Something Else

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The Independent Culture
'I know, let's get Arthur C Clarke,' muses hippy senior statesman Frazer Clark to his assistant Siona. Between them, they run Thursday night's Megatripolis, the club that has tapped into the popularity of New Age thinking. Here, ley lines, chakras and UFOs are no laughing matter; 2,000 disciples attend each week. Like most clubs, the emphasis is on music and dancing, but before it all begins lectures by luminaries of alternative thinking are held. Acid guru of the beatnik generation, Timothy Leary, and Francis Huxley, nephew of the great Aldous, have already appeared.

Tonight, Arthur C Clarke, the celebrated free-thinker and science-fiction writer, intends to introduce the young audience to his vision of Earth and its future colony, Mars, in the 21st century. The only problem for Frazer and Siona is that Clarke, now 77, is crippled from a post-polio ailment and virtually a prisoner in his Sri Lankan home. The great writer's mind is still active and he has a passion for computer and communications technology. Not wanting to let the opportunity slip, he badgered BT and Mercury to beam him via two satellites right into the heart of London, during the small hours when airtime is cheap, and even waived his lecture fee.

Siona reveals that there is more to the evening than this link-up. 'We're taking the dance floor on a journey through space. Ignition will be at midnight, the dance floor will take off, travel into orbit and then venture throught the solar system and land on an alien planet, where there'll be a carnival with giant stilt-walkers, masked performers and a puppet theatre, and then we'll return.' James Style

Megatripolis takes place every Thursday 8pm- 3.30am at Heaven, Under the Arches, Craven St, London WC2 (071-839 3852)