CoLab is an immersive theatre company, utilising buildings and locations around London and the UK using old, new and borrowed stories. We arebeing ‘hunted’ as we have a cure in our blood for a disease that is going to be spread killing millions. We are told to meet at Location 1 and to text a number which results in us listening to a voice clip with instructions leading us to subsequent locations. Listening to instructions in a busy central London location location and constantly being told to look over your shoulder to see if any one is watching you can be quite daunting but it is taken in good spirits as CoLab establish clear rules in advance with a safe word that can be used.
London is so busy with people commuting to all over the UK, not to mention this voice telling you to be quick builds the tension and this is thrilling. We are encouraged to watch other passengers and commuters and not be too obvious about it, which I’m sure we all do. These instructions lead us to a locked safe, but by the time we get there another audience member has opened it with the code we are told in the voice clip. I like the idea of the safe and I’m sure audience members meet each other a lot sometimes even travelling together.
A second voice clip leads us to another location where we are instructed to meet our “keeper” who is the voice behind the clips . A group of 10 start to gather and we follow the keeper who tells us to trust him. He leads us to another location while instructing us to duck and dive round corners and cars. The keeper manages to convey a sense of urgency while looking after audience members and giving them tasks.
We finally get inside an abandoned building and are kept in a small lobby. We are warned not to carry bags and to wear suitable shoes; this is a must! We climb ladders and through small spaces. The set design is really well planned out with secret passages and fake walls. This is when things really start to really become interesting as the other cast members find us and there is a well rehearsed conflict scene that the audience is part of. We are kept hostage and this is really quite realistic.
We manage to escape and are led through more secret passages and a gun battle occurs. This stage feels the most real and involved as all the audience members have to make their own choices of where to hide, with the added tension of the lighting being dim. Finally we are led to the safe area; the bar, where we can have a drink and discuss what has just happened! They also have a fun practice shoot area with BB guns and targets.
There is quite a lot of walking so wear comfortable shoes. If you enjoy immersive theatre and will play along with the plot line, I would encourage you to see this show. 3/5
Review written by Jessica Andrade.
Hunted is currently being shown until Saturday 26th November. For more information on the production, visit here…
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