Last night I was very lucky to attend a very special event being put on by Stella Artois to celebrate Wimbledon as Charlie‘s plus one. The Time Portal promised to transport us back to Victorian London just in time for the very first Wimbledon tournament – if you’ve read my blog for a while you’ll know I love a little bit of immersive theatre and when I heard it had been created by the genius theatre troupe behind last years Alice Underground, Les Enfants Terribles.
We arrived promptly for our 6:40pm slot and watched the present day Wimbledon match on a tiny screen (go on Murray!) before being led through to the back of the pub and in to the time machine to begin our journey. I won’t spoil what happens from there but it’s a fun, madcap adventure full of some of your favourite Victorian characters such as Dodger from Oliver Twist, Sherlock Holmes and Ebenezer Scrooge.
There are two main things that can make or break an immersive performance in my opinion: set dressing and timing – and I’m pleased to say that for this production both of these needs were met impeccably. The amount of effort that has gone into the setting for a show of such a short duration – just four days – was incredible and as with any good immersive productions I desperately wanted to take a look around (there is some opportunity for this but not enough!) The show is around 40 minutes long and the slots just 20 minutes apart so there are actually two groups going through the experience at any given time – this didn’t always work in Alice but here it was perfect.
After the show I happened to bump in to Andy from Be Clever With Your Cash in the bar and asked him his thoughts – the only complaint being that it was slightly too short. It was also at this point I discovered that like all good immersive performances there were things that I had missed. At one point the group was split in two and I hadn’t even noticed and there was even the potential for a one on one interaction with Queen Victoria! It has desperately made me want to return (and if I liked beer – I don’t enjoy the taste nor does my IBD approve) I would very likely be booking myself a ticket to return later this weekend.
Thankfully I do love a good fruit cider and the Stella cidre choices have been expanded which made it very difficult for me to decide on which of the flavours to try – I was torn between peach or elderflower – in the end I settled for the latter and it was definitely a good choice, perfect for drinking over this hot, sticky summer we’ve been having!
A photo posted by Leanne Fraser (@msleannefraser) on
As mentioned above the run for the show is short with it ending tomorrow but there are some tickets available on their website if you’re quick and if you love fun theatre and a good beer then it’s well worth going along. Tickets cost £18 and include the show and two drinks.