The Last Tuesday Society & Viktor Wynd’s Little Shop of Horrors sits rather intriguingly on Mare Street, just round the corner from Hipster Ground Zero, Broadway Market and London’s premier Rue des Impoverished Artistes, Vyner Street. Pushing through the door, you do feel as if you’re entering another dimension, a Victorian netherworld if you like. We’re always being told that we only see a small percentage of what’s really happening because otherwise our dear brains would simply explode from the overload within seconds. Little Shop of Horrors rather proves that. Your eyes are literally on stalks, feverishly trying to compute the magnificence and opulence poured from the cornucopia of a clearly very curious mind indeed.
Little Shop is big on skulls, antlers, mounted heads of all kinds of creatures including humans, flying bats, cats and dogs! Wax effigies abound, simultaneously beautiful and macabre in their marzipan colours, depicting the most gruesome scenarios. Half a stuffed puma dines mournfully with an assortment of creatures downstairs, while a stuffed crocodile writhes, as if ready to strike, next to cabinets filled with a mixture of arcane delights… Who amongst us would not welcome the opportunity to read ‘A Guide to understanding Men: If you want closure in your relationship, start with your legs’? (Ain’t that the truth!) Or the inevitable result, a jar half filled with ‘used’ tissues entitled ‘The long and lonely nights I’ve spent since you first left home’. Maybe because the box of miniature condoms fit only too well…
A lot of it is for sale, you can literally spend anything from 50p (which bought me a beautiful heart shaped key. I love it!) to £2,500 and more. A mere £50 will buy you a stuffed rat. Resistance is clearly futile. And you will get something that is truly unique. Upstairs has a small art gallery, where the exhibitions generally change once a month.
Beautiful, empty bottles of Hendrick’s Gin dot the shelves, a memento of good times had. Hendrick’s kindly sponsors a series of lectures by The Last Tuesday Society, the more educational part of Viktor’s empire. Named after The Last Tuesday Society, a Pataphysical organisation founded by William James at Harvard University in 1878. Since March 2007, the affairs of the society have been governed in London by the Chancellor Viktor Wynd and the Tribune, Suzette Field with the aid of The Fellows of The Society.
The Last Tuesday Society is devoted to exploring and furthering the esoteric, literary and artistic aspects of life in London and beyond. This consists of a mixture of lectures, educational events and very enthralling-sounding masked balls, all at prices (thanks to Hendrick’s) that even the most impoverished East End flaneur can afford. Thus leaving no excuse for ignorance.
I won’t and can’t list so much as a fraction of what is on display, as you really should go yourself. Do allow yourself time to enter this unique space where even the shop window is curated.
The Last Tuesday Society | Viktor Wynd’s Little Shop of Horrors
11, Mare Street
London E8 4RP
Wednesday to Sunday 12pm to 7pm
Take note – there is a small and entirely justified charge to visit
Images courtesy of Sin Bozkurt
Words by Anna Bang
TagsHendrick's, Suzette Field, The Last Tuesday Society, Viktor Wynd, Viktor Wynd's Little Shop of Horrors,