To this, my first, there was a loose 1920s theme to fit with the art deco venue, though most people didn’t make that much effort with their costumerie. There was a regular bar, a cocktail bar manned by Barchick no less, and as well as popcorn they had street food from Speck Mobile (If you felt like braving the queues). I had been to the Troxy before and hadn’t expected them to make full use of the place, as it is huge. I thought we’d be kept on the ground floor around tables set up and I rather wish we had as I forgot to take my glasses with me, meaning the speakers and they accompanying visuals were all rather blurry.
Bizarrely, had we turned up a little earlier, we could have just grabbed one of the tables that had been sold for a higher price – no one was checking the sort of ticket you had, and indeed, I walked in without anyone checking I’d paid anything at all to be there.
Then we had Vicky Pryce who, at first, I thought was telling us trivial stories about her time in jail, but who actually talked in a meaningful way about reform of the prison service, especially for women, many of whom, in her researched opinion, are there through circumstance rather than being evil people who need to be locked up. It was hard not to empathise with her way of thinking (and I am a liberal lefty after all).
Interesting, education and entertaining in equal measure.
*Photos (c) Richard Davenport (except for the crap one of the cocktails).