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2nd Feb 2013 5:07pm | By Alasdair Morton
Like it or not, Valentine’s Day is upon us, so the pressure is on to either snag a date for the night or get one’s shit together sufficiently to impress – or at least not disappoint – that special someone.
Either way, you need to make plans. Lucky for you, we’ve done all the legwork, scouring the city to find the best ways to either indulge in the day of the love saint or stick a rose’s thorn in the whole concept.
There’s something for singles and couples at The Book Club in east London, which is going all out to recreate the full-on American teen movie romance experience with its tongue-in-cheek Teen Dreams Prom.
“There won’t be any roses, violin players, awkward silences or seriousness,” The Book Club’s event manager Rose Payne explains of the prom movie-inspired party.
“We celebrate and take the mickey out of all the romantic clichés you usually find in teen movies, and go back to the days when teen lust ruled our lives. Most importantly, it will be a chance to laugh someone into bed.”
There will be ice-breaking games to get the party started, a ‘seven minutes in heaven experience’, a ‘this one time at band camp’ story competition and, of course, the crowning of the Prom King and Queen.
High school movie clichés from Eighties classics to more contemporary offerings will be honoured and homaged, and joyously torn apart.
“Footloose has got to be pretty high up on the [prom movie] list,” Payne says, recalling Kevin Bacon’s so-camp-its-hilarious Fifties-set dance ‘drama’.
“And 10 Things I Hate About You features the wonderful Mr Heath Ledger, but the inimitable Molly Ringwald of Pretty In Pink will always be the queen of prom movies for us.”
Valentine’s Day puts a lot of pressure on couples to be romantic, and reminds the singles out there that they’re solo, but it needn’t be that way.
Indeed, there are offbeat events out there for both the proudly single and those couples keen to shirk V-Day expectations.
Take for example The School of Life’s ’How Necessary Is A Relationship?’ class, which considers whether couples are old hat and being single really is the way of the future.
“It explores the advantages and disadvantages of the single life and being in a committed relationship,” class leader, writer and counsellor David Waters tells us of the social norms we all adhere to, but perhaps think about too little.
“It doesn’t propose that either is preferable but is an opportunity to ask new kinds of questions about our hopes and wishes around love and uses culture, psychology, philosophy and history to explore this.”
So whether you’re looking for love, or want a big night out with mates in defiance of February 14, or are happily loved up and fancy going out and showing everyone just how much with some gratuitous PDAs, London’s the most romantic place to be this Valentine’s Day – or the best spot to subvert the whole shebang with like-minded others. Read on for the proof.
Teen Dream Prom. Feb 14. £5.
Tube | Old Street
How Necessary Is A Relationship?
Feb 14. £35, inc. buffet and drinks.
The School of Life, WC1N 1AB
Tube | Russell Square