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23 spoiler free tips for The Owls Are Not What They Seem – a Twin Peaks dining experience

14 September, 2015 — by Christopher Ratcliff1

the owls are not what they seem neon sign

Tonight, in a secret location somewhere in Central London, you can experience an immersive dining version of David Lynch’s barmiest melodrama, Twin Peaks.

Yep that’s right, until November 21 you can eat and drink in a faithful recreation of the Double R Diner alongside your favourite enigmatic, log-wielding residents.

Last week we attended The Owls Are Not What They Seem, developed by Lemonade and Laughing Gas and Blanch & Shock, and this is our spoiler-free guide to what you can expect from your evening at the theatrical dining experience.

If you’d like a more spoiler-filled guide, read our review of The Owls Are Not What They Seem instead.

1) The venue is in Clerkenwell. You will be told the exact address in a separate email sent a week before your booking. Look out for the big red arrow.

The Owls Are Not What They Seem red arrow

2) If you haven’t received an email by the day of your booking, get in touch via their contact page and the info will arrive fairly sharpish.

3) Tickets are often released for previously sold out nights, however the event’s social presence is fairly well hidden. Here’s the Twitter account. Keep an eye on this as the organisers often tweet newly released tickets for sittings available that week or night.

4) It’s a ticketless event, you just need the card you booked with.

5) It’s an 18+ event. Contains booze, swearing and a corpse.

6) The dress code is surreal small town America or extravagant Lynchian chic.

7) Dressing up as an established Twin Peaks character is encouraged and there’s a small prize for the best costume awarded in the Owl’s Nest cocktail bar after dinner. On the night that we attended, the winner was a bitching Nadine, replete with cheerleader outfit and eye patch.

8) You are asked to take some form of owl with you. This is to be donated to the diner’s art exhibition but you may not like what you find in there if you’re too nosey.

9) Although the bulk of the performances take place in the faithfully recreated diner, you are encouraged to explore other rooms and floors between courses. You should definitely do this.

10) You will receive a cocktail on entry, a good old cup of joe with a healthy slug of whisky.

11) Tables are for no more or less than six people, so if you’re part of a couple, prepare to make friends with some strangers. Luckily you have a wealth of ice-breakers available to you, what with you all attending a Twin Peaks style immersive dining event together and everything.

12) Cocktails are reasonably priced at £7, but you have to journey upstairs to Black Jacks to purchase one.

13) Other booze can be purchased from Wanda at the Diner bar itself, the cheapest bottle of wine is £20 and there’s lager and Meantime Pale Ale available.

14) Take cash with you. There are card machines but they can be unpredictable due to the location.

15) There couldn’t have been more than 40 people seated for dinner, and because of this intimacy you will definitely have Twin Peaks residents coming over to talk to you. So you’d better get your improv hat on.

16) If the opportunity arises to go off with a character to another room or attend a special event, definitely take advantage of it. These moments were by far the most memorable of the entire night.

17) Don’t be late, you wouldn’t want to miss your free cocktail and dinner is served fairly promptly.

18) Dinner is a three-course meal with vegetarian or vegan alternatives, but you will have to make that choice when you book your ticket.

19) Dinner isn’t the best part of the evening, it’s the entirely convincing and committed performers who help draw you in to this bizarre little world.

20) At some point quite early on you’ll begin to realise that every character and element has been given a non-copyright infringing name. So prepare to refer to Agent Dale Cooper as Don, One Eyed Jacks as Black Jacks and Laura Palmer as ‘The Dead Girl’.

21) Dinner lasts about two hours, but you can hang around the Owl’s Nest bar till late. Here there is cabaret style entertainment and cocktails are served. There are also pinball machines and a pool table if the interpretive dancing and fire-eating isn’t your thing.

22) You’re free to explore the entire space once the dinner event is finished. I won’t spoil the installations for you, but do make sure you fully explore the rooms around the Owl’s Nest bar before you leave. You will be rewarded with finding one of the most iconic (and difficult to locate) rooms in the series.

23) If you only have a vague awareness of Twin Peaks, you will likely only leave the event confused. Unlike Secret Cinema, where even if you hate the movie you can’t help but be impressed by the spectacle, this is a much more humble operation that relies on committed devotion of a Twin Peaks fan-base. Bear this in mind if you are dragging along an ignorant loved one.

The Owls are Not What They Seem runs till November 21.

Follow Methods Unsound on Twitter: @MethodsUnsound

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