COLAB Theatre brings us a brand-new immersive horror piece that will have you shouting from the rooftops and screaming from the basements.
In a murder mystery turned scare maze, two members of the Church of England volunteer spook service seem to require absolute strangers to solve a creepy case. A disturbed spirit lurks within the cellars of this building and the Reverend and Co believe the only way to assuage its rage will be to discover the reason for their haunting and exorcise them.
The script uses a brilliant central story, the innocuous history of the Menier Chocolate Factory opposite the venue with which plays host to more than just one grisly occurrence. The entwined scenarios are so detailed and well researched with so many twists and turns that you are left wondering whether it might just be based in truth. Which makes your job for the night all the more daunting.
From the moment you are greeted by Reverend Jane Parker, you are at the complete mercy of the actor’s charms. Their characterisation is completely mesmerising. Considering the amount of unpredictability in a show that immerses its audience like this, the improvisation and confidence in delivery are crazily convincing and comedic.
The set dressing is perfect. Comparing the upstairs workroom where you can assemble your clues as a team and get to the bottom of the mystery poses a stark contrast to the basement. In pitch black, aided by a keyring torch, the damp smell of the past permeates the warren of rooms. It is a truly terrifying experience.
As the nature of immersive and interactive theatre commands, the audience has a lot of control, and although a million and one tasks are set to keep you occupied some are less exciting than others married with moments where adrenaline becomes a barrier to collaboration and activities tend to descend into chaos. However, some might argue that this can aid the denouement of the piece overall.
Whether faint of heart or made of stone, COLAB theatre achieves something really exciting in the realm of immersive horror and might even convince you, that we are not alone.
It runs until 14 November. Tickets: here.
Review: Vivienne King