One By One, Tristan Bates Theatre

*Disclaimer: I attended this play for free in exchange for blogging about the show. The below opinions are still my own and not influenced by this in any way.

You are cordially invited to test a brand-new data security programme.  It promises absolute cyber freedom and the right to assert and control your online identity – but once the test begins, it becomes rapidly apparent that the system has already been corrupted.  A ‘you’ already exists. Suspend disbelief and join a dystopian future: audience members have been hacked, and must embark on a hunt around central London to track down the doppelgängers and reclaim their identity before it’s too late. ‘One By One’ is an interactive hour-long promenade journey, exploring the disconnect between online and offline identities and inspired by the right to be forgotten.

I usually try to post about stuff in the order that it happened but I’m throwing this post in now because what I’m about to tell you is time sensitive. Y’all should know by now that I’m a huge fan of immersive theatre and it seems like news is getting around the internet! Last week I received an e-mail asking me if I would like a complimentary ticket to see a brand new immersive show where I would be the only audience member – of course I immediately jumped at the chance and so last night headed to the Tristan Bates Theatre for an entirely new experience.

While I love immersive theatre I’m also a bit of a scaredy cat and don’t particularly enjoy the thought of having to play a part in the show. I’ve always shied away from one-to-one’s in Punchdrunk productions and being singled out as part of audience participation but somehow the fact that this would take place in the actual streets of London made me a whole lot more comfortable with the idea. So how did I find it?

Without giving anything away (although I’m sure that each persons experience will differ depending on the personal decisions made throughout) I found the experience very fast-paced and exhilarating. I chose to pretty much play along and give them as much true data as I was comfortable with (they will erase all data they’ve gathered about you immediately after you’ve finished) rather than try to play it more secretively – I have no idea how much this affects the remainder of the show. The plot is a tad confusing, I won’t lie but the premise is great and as you progress through the story it does all start to make a bit more sense. I have to say though the abrupt ending felt a bit unsatisfactory to me. The acting was top-notch though and very believable given the unbelievable plot. Special mention to The Boss for being epically creepy!

The main thing about the show is how it highlights just how much information people can find out about you with just a few key facts like your name, e-mail address and twitter account. I gave them my personal twitter which is locked down rather than my blog one and yet they were still able to find out a LOT of details about me within just 45 minutes. It’s very eye-opening and thought-provoking.

One by One is only running until Saturday the 9th May and there are currently time slots available for all remaining evenings so if this sounds like something you’d be interested in grab a ticket while you can!

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