Carnivalé Bedlam Terrifies & Delights

Meet more characters at Lofty's Dark Laboratory, Nov 1st.
Cast of Carnivale Bedlam
Meet more characters at Lofty's Dark Laboratory, Nov 1st.
Cast of Carnivalé Bedlam. Photo courtesy of Aetherial Pictomancy.

Last Friday I had the pleasure of attending Carnivalé Bedlam; an evening of steampunk horror at Lofty’s Cocktail Emporium, in association with The Haberdash Steampunk Society.

I climbed the stairs to Lofty’s Cocktail Emporium to discover a dark and ominous lair with furnishings of Victorian and bespoke varieties – and I say ‘dark and ominous’ in the most delightfully theatrical of ways.

Carnivalé vendors welcomed my companion and I at the entrance, regaling us with riddles and persuading us to take up games of darts and nerf gun target shooting, in the hopes of reaching the high score and wining the coveted prize of a vampire protection kit (apparently vampire season is not far off, you guys).

As we wandered further into the intimate venue, the weird and wonderful decorations, eclectic furniture and candlelit corners delighted us. An evil clown wandered about, a mime named ‘Shh’ stared silently and a pyromaniac magician would light up flames from his hands at random intervals, alluring fan dancers flittered about.

It could get difficult to tell who was a working entertainer and who was a guest in their own character costume or bespoke fashion creation. The steampunk society of Preston is an enthusiastic bunch.

Upon approaching a table covered in bottles where I thought I’d be able to abandon my finished drinking glass, a top-hatted man swaddled in dreadlocks stepped forward to explain that the bottles and assorted items were the wares he was selling. After elaborate tales about the mythical ingredients each product contained, I narrowly missed spending £10 on a bottle of ‘minotaur tears’ and settled on a £1 bar of fine herbal soap.

The performers of the evening were all enchanting in their own right. From what I could glimpse through small gaps in the huddled crowd, the moves of the Candy Skull Dance Troupe were eerily seductive.

I was also introduced to the idea that ‘Steampunk rap’ is a ‘thing’ with the performance of special guest Professor Elemental. With an engaging use of crowd involvement and rhymes about enjoying a good cup of tea, I was sold on the idea.
I will definitely be returning to Lofty’s for a cocktail some evening. But will make sure I bring an allowance for cocktails. While they may not have the cheapest beverages in Preston, they can boast the most enticing of flavours elaborate in construction.

If you like the sound of this event, you might just be interested in Lofty’s main Halloween event: Lofty’s Dark Laboratory, on November 1st.
For tickets and more details go to:

Did you go to this event, or are you planning on attending the halloween event? Are you an avid steampunk enthusiast, or are you just interested in checking out the the scene? Let us know!

1 Comment on Carnivalé Bedlam Terrifies & Delights

  1. Thank you for this kind review.
    We of The Haberdash are glad you enjoyed our work, and on behalf of all the team, thank you for your attendance!

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