You may remember me saying last month how I’d managed to get tickets to the incredible Battersea Arts Centre Twin Peaks Weekender which happened this weekend. So this was me, dressed as my icon the Log Lady at 9.30am on Saturday morning and then travelling across the whole of London, on various modes of public transport, attracting some pretty weird looks. If you don’t know what Twin Peaks is (or that it’s my favourite television show in the history of the world!) you need to stop reading this instant and go and buy the recently released Definitive Gold Edition Boxset! and have your own marathon, and come back when you’re done. Ok! I’ve never really been a fangirl of anything (not Take That, or East 17, or Anime, or Star Trek etc) so there has never been an opportunity for me to legitimately go to any sort of fan event. Until now!
I have to say above anything; how well organised this event was. I have massive respect for the BAC who from the slight ticket-gate nightmare (all tickets sold out in two hours, & the insane demand for them crashed the entire system!) through to the actual event… every piece of communication (weekly emails from the Bookhouse Boys in my inbox!) and instruction was so authentic and spot-on.
The premise of the event was to show every episode of the glorious Twin Peaks back to back, in a 32 hour Lynch ‘lock in’. The whole of the amazing art centre was dedicated to the event so as well as the screening in the Grand Hall, there were various art installations, fan shrines and activities to discover as you snuck around the warrens of stairs and corridors inbetween episodes.
On arrival we got the plan for the evening (episodes had to run to a strict schedule so this didn’t turn into a week-lockin! but there was an extended break between 7-9.30pm to give time to explore all the other activities and stock up on cherry pie!) We were also given an edition of the Twin Peaks Gazette packed with clues and hints to look out for and our official #Lynchlockin wristband. The event was a great example of Twitter at its best – with the #Lynchlockin tagged tweets appearing on a huge screen next to the RR Diner (Love!) and it was amusing to be sharing the experience with so many strangers over the power of my iPhone. The BAC official twitter-ers also did a great job joining in and spreading the important news such as where to pick up your Lynch Lunch Bag (including brie baguette option, of course!)
On arrival you could also pick up your first of many free donuts (I’m sure Krispy Kreme didn’t exist in Agent Coopers day, but if it did then sure he would have thought they were damn good donuts!) and your official Lynchlockin mug which also allowed you unlimited free coffee for the entire event. Which was certainly needed.
The marathon screening was in the grand hall and it resembled something of a hurricane-crisis-centre or bomb evacuation! Row after row of sleeping bags, pillows and a few sneaky airbeds (so jealous) as people pitched up with whatever would keep them warm and comfy for the duration as the seating was just a vast wooden floor. Not comfortable! We arrived woefully under-prepared with just 2 pillows and a cushion. Woops.
Thankfully it wasn’t just me in costume. As well as knitwear and plaid shirts as far as the eye could see, there were some amazing efforts such as the One Eyed Jack hostess, a suitabled harrowed looking Ronette Pulaski, a few great garish Dr Jackobys, two terrifying Bobs (one of whom was sat near me, seriously nightmare inducing!) and lots of cheerleaders, dapper agent coopers and a couple of moustached Bills. My costume lended itself well to long periods of sitting still, but my log STANK. (It was also more of a twig compared to the Log Ladys chunk) It smelt like a whole world of putrid damp dankness and despite fabreezing it with Thai Orchid Fabreeze (!) and giving it a good airring, the musty smell followed me round all day and I occasionally found a stray woodlouse or creature scuttling off it onto my arm. Oh the glamour!
All the areas of the Art Centre were aptly named, such as the RR Diner, the Black Lodge and the Twin Peaks Visitor Centre and around every corner you spotted Owls or quotes or clever little nods to TP life. After watching ten hours of epidoes, the two surreal worlds definitely started to blur into one.
It was really fun watching Twin Peaks on a lovely big screen (as apposed to my struggling, stuttering laptop!) and also with so many other fans. There were great moments when the crowd erupted in cheers or claps or panto-boo type noises. It was also the special, friendly atmosphere you get when everyone has gathered somewhere with the same intentions and interests, so I quite often got chatting to strangers in the coffee-queue or whilst wandering around and had lost of great geek-outs about favourite characters or moments and also learnt from one red-room-clad boy about the Double R Clubnight that happens the last Thursday of every month at Bethnal Green Working Mens Club. I will definitely be heading to that!
So 5 cups of coffee down, and with a bum that has never felt SUCH pain (way past pins and needles, way past being a bit numb…) it was time for the interval where I could properly explore. There were various amazing activities set up but my three personal favourites were: 1. Log Lady Life Drawing! Like arts & crafts at playgroup, for grown ups! There was a wealth of drawing implements and inside the member library, a naked life model posing with a Log. I’ve never tried life drawing (as you can probably tell by my very poor effort) but it was great experience and all the representatives running it from London Drawing were very helpful and encouraging!
2. Dance with Laura. This was one of the fan shrine pieces and was so simple but effective. (Someone sarcastically told us as we walked in Oh yeah, this is not to be missed, which annoyed me because it was such a brilliant idea and I think that person had really missed the point!) The room was set up with the record player and Lauras iconic photo in a frame. You could put on your track and dance with Laura just like Leland in this iconic scene.
3. Wrapped In Plastic. This great art installation was being monitored by a rather strict door attendant who fed us blood covered (the blood IS edible!) donuts as we queued to enter, as it was 2 in at a time. You couldn’t tell at all what lay inside as you queued and we saw a few people get antsy and give up but boy was it worth waiting! Inside was an incredible set up, absolutely filled with smoke machine mist you could visit the coffin in which Lauras body lay and the room was painted with the red room zigzag flooring and walls. I wish we could have stayed in there longer as it was so detailed. Sorry for the shoddy photos. iPhone crummy camera + smoke machine = zzz.
Oh and the Twin Peaks QUIZ! With clips and everything! Where knowing such minuatae as the first character to appear in the pilot and the type of bird Waldo is came in useful, finally!
Ok this post is turning out to be as long as the weekend so I will end it there. But all in all an absolutely incredible experience (if a little chilly and uncomfortable at times) and it was quite devastating to leave and rejoin life away from Twin Peaks Population 499. (Although nice to get back to my purring, cuddly, feline Agent Cooper!) Can’t we just do it every weekend please?
Battersea Arts centre informed me today that throughout the weekend they got through 140litres of milk, 45 loaves of bread, 700 eggs and 400 cans of coke! I just have to mention again how incredible the staff at BAC were too. All the front of house staff and presenters were endlessly patient and chirpy and something that could have descended into sleep-deprived, Lynch insanity induced crazyness was just completely well organised and smooth. There were never too many people in each area despite it being such a busy event, so you could easily sneak off down a dark passageway and find yourself completely alone with a huge owl sketch! BAC is such an incredible location and with fantastic content so even if Lynch-lockins aren’t your bag, I would recommend a trip down there.