From the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern this turf along the river has long been the place to sample nocturnal revelries and illicit pleasures.
Boozing and cruising, sex and shows, drag and drugs and dancing until dawn - a lot of fun has been had in this no-mans-neighbourhood.
But its war wounds are showing – empty cans of skol super strength litter the streets, the hostels are packed with the homeless and the hopeless, and ponces ply their trade.
Blinking into the daylight, Vauxhall club runners Duckie take a look at how getting on it has been a way of life in their manor.
A 12 hour day of talks, shows,
workshops and clubs.
Saturday 10 August 2013
2.00 - 3.00pm, Level 5 Function Room at Royal Festival Hall
Spanning two centuries, the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens was a site of lavish entertainments and a fashionable meeting place. In this time travel of the imagination, Amy Lamé interviews David Coke, historian and author of Vauxhall Gardens: A History (Yale University Press, £55). The gardens featured open air music and dancing, hot air balloon ascents, fireworks shows and ornate walkways. Linking the rich past to current artistic endeavours, we go in search of Duckie roots.
3.30 - 5.00pm, Level 5 Function Room at Royal Festival Hall
Built in 1863, this legendary London pub is 150 years young. Even before the legalization of homosexuality, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern was infamous as a gay bar and drag performance venue. How far back does its queer identity and its reputation for drag shows go? An historical investigation hosted by Rupert Smith with guests Maisie Trollette, Neil Bartlett and Stuart Feather. Live subtitling*
2pm - 6pm, The Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall
One of the most popular things to do at the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens was to dress in your finest and take a nice fashionable walk. Join artist Tim Spooner, MC Timberlina, fashion photographer Peter Fingleton and their gang and make hats, gloves and canes, then take to the Duckie promontory and werk it like they did in 1729. Come and take part - kids, middle class people with nothing to do and Duckie punters strut, swagger and walk the runway.
The Duckie Drop-In
2.00 - 8.00pm, The Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall
Duckie have been running arts workshops in Graham House, a hostel for long term entrenched alcoholics and addicts in Vauxhall. Often referred to as street drinkers or dossers, hostel residents live chaotic lives with overlapping problems: alcohol dependency, drug addiction, poor mental health, family breakdown, run ins with the police over petty crime. Over the past year, supported by the Gulbenkian Foundation, five creative enablers from Duckie have been running a drop in, treating the residents as artists and developing performance, video and visual art works that reflect on their lives, their feelings and their desire to change. Visit our Drop In and meet some of the residents with facilitators Mark Whitelaw, Robin Whitmore,
Jonny Hey and Tim Brunsden.
7.30 - 9.00pm, Level 5 Function Room at Royal Festival Hall
It is the centre of gay clubland in London; every weekend in Vauxhall thousands sample the delights of G, K, C, V, E and M-Cat, as the beat goes on. What impact does hardcore clubbing have on the lives and health of gay men? Why are queers three times more likely to regularly take chems than their straight counterparts? And why are so many bright young things addicted to tina? A round table debate with Matthew Todd, editor Attitude, Jason Dickie, landlord of the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, David Stuart from the drugs agency Antidote and London wag Stewart Who? Live subtitling*
5.30 - 7.00pm, Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall
From dexedrine to ketamine, a live Radio Duckie special where the infamous Duckie DJs play records and make notes on key epochs in pop where the music and culture is fuelled by different substances. The Readers Wifes will be joined in discussion by Andrew Harrison, Bill Brewster,
Joe Muggs and Baylen Leonard. Live subtitling*
The Darkroom at 3pm, 5pm, 7pm and 9pm
A dirty little solo performance by Neil Bartlett, about losing yourself, and staying safe.
15 minutes long
9.30 - 11.00pm, Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall
No stranger to the sauce, this legendary saloon bar entertainer stages a forensic examination into the pleasures and perils of being on the piss.
As The Divine David his intoxicated improvisations were fuelled by copious amounts of booze, but since his re-invention as David Hoyle, he maintains,
‘I don’t drink these days … only white wine’.
Creativity and the grog?
A masterclass for dipsos, old soaks, lushes and guzzlers.
Featuring the return of co-star Jay Cloth.
9.00pm - 2am
Starring Fingersnap, The Caezers, Zoo Nation and Caroline Parker.
With DJs Readers Wifes, Hostess Amy Lamé, 10 beds and a bubble bath.
Plus lay down for The Bloomfield Set, a 1729 style chamber music ensemble peddling the new Pleasure Gardens Groove
upstairs on Level 5.