I’ve extolled the virtues of immersive theatre many a time on this blog to the point where it has its own section on this site. I also really, really love food so being a combination of the two Gingerline has always been on my radar, the only problem being that it’s incredibly difficult to get tickets for as they sell out super fast and it’s pretty expensive. I was lucky enough however to win a pair of tickets to their latest offering The Chamber of Flavours v2.0 and excitedly donned my Superwoman socks (complete with capes!) as per the dress code and spent most of last Thursday eagerly awaiting the text message that would direct us to the secret location somewhere on the Overground (hence the name Gingerline!) somewhere between Highbury & Islington & Whitechapel.
Now as an alumni I’m not actually allowed to reveal anything about what happened after entering the chamber but we were allowed to take a few pictures in the bar before entering which gives you some idea of the attention to detail that has gone in to the set. Set dressing is, for me, the number one thing that makes or breaks immersion. If there’s even a hint of the outside world in view it can take me out of the zone entirely but this was not a problem at all here.
Upon arriving we were given a gin based cocktail to get us started and the following instructions 1) make sure to order your drinks for the entire meal at the bar before entering as there is no opportunity to do so once you enter the machine, 2) drop off all bags/coats at the cloakroom, you’ll need to be able to maneuver through small spaces unencumbered and 3) use the loo as there is only one available just before/during the main course. It’s also highly recommended to wear flat shoes, you will not be sat at a dining table as you would a traditional meal!
After a quick health and safety briefing – where the reasoning for the socks was explained – we were bundled into the machine and our adventure through five different themed rooms (one for each course) began! I won’t lie I wasn’t expecting too much from the food given the time and money that had obviously gone into everything else about the experience but boy was I wrong. Despite some rather eclectic ingredients every single dish was a delight with the food playing a big part in the performance aspect of the show also.
I can’t really say too much more as to do so would have me thrown out of the club forever and ruin the show for anyone thinking of taking the plunge. If that’s you then I thoroughly recommend that you do – it was a fantastic experience and I won’t hesitate when the next Gingerline show goes on sale as I’d say it’s worth every penny. One further recommendation though – leave your inhibitions at the door, there’s a lot of audience participation in this one!