Valentine’s is coming up and I’ll bet we’re all either swinging one of two ways:
– ‘meh, I really don’t care, it’s just another day, I’m going to go chocolate shopping on Feb 15th when everything heart-shaped will be on discount, oh yeah!’
– ‘omigosh I’ve gotta make this the best Valentine’s ever! Candles! Chocolates! Roses! Something-way-funky-and-totally-unique-to-express-my-love!’
For some events (ie. not Christmas), everyone totally unique and different experience, right? Hardly anyone ever says, ‘oh yeah, I just want my wedding to look exactly like everyone else’s’. Same for Valentine’s – if you decide to celebrate it, most likely you’re looking to celebrate it in a special and utterly unique way!
Well, look no further….
So, I’ve been meaning to blog about Punchdrunk’s amazing latest offering, The Drowned Man, since I saw it for the first time back in September; in case you’re unaware, Punchdrunk is an amazing, ground-breaking dance/immersive theatre company whose current production is The Drowned Man. I’ve seen it twice to date and since the recent, amazing news that it’ll probably be extended till the end of 2014, I’m totally planning to see it at least one more time.
The thing is, I’d love to do more theatre reviews on this blog (like the one I did for Fu Manchu Complex) but I’m very aware that this is meant to be a bargain beauty blog and don’t want to blog it down. Also, The Drowned Man is very heavy stuff for a review, it’s usually chock-full of spoilers because that’s just the nature of the show!
For those of you who don’t want to be spoiled but just want an utterly different Valentine’s day in London, then let me just tell you, if you get tickets to The Drowned Man on February the 14th you’ll be treated to a free glass of alcohol and you’ll have a promenade, immersive experience like no other. You’ll be given white masks to wear that you can’t take off, you’ll be told you’re not allowed to speak, you’ll be led into a 4-storey building that’s been converted into the world of the play and then you’ll be simple let loose.
The show is based on Georg Büchner’s fractured masterpiece Woyzeck and you can get other info (ie. on venue, ticketing, prices etc) right here. By the way, concessions are available too, probably not for the Valentine’s performance but to access the concessions page click here.
A few tips to save a few quid here and there: you’ll need to check in coats and bags at the door, bags are free but coats are a quid so bring a big enough bag to stuff everything in. Also, there’s a chance of being separated in the show, I’d advise you to carry some cash and your phone (obviously turned off) on you somewhere just in case, so wear an outfit with pockets (and comfy shoes, since it’s a promenade performance).
Okay, now, read no further if you don’t wish to be spoiled!
So, from my own personal experience, you can probably already tell I loved the show but here some more info about it that are potentially spoilers…
Before you head in, you’ll be given a little leaflet with info about the plot of the show, it’s printed on both sides and the plots seem similar but don’t make the mistake of thinking they’re the same, read both (my bf made that mistake, he’s always assuming without confirming, lol). In the elevator before entering, try and pay attention to the lift lady, she gives info vital for you to recognise characters later on and it’ll give you more of a fighting chance of gaining a grasp of what’s going on. Once finally inside, don’t worry about the plot so much, just experience the story.
Over the 4-storeys of set, you’ll find an entire re-created town (including town square with a fountain, a diner, shops stocked with items, houses full of personal belongings etc), a forest with caravans, a huge desert, a crazy creepy film studio area… just go crazy exploring. There’re hidden mazes everywhere (I’ve found a clothing maze at the back of the clothes shop that leads into the studios and a long tunnel in the desert that brings you to a witch’s apothecary, I hear there’s also a tunnel entrance in one of the diner’s phone-booths…). Just the set is enough to take your breath away.
There’re also about 30 unique characters running around the set, all vital to the plot somehow but also all with their own agendas and route to pursue. They’ll act and dance even if there’s no-one there to watch because they’re simply being within the world they’ve created for you to explore.
You can choose either to explore the set like crazy and occasionally stumble into a scene with actors. Or you can choose to pick a character and follow them throughout. The show lasts 3 hours and the characters will loop their route, you’ll only have time to follow 2 though if you stick to them for a whole loop.
If you’re lucky, a character will pick you to have a special one-on-one experience with, I’ve never had one but I’ve heard they’ll basically make it so they’re performing just for you and it can be amazing yet terrifying.
There’s loads of tips online on who to follow, what to do etc. etc. but I think that’s enough spoiler-ing for one post! I only added in all that info in case some of you needed to know more before making a choice, do go! And if you do, tell me how you found it! I never tire of discussing it with friends =D
Wishing you OODLES of PUNCHDRUNK LOVE,
Have you had an immersive experience before?
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