Vault Festival, London – until 22 March 2002
Guest reviewer: Zahid Fayyaz
This is certainly something different to the majority of the festival’s shows: rather than a traditional show, it is a scavenger hunt/immersive promenade show, put on by established company Fire Hazard Games. Based on the famous Robert Louis Stevenson story and pop culture icon, this show puts you and your smartphone in a quest to find out what is behind your missing memories from the night before. You can enjoy it solo, or in a group up to three people, but it certainly requires a lot of walking, and decent weather certainly helps.
There are a number of groups, all starting in the same place before everyone splits up, with the help of a map given to you and clues on the smartphone webpage. Set around Waterloo Station, you’re sent to various locations and have to solve the clues to get segments of your character’s memory back. Once you have enough clues solved, you get to make a choice as to what your next steps will be, multiple-choice style, to determine your characteristics. I won’t spoil what the locations and clues are, but some of them are particularly fiendish.
This is very much a scavenger hunt style evening: there is a little bit of theatrics from a few actors, but it’s not really structured for the audience to always interact with them. It’s a little bit of an acquired taste, and most certainly not for everyone. You have to enjoy walking and solving puzzles, and is hard to recommend for a solo audience member. Some of the locations at night are a little daunting as well, especially if you are by yourself. However, it is a fun performance to go with friends, with the right weather and circumstances behind it.