A chance to see inside – at Andaz Hotel, Liverpool Street:
I have to admit that I know next to nothing about the Masons. Theirs is a secretive world surrounded in mystery with rumours of strange rituals, funny handshakes, and dodgy deals being conducted in favour of fellow Masons. There has been a whiff of scandal in recent years with police officers and other public officials being accused of putting their allegiances to the Masons ahead of their public duty. None of my family have ever been Masons, and I’m not aware of any friends or colleagues who are; therefore the opportunity to see inside a Masonic Temple was intriguing. What was even more unexpected was its location in the heart of the City of London. I had not expected to find such a place within a hotel within 2 minutes walk of Liverpool Street Station. The Andaz has a modern, chic, clean looking reception area; but hidden on the first floor is the Masonic Temple. Dark wooded, marbled floored, with gilded ceilings and lit by flickering candles it couldn’t fail to impress.
The evening I was there, was for a tour through the ages of rituals surrounding scent. We were guided through this by Odette Toilette, and heard and saw what happened to Mellified Man (it involved a lot of honey!), the Incas (sacrifice), the Egyptians (washing and makeup), the Ancient Greeks (the mysteries and Persephone in the Underworld), and finally the oil used to anoint all Kings and Queens of England since Charles I (off with his head!) .
A recurrent theme seemed to be the characters coming to a grisly end. These were played by actors from Art Macabre. To spare their blushes I am unable to show you photographs apart from this one, which will give a good idea of the surprise we got as an audience! It was certainly the perfect setting for the rituals.
The hotel has a series of horror film showings in the Temple, and I can’t imagine a more atmospheric place to see these.
THE SHINING – 2 APRIL Opening the new season on Thursday 26 March is master of horror Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece ‘The Shining’, starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd, which promises to get your blood pumping.
ROSEMARY’S BABY – 30 APRIL A horror film series wouldn’t be complete without Roman Polanski’s ‘Rosemary’s Baby’, featuring a young newly married women who is impregnated by the devil, shortly after moving to a New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation.
EYES WIDE SHUT – 28 MAY Add that extra touch of insanity to your Thursday night with Stanley Kubrick’s last film ‘Eyes Wide Shut’, starring a New York City doctor (Tom Cruise) who embarks on a dangerous night-long odyssey of moral discovery after his wife (Nicole Kidman) admits she contemplated having an affair.
THE BIRDS – 25 JUNE Trust us, you haven’t seen horror yet! Wrapping up the first season of our monthly film screenings is Alfred Hitchcock’s classic ‘The Birds’ which features a wealthy San Francisco socialite who pursues a potential boyfriend to a small town which suddenly is being invaded by birds of all kinds.
Time: 7.30pm – 10pm (doors open at 6.30pm)
Location: Masonic Temple at Andaz Liverpool Street Hotel, 40 Liverpool Street, EC2M 7QN
Tickets: bookable via Design My Night – £10 per person (Andaz Liverpool Street supports the local art scene with all ticket sale proceeds going to support the 2015 East End Film Festival)
Light refreshments will be available from the bar throughout the event.