Twin Peaks Night at Inslington Mill

As the rest of the country was watching a mediocre performer crowned short-lived celebrity on X Factor, Salford’s Islington Mill was playing host to a Twin Peaks night, booked as the perfect Christmas do for those of us who attended a short course examining the work David Lynch at Cornerhouse a little while ago.

But what to expect… we had no idea. And yet our expectations were surpassed all the same.

Islington Mill is a former cotton spinning mill, a few minutes walk into Salford from Manchester city centre, that has been transformed into a kind of artists’ colony packed with workshops and studios. It also has generous performance spaces which for this night were dressed as Twin Peaks. It could have been terribly naff, but it was actually quite wonderful.

Many attendees – not in my more conservative party – were in fancy dress as actors mingled and attempted, with various degrees of success, to bring key characters to life. Some were great; especially the Sarah Palmer, Audrey Horne, Log Lady and Maddy Ferguson. Major Briggs looked the part, but didn’t have the strange mix of stiff formality and mysticism of the real Major. Sadly the key male characters were the weakest. The Agent Cooper was anaemic, while the Leland didn’t appear to have made any effort to look the part (he looked more like Bobby) and the one-armed man gave up on only have one arm very early on.

Nevertheless, key moments from the series were brought to life with aplomb. The announcement of Laura’s death was spot on, with the Sarah Palmer receiving the phone call so well it at first seemed she was miming to the soundtrack.

Trips to the woods and one-eyed jacks (where we gambled and danced with the girls) made the night complete. I was gutted to somehow miss out on the red room, but hey.

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