical surprises just in case, dear reader, you have the opportunity to take a ride that is scarey, and funny, and weird and wonderful.
From the moment you approach BATS theatre along Kent Terrace, where Mr Fennessy the blind street musician is playing his piano, and the ferryman is trading tickets for tokens, you know this is something very different from the ususal theatre experience. The main entrance is closed off and the little Pit Bar is where the audience gathers to wait for our guides, under the excellent care of the Duchess and Count Burgandy. Once assembled, the punters are led around the side entrance and into the underworld for a winding journey of Eleusian Mystery. We are led through Demeter's search for Persephone, Victorian spiritualism and amusement park House of Horrors ... "these latter contemporary scary dark rides provided a wonderful balance to the fruitiness of Greek mythology, perceived by some as over-ripe figs, slightly moldy, not very sexy, and tainted by overuse." (from the programme notes).
It was all good, some of it fabulous: my favourite scene was the Baubo (the naughty talking bottom). And my fortune from the Aleuromancer (I think) was:
"A poet understands Nature better than a scientist." (Novalis)