Storefront City London

Archive for the tag “immersive”

The Rise and Fall of Geo Goynes

WHAT: The Rise and Fall of Geo Goynes
WHEN: March 19 – 22, 2014
rootexperienceWHERE: St. James Theatre (12 Palace Street, SW1E 5JA)
RUNTIME: Approx. 120 min
WHO: Root Experience


[vimeo 83862854]

“Secret….agent man. Secret….agent man!”

Okay, alright, maybe forget the song. But the 007 theme song or something similar might definitely buzz through your head while you are plunged into a new, challenging and adrenaline-filled world on a secret mission to protect each and every one of your fellow men and women.

Geo-Goynes-478x359Alicia: Root Experience is an interactive theatre company that devises performances based on “a structure that invites debate, direction and inclusion” from audiences, with an aim to have both audiences and actors feel fully present in the work at each and every moment. Although many of their workshops and performances have been in Brighton, this particular experience (in development) has traveled to both Brighton Digital Festival and York Theatre Royal, and now right to the heart of London.

Storefront City had the opportunity to test the waters with this show in development, merging gameplay and technology and allowing you to make choices that shape your own experience. Communicating through headsets, you encounter different people around the city and literally take part in writing the script to your own story (let’s just say I’m not very eloquent when put on the spot), sometimes working individually and sometimes in teams to pursue targets, monitor actions or even go undercover and attach yourself to the evil-doers.

In The Rise and Fall of Geo Goynes, London becomes the backdrop to an adventure for truth and for those who know it, sell it, and use it to suit their own purposes. Welcome to 2017. A new era where your friends start to report strange feelings of foresight, where future events are predicted and identities transformed. Where no one is safe from the all seeing eyes, and when the future becomes the present, and the present a mission for survival.

Adam: Have you ever been asked to find a manila envelope taped to some inconspicuous location? How about distracting someone while obtaining information vital for your survival? If this is all too Spooks for you, then perhaps you won’t enjoy The Rise and Fall of Geo Goynes. If, on the other hand, you’re like me you can’t get enough of spies and spying, then you’re in for a ride, sans the Walther PPK.

Placed in a small group, your team must work together to solve the mystery of Geo Goynes. I really don’t want to spoil it for you, but if you’ve ever wanted to play spy, this is a must for you. Fool the surveillance, try to deploy and virus, all while working out what it all means…

In this world, Root Experience welcomes you to contribute to the path that lies ahead of you, and while you might feel out of your comfort zone every once in awhile, you never feel unsafe or manipulated by the events you find yourself immersed in. But you are certainly an active participant and the mission would surely not go on without you.

Make sure to bundle up if it looks cold outside, because this show is entirely on the street…and don’t talk to strangers!

Final Thoughts: Explore London in a way you never have before and be prepared to play with others in this ultimate conspiratorial adventure!

P.S. Unfortunately, this show is now sold out, but we’re sure The Rise and Fall of Geo Goynes or other adventures by Root Experience will come around soon!

Hidden Show: The Good Neighbour

WHAT: Hidden Show: The Good Neighbour
WHEN: December 6 – January 4, 2013/2014
WHERE: Battersea Arts Centre (Lavender Hill, SW11 5TN)
RUNTIME: 135 to 160 minutes (no intermission)

WHO: Battersea Arts Centre
PRICE: £12-19.50

OUR RATING: Chance It!

Put on your thinking cap and channel your inner Sherlock with Battersea Arts Centre’s Hidden Show: The Good Neighbour. Complete with mystery and magic, this immersive theatre adventure impels you to delve into curious mysteries and discover fantastical characters, leaving audiences inspired, awed and heart-warmed.

Credit: BAC

Credit: BAC

Alicia: The Good Neighbour is a parent’s daydream. BAC offers audiences two choices of adventure, one being geared toward families with young children (6+), and the other specifically for audiences without the little ones who want an adventure just for themselves (14+; specifically entitled The Hidden Show: The Good Neighbour). All groups (led by an actor) are trying to solve the same mystery, but the groups diverge every now and again, with special stories catering to their specific audiences. Inspired by the historic 1909 fire at the Clapham Junction department store Arding and

Hobbs, audiences explore and investigate the mystery of George Neighbour, who has lost his memory and needs his fellow explorers to delve into the hidden chambers of BAC to search its history and find the pieces of his life’s puzzle.

Photo by James Allen

Photo by James Allen

It was quite lovely to sit in a room full of excited families, ready and willing to solve this great mystery. Yet, being part of the adult show, our group was separated from nine other children’s groups, sometimes being sole adventurers and sometimes running into the other groups and sharing beautiful experiences with them. One of the best moments of these shared experiences was in the

Momentorium, a room full of moments and memories, of bright light and the slow dripping of water. A momentologist had just finished showing us the film of a person’s memories, a home video full of illumination, laughter and family. As the momentologist was about to show another home video full of another person’s loving moments in life, a young boy, approximately six years old, said, “That was beautiful. I think this one’s going to be beautiful too.” I swear to you, the most magical moment of the whole night. Despite being part of the more adult group at times, I was thankful to have experienced moments with these developing minds, and to witness the imagination and inspiration flooding forth.

Photo by James Allan

Photo by James Allan

Our group traversed the entirety of the arts centre, knocking on hidden doors, crawling through passages and even discovering trap doors and hidden momentos. At times, I really did feel like Alice delving into the curiosities of Wonderland, finding hidden messages on blank pieces of paper, talking with lightbulbs and watching the dreams of a Japanese bee. Other great moments were being ogled at by patrons of the BAC who were just minding their own business in the cafe or sitting room, and who were suddenly interrupted by our intrusive investigative team on a rampage for answers.

Photo by James Allan

Photo by James Allan

Adam: Beautifully orchestrated and imaginatively conceived, Hidden Show: The Good Neighbour takes around 10% of the audience on a more adult, behind-the-scenes tour of the children’s version, which runs side-by-side. Immersive theatre has had a massive boost recently, with the acceptance of Punchdrunk as mainstream and audiences clamouring for all-surrounding sensational experiences to take them away from the daily grind. In this respect, Hidden Show: The Good Neighbour is successful, but mainly for children.

Photo by James Allan

Photo by James Allan

Why do I say this? Because in order for such immersive experiences to be successful, one must feel thrust wholly into it believably – and being talked down to doesn’t achieve this. Honestly, I’m being too harsh as I really enjoyed the overall experience. I played to them, allowing myself to be immersed (or was I forcing myself?). This allowed me to get a lot out of it, but I would guess others in my group would have discovered less wonder than I.

In fact, at one moment, I was allowed to lead the group to the next scene by reading the instruction on a clue. Luckily, I took this seriously and spoke up, allowing everyone to hear – which cannot be said for the other leaders who got us hopelessly lost. Again, one needs to want to be involved, which was not the case for the other leaders.

Photo by James Allan

Photo by James Allan

The world created inside BAC is exciting and interesting, but doesn’t have the majesty of other immersive shows I’ve experienced. I was also highly suggest that the actors vary their performances dependent on the age of their audience: there’s nothing worse than being spoken to as if one were on Wizadora. If you have children this will be a treat, but otherwise only go if you have an imagination!

Final Thoughts: Families with young ones will find this an amazing explorative adventure full of wonder and delight. Meanwhile, adventurers sans-kids might want to reconsider this forey.

P.S.: For more great kids’ theatre, why not check out The Silent Language at Storefront City Chicago.

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