Anstee Bridge brings 500 years of Kingston crime and punishment to life

Gruesome: Emily Chandler, Andy Grzybkoski, Kay Keogh, Brandon Byrne, Chloe Cunningham and Ben Bird

Gruesome: Emily Chandler, Andy Grzybkoski, Kay Keogh, Brandon Byrne, Chloe Cunningham and Ben Bird

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

It will be grungy, grimy, ghoulish and full of crime – and it will happen right in the middle of Kingston.

But there is no need to trouble the police.

Students at the Anstee Bridge project have thrown themselves into a new exhibition at the Kingston Museum, creating a dungeon displaying 500 years of crime and punishment in the borough.

It will run for three weeks, from March 27.

This Is Local London:

Rachel Turner helps Chloe Cunningham with her costume

Anstee Bridge coordinator Katherine Greening said: “We went up to the Clink Museum in London and that’s our inspiration.

“It is not as if we have had artists in who have made it for them.

“We have taken over the top of the museum – it is going to be a grisly exhibition.”

Reprehensible behaviour from Tudor times through to the Victorian era will be represented, with an eye-watering attention to detail.

“History is really fun when it’s hands-on. As you walk through you will be able to touch things on the wall, you will be able to hear things.

“But you have to watch where you step, because there will be poo and animals around, and eyeballs and severed heads.”

If visitors really want a taste of old-time justice, there will be a ducking stool and stocks where they can be pelted with rotten fruit – made of sponge, of course.

Student Katie Thomas, 16, said: “It’s hands-on so it’s really fun. It’s not just writing so I enjoy that.

“We’re going to put together an acting performance.

“We all picked different characters out of a hat and we’re going to show individual crimes. My character stole some boots.”

This Is Local London:

Artist Zoe Thomas paints some grazes on Ben Bird

The students’ performances will be shown on a film loop in a specially-constructed Victorian-style cinema section.

This Is Local London:

Kay Keogh, Zoe Thomas and Andy Grzybkoski

It is not all dark and dingy over at Anstee Bridge, however.

The students have also helped organise a full-scale fashion show to raise money for the mayor’s charities.

Featuring models, magic, a silent auction and the chance to have your caricature drawn, the show hopes to lend a hand to the Alzheimer’s Society in Kingston and Princess Alice Hospice.

The show will take place on Friday, March 21, at the Guildhall, with doors opening at 5.30pm.

Entry is just £5 – so get your gladrags on.

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