When Handel wrote the Messiah in 1741, he faced fierce competition within the dwindling operagoing-market to get more bums on seats. Opera was seen as obtuse, elitist and too expensive (oh, how times have changed). Faced with this reticence, Handel wrote Messiah as an oratorio, which is similar to opera but isn’t typically staged, is written in English and focuses heavily on Christian themes – all of which were designed to broaden the appeal of his piece to the widest audience possible.
Standing in a storage container at the top of Leake Street, mud squishing beneath my trainers, I hear a man softly singing. This is it, I think, this is how I am going to die, trying to tunnel my way out onto the streets of Waterloo. A second man appears from the corner and started up a dialogue. I am immediately relieved; I would not be doing any digging.
[/see:] dim corridors. neon and spray paint and brick. [/smell:] must. vimto-flavoured vape. cigarette smoke. beer. [/feel:] water sweat-dripping onto crowns of heads. dusty warmth. [/hear:] chatting. applause. glasses clinking behind the bar. a pub quiz announcer. [/taste:] breath mints. mould in the air.
Oily Cart makes gently immersive, highly sensory performances for people under five years old, and people with complex needs. This winter-themed touring show for little ones takes them into a world of colourful lights, dark shadows and sparkly parcels that reveal an array of treasure, from reams of bubble wrap, to coloured lights to a magnificent puppet constructed out of cellophane. As lights dim and glow amidst the white drapes and shimmering cushions, children are invited to explore the tactile, etherial landscape that evokes the the wonder of unwrapping presents on a snowy Christmas morning.
Transporting audiences back to 1979, when Britain was on the brink of political collapse for the second time in a decade, Parabolic Theatre’s disconcertingly timely immersive live-action board game Crisis? What Crisis? is a thrilling opportunity to put yourself in the driving seat of power.
Curious Directive have created a marvelous immersive experience with Gastronomic. This gorgeous piece of theatre brings us a story from the sky as we experience a first-class menu with a British theme covering curries on Brick Lane through to ice cream on Brighton Pier.
Loosely based on Jules Verne’s classic adventure novel Around the World in 80 Days, Fire Hazard Games’ new immersive game 80 Days: A Real-World Adventure invites groups to race across central London solving clues, raising funds, making critical expedition purchases and deciding whether or not to trust the characters they meet along the way.
There’s a growing trend for immersive experiences. In a world of AI and 3D printing, we don’t just want to see and hear our entertainment – we want to touch and taste it as well. Much like the thrills children crave at a fun fair, our expectation is that we will get a huge burst of adrenaline as we fully experience something unique.
Gingerline have been making waves in the theatre-foodie experience crossover industry for a few years now. It starts off well: the set is incredible, the food interesting and absolutely delicious, the animation and use of projection astonishing, and the interactive nature of the experience is fun without being overly embarrassing for participants. The execution of this show succeeds brilliantly on so many levels.