Earlier this week I teamed up with seven strangers and stole a painting worth £22.5 million. Unfortunately this does not mean that my financial worries are over so let me explain a bit more… After thoroughly enjoying the immersive world of The Drowned Man I fervently signed up to several immersive theatre groups on Facebook where people shared the latest news and experiences of other similar productions. One such production was Heist Live which, not long after I found out about it, released a new batch of tickets for what they were dubbing Heist 1.5. As the tickets were selling like hotcakes I bought myself one so that I wouldn’t miss out on the fun.
So on Monday evening I trundled down to the Theatre Delicatessen studios and Marylebone where I, along with the rest of my team, were given code names – Stoodup – and a cover story – we were cleaners for a company called Mr Spotless’ Cleaning. The “show” takes place over four floors of the old BBC Studios building and we had to work as a team in order to get in to the building, find some codes, crack a safe, steal a painting and get out again all while avoiding the guards and CCTV which were roaming the place.
The show makes a good attempt at being an immersive production and it certainly got my adrenaline flowing but I feel like it didn’t last long enough and there were too many offshoots to the plot that meant you didn’t get to see the whole thing. For example my team chose to split up to complete two different objectives and the route I ended up going seemed to have very little actually happen in the way of action. It seemed too easy at points and too scripted although I’m told that there are 17 different outcomes so there is obviously room for improvisation.
I do think it would have been more fun with people who you know, I ended up getting caught and interrogated at one point (props to the guy playing my interrogator McCarthy who chilled me to the bone) and really felt like I’d let my team down but it turns out a lot of people get caught at that point in the game as a plot point and now I don’t feel so bad about it. Getting caught also meant I missed even more of the action although I was rescued by my remaining team members and a group of us then attempted to escape out of an open window four stories up which I’m pretty sure we weren’t meant to do… Oops!
Overall it was a fun couple of hours but upon reflection afterwards is missing a lot of polish that would have made it a better experience in the long run and could have been a bit on the longer side especially given the ticket price.