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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.

Vixen

Silent Opera is back with an immersive show inspired by the world of Janácek’s 'Cunning Little Vixen'. Performed in English, it'll tell the story of Vixen, a young girl lost in London's streets. Silent Opera's approach gives the audience headphones, which will let them hear a full orchestral soundscape alongside live performances from opera singers. 'Vixen' is hosted by the Vaults, and supported by the ENO.

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The Vaults Theatre , Waterloo Until Saturday June 10 2017

Death Of The King - An Immersive Punk Murder Mystery

Rusty disappeared from his derelict squat at the height of the punk movement. Now, 33 years on, it's time to find out the truth about what happened to him. This immersive show by ImmerCity is an intense murder mystery that takes audiences into London's grimy punk past.

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CoLab Factory , The Borough Until Sunday June 4 2017

Alice's Adventures Underground

‘We’re all mad here’, says a grinning purple Cheshire cat. He’s not wrong. I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole and it is absolutely bonkers. Well, technically I’m in the Vaults in Waterloo, but it feels like another world. After a sell-out run in 2015, Les Enfants Terribles and ebp’s ‘Alice’s Adventures Underground’ has returned to the Vaults for more immersive adventures. 

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The Vaults , Waterloo Until Saturday September 23 2017
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Adventures in Wonderland

This companion show to 'Alice's Adventures Underground' is tons of 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 , Waterloo Until Sunday September 3 2017

Whitechapel: Suspects, Lunatics And A Leather Apron

Stalk the streets of Victorian Whitechapel in this immersive adventure based on Jack the Ripper's reign of terror. 'Whitechapel: Suspects, Lunatics and a Leather Apron' plunges you into the fear and hysteria of 1888 by dividing its audience into police, vigilantes, and impoverished locals - sip a gin, confess your sins or meet some fearsome new friends.

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Sidney Street , Stepney Until Saturday June 24 2017

The Great Gatsby

Who wouldn’t want to have a drink with Jay Gatsby? He’s charming and mysterious, and throws one hell of a party. The man is a hoot! But if you’re hoping to get intimate with F Scott Fitzgerald’s romantic hero – to really get stuck into his beautiful enveloping novel – then this immersive pastiche isn’t for you. This is a chance to get pissed with Gatsby and friends, but don’t expect any late night revelations. Event company The Guild of Misrule have past form with immersive nights and it all feels polished and professional. And Alexander Wright’s show moves fluidly enough, as the cast subtly shepherd us from one play space to the next: a large dance area (Charleston anyone?), a pretty but pricey bar (who’s up for a £160 bottle of champers?) and a few smaller spaces for slightly more intimate encounters. It’s all quite jolly, but the scenes – largely plucked directly from the novel – make little impact. Nick Carraway (Daniel Dingsdale) crawls over the bar and recites some of Fitzgerald’s most haunting prose, but no one’s really listening. Gatsby (Oliver Tilney, charmer) and Daisy (Amie Burns Walker) finally reunite, but we couldn’t give a fig. Poor Myrtle is killed, Tom spurned and Nick seduced but none of the moments – clipped and context-free – feel meaningful. There’s none of the desperate heat, heart, longing and loneliness that swirls through Fitzgerald’s novel. A centrepiece of this year’s Vault Festival, the venue has been draped in gold tinsel and enthusiastically s

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Secret London location , London Tuesday July 4 2017 - Sunday July 30 2017

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.The show is one of several Alices tumbling down rabbit holes in the year of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Caroll's ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’, but uniquely it removes our heroine pretty much entirely from the frame. Instead it places the audience centre stage. It is you who falls down the rabbit hole and decides which direction your adventure will take; will you ‘Eat me’ or ‘Drink me’?Alice’s absence is felt, but not for long. It’s just much too much fun exploring this strange new world. Samuel Wyer has created a labyrinth of topsy-turvey nurseries, chequered corridors, smoky fabric yurts, stately throne rooms and a Victorian greenhouse, which hosts a tea party so wackily hipster it wouldn’t look out of place in Cereal Killer Café.It’s pretty impressive, even for a city knee-deep in immersive experiences. What works so well is the marriage of company and subject; Wyer’s design is immensely detailed but it is enticing because every

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The Vaults , Waterloo Until Saturday September 23 2017
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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 , Waterloo Until Sunday September 3 2017

Hair

After hugely popular takes on 'Alice's Adventures Underground' and 'The Great Gatsby', The Vaults is letting its hair down with this immersive version of the hippie classic. 1967 musical 'Hair' is a story of free love in the Age of Aquarius, best known for its hit song 'Let the Sunshine In' and a nude curtain call. Hope Mill Theatre’s production of 'Hair' celebrates the musical's 50th anniversary with a young cast and plenty of interactive hippie fun: '60s pop-up dining, beat poetry, stalls selling tie-dye clothes and flower head-dresses, and themed (but hopefully legal) refreshments.  

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The Vaults , Waterloo Wednesday October 4 2017 - Sunday December 3 2017

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