‘Go, you will not regret it’: THE CURIOUS VOYAGE – Secret location WC1 ★★★★

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Secret location WC1 – until 10 November 2018

I love a bit of immersive interactive theatre shiz: The Grift at Bethnal Green’s Town Hall Hotel was last year’s big winner imported from San Diego. Now from Canada comes Talk is Free Theatre’s The Curious Voyage, and on a grand scale that threatens to knock the ailing Punchdrunk off the top spot.

From a smart hotel in Bloomsbury, via a ‘Don’t Look Now’-ish encounter with a red-coated figure in a park, you may travel through a portal to another, darker world in which you’re encouraged to answer difficult questions like ‘would you kill for love?’, ‘or for money?’, ‘and if so, how much money?’

The interactive experience is merely the first half of this long afternoon’s journey into night as a bus ride – which you fervently hope is not to the labelled destination ‘Wood Green’ (it isn’t) – could end with an eerie walk along the black waters of a canal and to a custom-wrecked warehouse for a promenade performance of what may be the most London-y musical ever to win a Tony Award.

Everybody involved is 100% committed – and some of the scenarios will really make you puzzle about what’s going on, or what this all leads to. If we had a criticism, it’s that the interrogative afternoon and the entertaining evening take quite a bit of connecting. But the logistics are excellent and, when you get to the theatrical event, at least two of the performances, from Glynis Ranney and Jahlen Barnes, are entirely West End ready.

Of course, the greatest thing about doing this in London is that however strange the events, even if a man may be shouting at you on a pavement in Tourette’s Italian between snatches of opera – no passer-by will turn a hair.  Or come to your aid.

Obviously I can’t tell you too much what happens.  But I can tell you to go. Do it, you will not regret it.

 

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Johnny Fox
‘Johnny Fox’ studied Theatre at Lancaster University and Journalism at City before realising there was no money in either profession and concentrating instead on interior design for investment banks in Singapore, New York and Moscow. Back home, he wrote mostly about theatre, mostly in London, for arts and events websites including Londonist and The Pink Paper. He blogged independently at www.johnnyfox.london. He passed away, after a long battle with cancer, in May 2020.

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Johnny Fox
‘Johnny Fox’ studied Theatre at Lancaster University and Journalism at City before realising there was no money in either profession and concentrating instead on interior design for investment banks in Singapore, New York and Moscow. Back home, he wrote mostly about theatre, mostly in London, for arts and events websites including Londonist and The Pink Paper. He blogged independently at www.johnnyfox.london. He passed away, after a long battle with cancer, in May 2020.

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