Best Immersive Experiences in London

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SOMNAI

 

At the best immersive experiences in London the audience becomes part of the action. Lines between reality and drama are blurred. Dress up, adopt a persona, interact with actors and explore the set at these all-encompassing shows.

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Secret Cinema presents Blade Runner - The Final Cut: A Secret Live Experience

Secret Cinema celebrates its tenth year with an immersive version of Blade Runner - The Final Cut.

Secret Cinema, Central, London, XX1 0LL

Tube:

 

Dates: 21st March to 8th July 2018

 

We went to Secret Cinema presents Blade Runner - The Final Cut: A Secret Live Experience (to give it its full, official title) and - without giving too much away - this is what we learnt. Walking into this fully immersive take on Ridley Scott's sci-fi masterpiece you instantly feel as if you're on set. They've recreated memorable set pieces from the film so you can, depending on the character you've come as, meet the scientist who makes replicants' eyes, see toy maker J. F. Sebastian or be assigned to police HQ. We were nearly recruited to live in an off world Utopia and, after an old fashioned, discovered Taffey's, the best nightclub in town. Food and drink are extra but they're worth it - what better way to immerse yourself in downtown LA than eating noodles at a neon lit bar? After two hours exploring the set it was time for the screening, shown on three big screens while, occasionally, actors appear to act out key scenes. Secret Cinema, set up by founder Fabien Riggall in 2007, has been doing this kind of thing for a decade, so it's no surprise that it's really very good at it. A game changer for the way we watch cinema.

 
 
 

Witness For The Prosecution

Set in a County Hall chamber that feels just like a courtroom, the audience becomes part of the jury.

The Debating Chamber, County Hall, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 7PB

Tube: Waterloo Station , Westminster Station

 

Dates: 6th October 2017 to 16th September 2018

 

Set the Debating Chamber of London's County Hall - a room which resembles a courtroom in every way - Lucy Bailey's site-specific staging of Agatha Christie's mystery, Witness for the Prosecution, has an immersive effect that makes you feel as if you are part of the play. Leonard Vole is accused of murdering a widow to inherit her wealth and must prove his innocence in this ingenious thriller, imaginatively staged. "The play's appeal lies not just in its mystery but in its courtroom formality and its reminder that the law itself is a theatrical ritual" says The Guardian in its four star review.

 
 
 

The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience

Tackle the infamous challenges of the '90s TV show in real life.

10-14 White Lion Street, Angel, London, N1 9PD

Tube: Angel Station

 
 

Bringing the fantasies of many '90s children and grown-ups to life, The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience provides the opportunity to step into the labyrinth of zones to tackle the infamous challenges played out on TV. The immersive experience sees four teams don appropriately themed bomber jackets and dash through the Industrial, Medieval, Aztec and Futuristic - newly updated for 2018 - zones to collect as many crystals as possible. Dance across planets, limbo under lasers, avoid hot lava and dig your way to treasure in order to collect as many crystals as possible before heading to the finale: The Crystal Dome. Here all four teams will come together to battle it out for the highest number of tokens in order to win an honourable place on the leader board. Participants can then celebrate their achievement with a Crystal Maze themed cocktail in the on-site bar.

 
 
 

ABBA: Super Troupers

60 minute tour brings to life the world of the chart-topping Swedish pop sensation.

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 14th December 2017 to 29th July 2018

 

Created in association with ABBA The Museum in Stockholm, the Southbank Centre presents ABBA: Super Troupers, an immersive 60 minute tour which brings to life the world of the chart-topping 1970's Swedish pop sensation. Original costumes, handwritten notes and sketches, personal photographs, music, album artwork and more take visitors on a journey through their successful career, with many of the private archives being shown in the UK for the first time. Narrated by Jarvis Cocker, the immersive exhibition includes a replica of Cocker's 1970s family living room, with television news footage from the tumultuous decade in which ABBA infiltrated the popular consciousness with their optimism and seemingly carefree pop.

 
 
 

SOMNAI

Delve into the world of lucid dreaming in a 20,000 square foot warehouse in Clerkenwell.

Two Pear Tree Street, , London, EC1V 3SB

Tube: Barbican Station

 

Dates: 1st March to 6th May 2018

 

A brand new immersive experience from entertainment company dotdotdot, SOMNAI invites participants to delve into the world of lucid dreaming. Taking place across a 20,000 square foot warehouse in Clerkenwell, the 90-minute event combines live performance, multi-sensory elements and immersive technologies to take you away from normal society, where individuals are focused on wanting more, and into a world where an all-powerful AI leads the way. Delving deep into your psyche, you'll have to make choices that will take you on your own unique journey and reveal what you really want and who you really are. Beware though, not all dreams are sweet. After the experience, you'll be invited to enjoy bespoke cocktails in an interactive bar that sees illuminations and projections play with your perceptions.

 
 
 
 

Small Wonders by Punchdrunk

Immersive pioneers Punchdrunk present a brand new show for children aged 5 to 11.

Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Town Hall Approach Road, London, N15 4RX

Tube: Seven Sisters Station

 

Dates: 2nd June to 13th July 2018

 

Explore a collection of miniatures and memories inside Nanny Lacey's flat as Punchdrunk presents a brand new show for children aged 5 to 11. Part of this summer's LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre) and presented at Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Small Wonders celebrates the relationships we have with our elders. Using Nanny Lacey's precious collection, each like a 3D photograph, this magical, interactive experience reveals the adventures she's shared with her daughter Bella over the years. She's getting forgetful now and she'll soon move into a care home but before she goes, there is one final miniature to share, and story to be told. Directed by Peter Higgin and Tara Boland, and written by Nessah Muthy.

 
 
 

Phobiarama

Climb aboard the fairground ride for an immersive theatrical ghost train by Dutch theatre maker Dries Verhoeven.

West Handyside Canopy, York Way, London, N1C 4UZ

Tube: King's Cross Station

 

Dates: 8th to 18th June 2018

 

Roll up, roll up for the UK premiere of Phobiarama, a 21st century theatrical haunted house filled with fake news and tapping into the current culture of fear. An immersive theatrical ghost train by Dutch theatre maker and visual artist Dries Verhoeven, this political fairground ride comes to King's Cross as part of the LIFT festival. This "fiendishly clever" piece places us, two at a time, in a fairground car and "sends us on a dizzying circuit around a space of endless doors and shadowy corridors where danger might lurk" says Lyn Gardner on the British Council blog.

 
 
 

Hidden Figures: WW2

Part interactive theatre, part escape room event.

Colab Factory, Long Lane, London, SE1 4AU

Tube: Borough Station

 

Dates: 6th March to 15th April 2018

 

The latest production from the Colab Factory, Hidden Figures is part interactive theatre and part escape room event. After delving into an underground bunker, each participant is assigned a historical figure, whose story they are they required to adopt. It will unravel the history of some of the unsung heroes of World War Two, with pieces of information leaked clue by clue. You'll also need to navigate an underground storytelling maze, meeting a troop of immersive actors along the way. If you succeed at the task assigned, you'll be celebrating in the 1940s Military Bar but if you fail you'll remain peeling spuds as the enemy agents jump into France. Period dress s strongly encouraged.

 
 
 

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