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Icon November 5, 2010 - 10:57

Dr Sketchey’s Toy Box of Terrors at 5 Degrees Below

Tags: 5 Degrees Below, Dr Sketchey

Lorraine Williams, AKA Dollface Dolores, head honcho of the Falmouth branch of Dr Sketchey’s, prepares to take to the stage, all dead girl chic and pigtails, a perfect match for this suitably windy and eerie November night. Nature has tired of greenery, leaving the dead leaves to circle audience members as they slowly descend the steps to 5 Degrees below, clutching sketchbooks and pens to their breast. With Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie blasting out of the speakers it’s clear that tonight’s festivities will be of the macabre sort, it’s life drawing, but not as we know it. ‘Where Cabaret and Life-Drawing Collide’ declares the tattered business card I find in my pocket the morning, and in truth, there is no better way to describe Dr Sketchy’s aims.

For most this artistic exercise brings to mind two images, first the promise of drawing beauties in classical poses, and second, the dull reality of sitting in silence for an hour itching wrinkled flesh onto the paper before you. No more. Following a brief introduction Dolores rises from underneath a sheet in clockwise movements, subtly changing position for some ten minutes in till, she, the living doll, stands complete in nipple tassel glory “bet you didn’t think you’ll see those tonight did ya!” It’s been a while since art G.C.S.E but I don’t recall flashy tassels or fast tempo metal music blasting out as I sketched, but I do recognise the crowd. These are the kids that sat in the corners of classrooms documenting their vibrant imagination, away from praying eyes. Sure they’re older now, but here they sit, some dressed ghoulishly, some more modestly, all eager to experience something a bit off the beaten track, a bit more them

. With a town like Falmouth you can’t go far wrong with what Lorraine and her models do, it caters to the artistic community while delivering something you can’t get in the classroom. The atmosphere is good; a relaxed yet excited tone with banter happily thrown from audience to hostess all aided by a bar less then four feet away. 

Miss Malice is next on show, Bizarre Magazine model and local lady dressed as if Alice had gone axe happy in Wonderland. Leading a chained bunny out by knife point to Gwen Stefani’s ‘What You Waiting For?” the audience is invited to complete various timed tasks such as ‘Most Gruesome Image’ before she wonders the crowd once finished to choose a winner. Miss Kinky Pink on the other hand is pure burlesque, whipping off stockings and joyously throwing confetti around the shop to ‘Lady Marmalade’. She poses well soon after her opening performance, but from the smile on her face and twinkle in eye, you can tell she just wants to get up and dance again. Returning in a latex skull and crossbones bikini plus whip, Malice poses again, this time giving the room the task of adding an animal element to their sketches- an octopus one this time . The night gets stranger still, but no one is complaining.

An hour left and there’s still an un-dead puppet and teddy bear nightmare ready to take to the prop covered stage. Time hasn’t dragged though, people eagerly sharpen pencils ready to take on the night’s finale in a blur of lead and ink. Taking advantage of a spare minute from the gore splattered fun and games I ask Lorraine what she hopes to do by bringing Dr Sketchy’s to this little corner of Cornwall, “ Well I always like to sum it up with drawing, drinking and debauchery” Fair enough.

Reviewed by Sam Walker-Smart / Photos by Delia Spatareanu