I am very fortunate to know some incredibly creative people in London, which meant I was lucky enough to be one of the Alpha-testing audience members for RIFT’s new, and already sold-out, immersive event.
Moving on swiftly! 🙂
If you’ve never experienced it before immersive theatre puts the audience right in the middle of the action and is something for the more adventurous theatre goer. In this case we were met in the street by release form bearing stewards who walked us down to the base of an imposing 1980s tower block in Tower Hamlets.
There we were greeted by a rambunctious Eastern European Military-styled chap called Uri who wore an extremely large hat and advised us how we may experience some disorientation moving between worlds. Moments later we were walking through the Rift itself into an alternative reality somewhere in the early late seventies early eighties.
Being a bit of an old hat at the immersive theatre malarky, from the hugely elaborate big-budget Punchdrunk and Secret Cinema events to many others, I was still blown away by the logistical challenges the RIFT team have overcome with an exceptionally clever running schedule enabling backstage teams, and teams of actors to seamlessly create a completely believable, if utterly bizarre, world around their expertly rotated audiences.
Throughout your trip you are chaperoned by a guide; we were very fortunate to have the wonderful Anushka taking care of us, who told us about life in the reality we had found ourselves in and guided us through the labyrinthine maze of rooms in the “Castle”.
The play itself takes the Macbeth many of us are familiar with and turns it on its head, actors stride and argue and fight amongst the crowd, drawing audience members into conversation, then drift into the main storyline as domineering ghosts; playing out a tragedy the audience and their guides are powerless to stop.
Having been part of the first audience to set foot in this strange new world I recommend comfortable shoes, an open mind, and a willingness to interact with your guide and their colleagues. Participation will make your experience all the more (un)comfortable and intriguing as you become caught up in the strange alternative reality that has been constructed around you.
As mentioned before their show is currently sold-out, however should the run be extended I recommend that get yourself booked into this strange and discombobulating fantasy world and let your imagination get taken for a ride on a challenging and clever interpretation of the Bard’s work.