Having never heard of the Vaults Festival before last week I found myself back for the second week in a row tonight – this time to participate in The ‘Neath, the brainchild of the minds behind the Crystal Maze and Heist.
I say participate because finally after what feels like an age I am back in the immersive theatre game and boy has my appetite been reignited. I won’t lie at the beginning I was feeling a tad intimidated – you see I was attending (as I usually end up doing) alone and this particular show is very much a participation sport. In fact I sent an immersive theatre newbie who’s attending this weekend a little memo that I would thoroughly recommend a couple of drinks for Dutch courage and jumping right into it. There’s no time to be timid.
The ‘Neath is first and foremost a bar so those who tended to linger in the bar area at Temple Studios may have a better idea what to expect but to elaborate slightly on the limited information that is already available on the internet about the show – we have all made a deal with the devil at some time in our lives, we all have sins that we wish to absolve and the ‘Neath gives us the opportunity to do so. For each sin there is a goblet that must be found within the confines of the space and in order to find them you must admit your deepest sins. I was lucky enough to bear witness to the discovery of the goblet of wrath which was quite an experience.
The space, though small, is used incredibly well and the minimal set dressing is the perfect backdrop for the real star of the show, the talent. The actors are some of the finest I have seen within an immersive setting (I believe some of them may be alumni from Such Stuff as dreams are made on) keeping character throughout no matter what is thrown at them.
I will say that I felt that the tickets were a tad on the expensive side – if they’d been a few pounds cheaper or included your first drink from the bar I think it would have felt better value and encouraged repeat visits because it does have that returnability (yes, that’s a word now) to it that I love but I’m not sure you’d need to go more than twice to get the most out of the show which is good given it has such a limited run. Grab your tickets from the vaults festival Website before it closes this Sunday, 26th February!