Queer City is a unique collaboration between the National Trust and The National Archives that will re-create ‘London’s most bohemian rendezvous’, The Caravan, a queer friendly members club. The recreation will take place at the well-known Freud Café-Bar on almost the exact site of the original club. The Caravan, ‘the most unconventional spot in town’, existed at a time when being openly gay frequently led to prosecution and imprisonment. In 1934, it was raided and closed by police.
Photographs, court reports, police papers and witness statements on The Caravan and other clubs of the era will be used to re-create the striking bohemian interior of the underground club. Selected from The National Archives’ extensive collection, these documents reveal great detail and insights into club culture and the everyday prejudices facing the homosexual community at the time. This exciting reconstruction will form the focal point of a month of tours of LGBTQ+ heritage and queer club culture throughout Covent Garden and Soho. Examples of these documents will also be displayed downstairs at Freud Café-Bar.
As well as tours, there will be an exciting programme of themed talks, debates and performances capturing the spirit of The Caravan and wider queer club culture. Evening openings will allow a strictly limited number of ticket holders to enjoy club ‘membership’ where the expert bartenders of Freud Café-Bar will be providing a bespoke cocktail menu complete with drinks drawn from clubs of the era.
Joseph Watson, London Creative Director for the National Trust comments, “While the project will be an opportunity to celebrate the partial decriminalisation of same sex relationships, it will also confront the realities of those lives that were fettered, destroyed, or worse, by prejudice of that era. It provides a timely reminder of the importance of side-lined cultures to our national heritage.”
Freud Café-Bar, 198 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8JL
Thursday 2nd – Sunday 26th March 2017
Tickets and further information visit
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