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Party review: Halloween at Torture Garden

Some NSFW further down the page. 

Celebrating Halloween at world's famous TG

Torture Garden has been going on for 30+ years, and since the last one I attended was before I started blogging... I thought it was time for another one!

A friend of mine was in town, and I thought: why not do something different for Halloween this year? So I decided to get us tickets to the Torture Garden Halloween party #4, the one on Guy Fawkes Day. 

We go the early tickets, meaning that we had an entry slot between 9pm and 10.15pm. That worked great for us, as it was at the Electrowerkz and the moment I get there I instantly get lost on my way to the cloakroom. In my defense, you never know which rooms are open and which are cordoned off, and the cloakroom is not always in the same place.

It was pretty quiet when got in, barely any queue outside. We drop coats, got a drink, and had a wonder. The whole venue was decorated for Halloween, with you know, the usual cobwebs and things.

The venue is pretty big, so how about I take you on a little tour to give you a sense of the place and what goes on where? How does that sound?

Bottom up, the Courtyard on the ground floor was pretty and spacious as always, with a small stage set up. The Cake Room was renamed Speaksleazy, and had a larger stage, DJ set, and some small round tables and chairs.

On the same level, the Live Room, next to the courtyard, was set up to be the Couples Room; this was nice and clean and I have to admit, in much better state than the one at the Coronet theatre last time I was there. Yes, I know the Coronet theatre in Elephant & Castle doesn’t exist anymore, but last time I went to TG was at least early 2018. A lot has changed since. Anyway, no much else going on on the rest of the ground floor, so let’s move upstairs.

On the middle floor, there are two main large rooms. The one with the long bar was lively, and on the corner there was a large set up with a backdrop for taking for selfies! That was great, particularly as pictures are not allowed anywhere in the venue, unless it’s from an official TG photographer.

The other room was set up to be the Dungeon, and I have to admit, it was beautiful. It had two St Andrew’s Crosses set up, a large bed with canopy bed frame, a pommel horse, a few spanking benches, and much more. The Dungeon Monitors (DMs) were very attentive all night. They looked after the room and the furniture by keeping it clean (yes, with disinfectant too), and they looked after us by managing the flow of people, the queues, and any questions we had.

Some postcards I took with me from that night (Libidex is a brand of latex, more brands here)

On the top floor, there were the last two rooms. The one with the bar with the airplane windows above it (hard to explain, you gotta see it) was the quietest one at first, thou it got pretty busy later on. The other large room had a stage and catwalk, where they mostly played techno all night. I am pretty sure there was a lot more entertainment than what I experienced, however I think I missed it all.

The very last floor had cloakroom and changing room waiting for you. Cloakroom was well serviced, and the changing room was spacious and had benches. This was nice, since I remember freezing my as* off last time at the Coronet, as they set up the changing room outside. In Winter. With no seating space. In a camping tent. The one time I was wearing latex.

By the time it was midnight, the place was packed. I think it was about 1000 people across all the floors, with many in the middle and top floors. My friends and I wondered the place, watched some of the shows on the ground floor and the middle floor.

I would I said I expected more live entertainment, particularly compared to TG parties from 2013 to 2018, which is when I used to attend more regularly. Maybe I didn’t catch the live shows at the right place/time while there, but I also felt like the fetish rooms and art installations were missing. Also there was no Dungeon Master or Mistress, which I thought it was a missed opportunity.

As I spotted quite a few well-known Dommes throughout the night, the following day I took a look at IG posts. It seems like a lot of Dommes were amongst the performers, mostly on the top floor.

On the plus side, I thought the furniture in the dungeon was great and the place looked beautiful. It did have a lot of seating space for people to watch, which kind of made me a little conscious and observed. But that’s because I am not much of an exhibitionist.

I would definitely attend again at some point, but maybe use the equipment a little more. I have the tendency of doing a lot of impact play, and the bench is great for that, but I have never tried the St Andrew’s Cross and it’s been on my list for a while. Maybe next time!

Something to bear in mind is that TG is a cool event, thou it does have a rather strict dress code policy. In fact, even I stress out sometimes, even thou I always sort out an outfit with what I have in my kinky wardrobe. For reference, I have added below a video that TG has put together for first timers about rules and dress code. Take a watch!

Why Torture Garden and TG?
Torture Garden was named after the 1899 novel The Torture Garden (Le Jardin des supplices) by Octave Mirbeau, set in a Chinese Garden of Torture. We chose it more because of the exotic and mysterious images that it evoked, rather than the specific novel itself. From the beginning, we often shortened “Torture Garden” to “TG” because it was shorter and didn’t scare the bank manager! Yet it was also a reference of influence to an earlier TG – Throbbing Gristle – the seminal industrial experimentalists and founders of Psychic TV, Thee Temple OV Psychick Youth, Coil and Chris & Cosey – to name a few!

What about the logo?
Believe it or not, TG’s circle logo was inspired by the back of a lorry, spotted on a rainy motorway drive. Keep an eye out in France…

Some lovely signs hanging around the venue, as some people need reminders.