An immersive, site-specific theatrical experience taking place in an abandoned air-raid shelter behind Tate Modern. Young theatre company Meet Alice and Iranian director Cyrus G Seif spin a tale about gender, race and class. Part of this year's Bankside-based MERGE festival.
The Second Word from the Story of the Cage
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I think Lauren below summed it up very well! However I would also add that when my friend said she needed to leave as she felt she might have a bit of a panic attack being in the pitch black, enclosed space the first actor we asked to lead us out refused to step out of character and help us - therefore showing the company not only lacked artistic ability but also common sense and decent risk assessments/health and safety planning. The worst bit of theatre I've seen for many years. And an unforgivable waste of such an amazing space (the air raid shelter itself was fascinating!!!)
Whilst standing in the queue last night anticipating what could be a terrific production by Meet Alice, the weather in London was cold and wet. Gradually getting closer to the front of the queue half an hour later, I was brought up to the gate: asked my name, asked for my index finger (as they needed to measure it) and then asked if 'I believed in love'. After answering the question I went in the gate to meet a lady with one pen and 50 disclaimer sheets that each audience member was to sign. When we arrived on the other side of the fence we had to wait for another 30 minutes for the rest of the queue to make their way through what seemed to be a long and gruelling queuing process for no reason. As we all huddled together in the rain the show began. The actress spoke lines in a Polish accent making grammatical errors and going off on a tangent every five minutes. Hence we were standing the rain for an hour and a half. When the actors approached us eventually with an assigned group each our leader asked me to switch off her head torch as she was incapable of performing the task and the proceeded to walk us slowly in the rain to the air raid shelter. When we got into the air raid shelter, there were no lights, no directions and what smelt like damp and mold (as you would expect in such a historical spectale). We were lead down a path in the shelter and 20 minutes later we were still standing there as our leader has disappeared. With no light, still wet and presented with a performance that echoed something similar to As level drama, I turned my iPhone torch on and made a quick escape to find 15 others standing outside having left also. With such a promising space, unfortunately this fledgling work offered nothing new in terms of site-specific theatre and was frankly a waste of one of the best buildings I have ever visited in London. If anything, it is worth staying just to see the shelter but don't expect a good performance, you will be heavily disappointed.