My first London MUST SEE is an exciting exhibition that is currently on at the Barbican Centre. Called ‘The Rain Room’ it offers you the once in a lifetime opportunity to feel that little bit superhuman. If you’ve ever watched Bruce Almighty and felt jealous of Jim Carrey’s superpowers, this is for you. After years of having played slave to the reliably rubbish London weather, The Rain Room gives you the chance to get your own back(ish)…
It consists of a long, dark room where rain falls in a never-ending shower, however, as soon as you step into the essentially enormous shower box… the rain stops, just above your head! The concept may be simple, but the overall effect is fantastic. It’s a good laugh and not only that, it’s FREE! I realise it’s not something that you’ll want to visit repeatedly, the novelty factor will wear off I’m sure, but it is still amazing and well worth a visit. In an era where the general perception is that you need a pair of glasses and a worn out membership card to the local library to appreciate exhibitions, it’s great to see that there are plenty of exceptions that aren’t so ‘nerdy’ or ‘lame’.
Whilst the Rain Room is thoroughly entertaining – you’d be surprised at how much fun not getting rained on is – it is also a therapeutic experience. Standing in your own private bubble is remarkably peaceful, there is a refreshing atmosphere of tranquility that is hard to find in bustling city like London!
So, if I have managed to persuade you to visit, here are a few tips to make the experience less like an exercise in how practise your queuing skills:
1) Go early. It opens at 11:00 every day but turning up at opening time just doesn’t cut it. I’d recommend getting there for around 10:15 to spare prolonged periods of standing still.
2) Bring something to eat. Weird suggestion, I know, but it’s worth it. When I went we brought a breakfast picnic to eat in the queue (the carpet is remarkably soft for a public space) until opening time… Eating also alleviates boredom.
3) Bring a good camera. You can smash out some banging pictures due to the lighting they use inside.
You’ll have never experienced anything like it, it’s fun and it’s free – there is no reason not to go!
And here is a little something for you to ponder over when standing in your personal bubble of rain-free solitude…
‘He who is drowned is not troubled by the rain’ – Chinese Proverb