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The Vintage Guide To London | February 23, 2018

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Debate, play and laugh the night away at at the Enlightenment Café

The Enlightenment Café is a unique theatrical project that combines the beauty of science with the power and imagination of immersive performance. Originating from the Coffee Houses of the 17th century, Enlightenment Cafés (also known as Penny Universities) were ‘theatres of exchange’ and social hubs for new thinking in science, philosophy, politics and arts – places where ideas came together and bubbled with excitement.

LAStheatre brings this concept into the 21st century and promises it will be just as intellectually promiscuous. The Enlightenment Café is a place of exploration where people from all walks of life can debate, play and laugh the night away. There will be fire scientists, neuroscientists, microbiologists and botanists. Scientists in residence include Tim McInerny, Stuart Clarke, Alex Bellos and, maybe even Darwin.

This is an interactive adventure where we can moot new theories as to why things are, how they got there and what will happen next. The Enlightenment Café will delve into topics ranging from astronomy to paleontology, from My Little Pony to zombies and from art to invention. Only the tedious will be off limits.

Doors to the Old Vic Tunnels will open every night at 7pm and the evenings will be split into three sections: firstly, a period of immersive theatre and free exploration; secondly, stage pieces and panel discussions; and, finally, live music and entertainment. Each night will have a different theme and aesthetic but will all inspire, breaking away from the idea that science and facts can only be learnt in a lecture theatre or laboratory.

The Enlightenment Café aims to provoke imagination and intrigue; it is a place where scientists demonstrate their art and artists demonstrate their science. Meet amazing minds of our time, interact with characters and attend lectures, all within a vivacious Victorian night of entertainment. Come to indulge your adventurous side at The Enlightenment Café!

The Old Vic Tunnels

31st May – 3rd June 2012

Tickets are priced at £15 with a booking fee of £1.55