Epidemic the Old Vic Tunnels

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This week I’ve visited the tunnels beneath Bristol Temple Meads (which you will hear about soon) for a ghost tour, and those beneath Waterloo station to watch a play called Epidemic. Epidemic the Old Vic Tunnels is playing all of this week, which is Mental Health Awareness week. If you arrive at 6pm you can get hold of returns and the show is FREE. Epidemic brings together members of the community as well as actors. It follows a boy who has stopped taking his medication making a break for it, taking with him an elderly woman and an overweight man who have decided to go with him.

A close up of the lead actor in Epidemic at the Old Vic Tunnels
Copyright of Guilherme Zühlke O’Connor

The entrance is within the Graffiti Tunnel…

Graffiti Tunnel outside Epidemic at the Old Vic Tunnels
The Graffiti Tunnel is a dedicated space in London where people are allowed to graffiti. Some of it’s rubbish, some is good. It’s all relative though I guess.
Epidemic the Old Vic Tunnels
I like those blurred lines… right by the Epidemic poster
Inside Epidemic at the Old Vic Tunnels
The Old Vic Tunnels are so atmospheric. You could get married in them if the air less musty.

The musical is both uplifting and inspiring.

Copyright of Guilherme Zühlke O’Connor

One of the fantastic things about having people who are part of the community in it, is that they are genuinely excited to be there. The overweight man is really fantastic. It’s funny – the parody of busy Londoners and of Twitter users is wonderful. It uses some lovely visual effects, particularly in the beach scene. The idea of the hero being somebody with mental ill health is empowering – something those of us who watched Homeland may have felt. I’d like to see the play tour the UK – but am aware there would need to be a lot of funding put into taking the project to that scale. Here’s hoping.

Here’s one of the Mental Health Awareness week posters…


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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Gary Bland

    For this art not to be funded would be a travesty. It is currently funded by several generous organisations, each of whom receive a direct benefit from this musical touring around the UK.

    It would also be worthwhile for the United States to Sponsor the show to tour America.

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