Spend a night in the company of the wild ones with the Crick Crack Club at Wellcome Collection
23 January 2017
Do you know where your wild side hides? And how do you respond when wildness makes its presence felt? On 3 February 2017 storytelling promoters extraordinaire, The Crick Crack Club, beckons you into a world of clanking bells, flying fur, fairy tales and folklore, for a truly wild late night spectacular at Wellcome Collection.
The Crick Crack Club will bring together story, song, music, film, art, foraged food and an all-female urban tribe to explore both the archaic and contemporary figure of the Wild Man. This mythical and often menacing carnival creature can still be found all over Europe and is the untidy grandfather of Santa Claus. We all seek a place to be wild, and for one night only, artists, speakers and roving wild men will help you venture further into this exciting, intoxicating and alarming world.
The soundtrack to the evening will come from the inaugural concert of ‘Wild Company,’ a group that brings professional storytellers together with an untamed community choir to remix fragments of folk legend and contemporary pop songs. In the presence of five newly constructed Wild Men, both performers and the audience will be challenged to question the presence of a wildness within themselves.
Although the Wild Man is clearly a masculine archetype, visitors will also encounter a modern day all-female urban tribe of wild women, Haus of Sequana. Dressed in spectacular costumes, the tribe seek to escape from typical gender identities and visitors will find themselves ‘interrupted’ by the tribe or involved in their rituals. Wild Folk are often covered in hair or dressed in bizarre and colourful rags, disguises which allow them to cross the borders between human and animal, civilised and uncivilised.
From tales of the goat-riding princess, Tatterhood, to Bearskin and Iron John, performance storytellers will transport visitors on a journey of folklore, metaphor and imagination. Expert talks will probe the existence of wildness within our modern society, with discussions on feral children, a personal story of yetis and an introduction to the neuroscience of fear and the fascination with monsters. Visitors can also roam the galleries and quiz experts on bearded women and the anthropology of homelessness – a lifestyle that, like wild men, challenges cultural norms.
If all the wild food, songs and talks aren’t enough to lure you to your wild side, artist Sophie Herxheimer will illustrate visitors’ most wild experiences. Cult drawing salon, Art Macabre will host a ‘death drawing’ session - a twist on the usual form of life drawing - that celebrates the gothic and dark side of life using a gloriously hairy Mary Magdalene model as inspiration.
Crick Crack Club’s Artistic Director, Ben Haggarty said: “Through this late night event at Wellcome Collection, the Crick Crack Club is embarking on a celebration of the re-emergence of the Wild Man as a truly dynamic icon. We want to provoke our audience to explore both the attraction and repulsion that human wildness evokes, and to question our relationship with the presence of this within ourselves.”
This is a special late-night event with a bar running all night. The majority of activities are drop-in but some talks and activities require booking. Online booking opens on Friday 27 January at 11.00. The building might be busy and space is limited, so entry is not guaranteed. Wellcome Collection’s major winter exhibition, Making Nature: How we see animals, will be open throughout the night.
The Crick Crack Club is the UK’s premier performance storytelling programmer and promoter, working with the finest performance storytellers, developing audiences, supporting artists and collaborating with venues across the UK and Europe.
Wellcome Collection is the free visitor destination for the incurably curious. Located at 183 Euston Road, London, it explores the connections between medicine, life and art in the past, present and future. The newly expanded venue offers visitors contemporary and historic exhibitions and collections, lively public events, the world-renowned library, a café, a shop, a restaurant and conference facilities as well as publications, tours, a book prize, international and digital projects. Wellcome Collection celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2017.
Wellcome Collection is part of Wellcome, a global charitable foundation that exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. Both politically and financially independent, we support scientists and researchers, take on big problems, fuel imaginations and spark debate.
Emily Pritchard, Media Officer
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(Image credit: Mamuthones from the WILDER MANN series, 2010, Charles Fréger)