“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” And it was with these words firmly in mind that the Kick the Gong Around team recently hosted its first-ever dinner party, an immersive theatrical experience featuring sad-clown waiters, hundreds of playing cards, a gypsy accordionist, and a brokenhearted troubadour wearing a top hat and tails.
On the night in question, roughly sixty diners showed up to 390, one of Shanghai’s premier LGBT venues, and were silently handed a mask and bid to enter our specially prepared venue, which we’d done our best to transform into a sort of nightmarish David Lynch dream sequence.
Everything was customized down to the last detail. So much so that the event had actually started days before, when every one of our guests personally received a surreal telephone call from our troubadour, Ho-Tom the Conqueror, who prepared them for the whimsical and tragic atmosphere tailored for those who have come to share their suffering.
Impersonating his very own broken soul, Tom encouraged listeners to prepare for an evening of “utter tragedy for the loveless and loved alike.” It was moving stuff, and I think most people thought they were being stalked.
The black-and-white retro dress code, incredible food/drinks, and stunning decorations meant the whole party went off heartrendingly well.
Special thanks must go to Brian Offenther, for the concept creation; Liva Koz, our talented visual director; and Cruz Maria Vallespir, for her skills with environmental graphics.
More creative events coming to the table soon. Let’s keep kickin’ it in Shanghai.
Photos: Courtesy of George Wyndham