We’re all guilty of taking life too seriously from time to time, of letting the simple pleasure of a cheese and pineapple stick, or a competitive game of Twister, fade into childhood nostalgia. Yet if you live in Chester, there’s an event on your doorstep that welcomes, no, insists, that you hand over your adult preoccupations and turn back the clock. That you go back to a place where the most strenuous challenge on the horizon was creating a life-like sock puppet, or knocking your brother off a Space Hopper. None of this mortgage, finding money rubbish.
Okay, so one night acting like a big kid isn’t a game changer; it won’t magically erase the shitty week you’ve had at work or stop your temperamental family from kicking off, but it just might gently push things into perspective, or let out a little of the steam threatening to blow the top off your head (just in time).
You’ll be surprised by the magic performed by a little colouring in; taking ten minutes where there’s no grand, overhanging goal, or someone to please, or a demand on your senses to OD on info. There’s some paper, and pens, and the notion that staying within the lines is preferred. Or better still, the magic of hitting a friend round the head with a sponge baton. Trust me.
I’m talking here about Unicorn Club – Chester’s only (to my knowledge) kid’s party for adults, created by the effervescent Marie-Claire aka The Professional Rebel and held at Telford’s Warehouse. Full details and future happenings of these sugar-high nights can be found here, and it’s worth signing up to the mailing list to get first notice of early-bird tickets (usually £15). Last minute tickets for, ‘Disorganised Bastards’ are £25.
What I can offer you is a first-hand blow-by-blow account of all the silly, so you know exactly what you’re signing up for.
The first, optional task, is to write down your problems/worries/inner demons on post-it notes, screw them up and chuck them in ‘The Fuck-it Bucket’. I was there with a few friends (though it’s a super inclusive, friendly set-up for those flying solo), so guarded my dark secrets closely. I started off with light-hearted issues but soon worked myself into a whingy frenzy of rage. Needless to say, we soon filled the entire bucket. I’m pretty sure it was a Fuck-it record. We got 99 problems, minimum.
Then we were let loose on the basement of Telford’s, exploring the various areas set up by Marie-Claire. For me, it was an easy choice – Hungry Hippos – which I played a bit too aggressively (no doubt a hangover from the bucket task). When I’d beaten everyone to an embarrassing degree, I decided to calm down and make a cyclops sock puppet and quick work of my quince G&T (I appreciate Capri Sun would’ve been more fitting).
I spent the next thirty minutes bullying my male friends until they agreed to glitter face paint. Some were happier than others.
I orchestrated a game of Twister. And as any Twister veteran knows, it’s way better when you don’t use the spinny thing, and just get people to move around each other in the most awkward and inappropriate ways. I enjoyed it anyhow.
Then I convinced Dave to play Pie Face. He lost in the first five seconds – easily the highlight of my evening:
I watched a very intense fight on Space Hoppers, resulting in bruisy knees:
We got dressed up and had a photo shoot:
Then the silliest thing of all, most of my friends ran out, feral and giddy into the streets of Chester, and didn’t get home until 5am, ON A SCHOOL NIGHT.
I was in bed before 10pm, because of all the things I threw in the Fuck-it Bucket, my commitment to turning up to work on time and ready to perform my role, was not one of them.
So if you’ve got a stick up your arse, fancy making new friends, or can’t remember the last time a Tuesday night got weird, do yourself a favour and follow The Professional Rebel here.