I’ve heard a lot about Wilton’s since its restoration but it didn’t prepare me for the sheer magic of the place. You reach it down a narrow alleyway off a small side street near St Katherine’s Dock. It is a little like stepping back into Dickensian London. The buildings are old ( 1690s ) and have had various uses, including an ale house and a Methodist mission, but from the mid 19th century until 1881 it was a music hall and it is as a music hall that it has been restored. The foyer space consists of a labyrinth of rooms, all now bars and cafes and the atmosphere is excited and lively. The real glory of the place, however, is the auditorium which gives new meaning to the word ‘atmospheric’. It is an absolute gem.
I saw Les Enfants Terribles performing The Terrible Infants and the show suited the venue perfectly. A dark and intricate mixture of song, story-telling and puppetry, the show is by turns hilarious, shocking and strangely moving. Our thanks should go to John Earl, John Betjeman, Spike Milligan and all the others who campaigned and raised money for the restoration. For a detailed history go to wiltons.org.uk/heritage/history It’s fascinating.