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Immersive theatre in London

Get involved in ways you never thought possible at these immersive theatre productions

Immersive theatre, interactive theatre, site-specific theatre; call it whatever the hell you like, but London is bursting with plays and performances that defy stuffy conventions to offer you an experience that’s more like a real life adventure than an evening at the theatre. Walk through fantasy landscapes; eat and drink with actors; get chased by the bad guys; help commit a crime – screw virtual reality, you can do all these things and more in the flesh, in London town. Here’s our round up of London theatre’s wild side.

Adventures in Wonderland

A show for kids to accompany the 'Alice's Adventures Underground' immersive show for adults in the Vaults at Waterloo. 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is multi-sensory fun for children aged 5 and up. Theatre company Les Enfants Terribles create the entire weird world of Alice over several rooms underground. Kids have to make choices which determines the way their individual show goes, but the audience come together at the end for a big tea party and play croquet with the Queen of Hearts.  

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The Vaults Until Sunday August 30 2015

Alice's Adventures Underground

A flash of blue and blonde darts by you in a faded looking glass; a red knave bemoans the difficulty of finding just the right rouge for roses; a Queen screams across a tannoy about her missing tarts; a grinning Cheshire cat blinks at you sideways while a white rabbit hurries past looking anxiously at a butter-smeared watch.Welcome to Wonderland. Well actually, welcome to Waterloo, where Les Enfants Terribles’s ‘Alice’s Adventures Underground’ has taken over the Vaults under the station for a summer of wonderful weirdness.

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The Vaults Until Sunday August 30 2015

Doctor Faustus

The crumbling but hauntingly beautiful Abney Park Cemetary in Stoke Newington is the venue for this outdoor version of Chrisopher Marlowe's tale of the man who sells his soul to the devil. It's a promenade performance through the cemetary, directed by Paul Lingham.

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Abney Park Cemetery Until Sunday August 2 2015

Against Captain’s Orders: A Journey into the Uncharted

Critics' choice

Avast! Those of you still trying to work out what the bejesus was going on in Punchdrunk’s cryptic odyssey ‘The Drowned Man’ will be relieved to discover that the latest show from the immersive theatre gurus ventures into calmer waters.There’s a catch, though: ‘Against Captain’s Orders’ is in fact the work of Punchdrunk Enrichment, the company’s learning-centric spin-off, and is running not in a hip abandoned warehouse but the basement of the Greenwich Maritime Museum.

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National Maritime Museum Until Monday August 31 2015

The Generation of Z: Apocalypse

If, like me, you’ve already planned what you’d do in an end-of-the-world scenario (gather together a reliable clan, run from the cities, head to high ground, since you ask), then you too will have high hopes for London’s latest immersive theatre experience.

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Dept W 19 Jul 2015

Heartbreak Hotel

If you go down to the Jetty today you’ll find fortune tellers, magicians and the Heartbreak Hotel reception desk. It’ll probably take you a while to get inside (the hotel management need to work on their organisation skills) and, once you’re inside, you’ll wonder what exactly you’ve paid for

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The Jetty Until Sunday September 27 2015

Styx

It’s a lovely summer’s evening and I’m sat inside a crematorium. A pale-faced chap greets me and hands me an empty urn. We have a very odd conversation and suddenly I am swirling through the underworld. I’ll witness fiery sacrifices, parched dead souls and Persephone wafting through a café.

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Secret London location Until Saturday August 1 2015

dreamthinkspeak: Absent

Competing with Punchdrunk at the very top of the immersive theatre tree, dreamthinkspeak follow up 2013's epic 'In the Beginning was the End' with a two-month-residency in the labyrinthine basement of Shoreditch Town Hall. New show 'Absent' is inspired by the life of the Duchess of Argyll, the disgraced socialite who spent her final years in a hotel before running out of money and dying in penury. Tristan Sharpe's maze-like production imagines the Duchess checking in as a teenager in the '50s and being ejected in the present day.

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Shoreditch Town Hall Monday August 24 2015 - Sunday October 25 2015

You Me Bum Bum Train

'You Me Bum Bum Train' will be back in September 2015. The latest incarnation of the madcap rollercoaster experience that is You Me Bum Bum Train pulls up in London at a hitherto undisclosed location in 2015. The nature of this very popular beast needs to be kept exceptionally quiet so other people's experience isn't spoiled. But suffice to say, you're shoved from experience to experience where you have to take part and transform yourself into anything from a hairdresser to the conductor of an orchestra. There are usually many surprises along this ride and Kate Bond and Morgan Lloyd's creativity, helped by legions of willing, if unpaid, volunteers, is often gobsmacking. NOTE: Times, dates and the venue are all TBC.  

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Venue tbc Tuesday September 1 2015

Utopia

Art, theatre, music mash-up, 'Utopia' is the brainchild of British filmmaker, director and artist Penny Woolcock. She's been given full run of the Roundhouse's main space for 'Utopia', which is an installation created in collaboration with Block9 - regulars in creating crazy fantasy worlds at Glastonbury Festival. Staged in the Roundhouse's main space it takes Thomas More's 16th century book 'Utopia' as it's inspiration and explores inequality, consumerism, housing, gentrification, education and social media. The piece is an uncovering of lives from London, where Woolcock has spent time talking to people from our fair city from many diverse backgrounds. 'Utopia' should be a multi-sensory experience offering intriguing perspectives on inner city life. The stories that make up the show are real ones taken from people across London. Ages 14-plus. Alongside the show there is a series of live lates which include spoken word, cabaret and music events.   

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Roundhouse Tuesday August 4 2015 - Saturday August 22 2015

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