Since The Drowned Man finished I’ve joined several immersive theatre groups on Facebook so that I can keep on top of the latest offerings in and around London in the hopes of filling the void. One show that was mentioned frequently recently was the latest show by Shunt, a collective of artists creating and curating live performance in unusual locations within London, but with a name like The Boy Who Climbed out of his Face I really wasn’t sure if it was something I wanted to see or not.
Then a lady on one of the groups mentioned that she had some spare tickets due to unadventurous siblings so rather than let them go to waste I put my name in the hat for a ticket. On Sunday afternoon I received a message saying I could have one of the tickets if I wished and just a few hours later I found myself meeting up with a small group of strangers outside the Emirates Airline station in North Greenwich ready for whatever awaited us. Or at least I thought I was ready, I’m not sure you can ever be ready for something you don’t know anything about but that is definitely the best way to go into this performance; with an open mind and no expectations!
The Boy Who Climbed out of His Face takes place within a temporary studio called The Jetty, on the Greenwich Peninsula, made up entirely of shipping containers. You enter the show in small groups and progress through different rooms. It’s a very sensory experience made even more so by the fact that you must remove your socks and shoes before entering and carry them with you in a white shoebox throughout the whole performance. Each ‘room’ is weirder and more wilder than the one before and it’s quite an uncomfortable experience. One thing you may want to be prepared for is the freaky latex masks that many of the actors wear especially if you have an aversion to things like that.
It’s also worth noting that The Jetty houses a bar with live music and street food vendors so you can make an evening of it but note that you’ll need to take money with you as it’s a cash only throughout. We went for the 8:30pm slot which was perfect as by the time we emerged at the end of our 45 minute stint night had fallen and the skyline was beautiful. The show runs until 28 September and tickets are a bargainous £10 each. Try it and see what you think but don’t expect to have any clue what you just experienced or be able to explain it to anyone else!