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Immersive theatre in London

Step into immersive theatre worlds with our guide to the best and most boldly interactive London shows

'The Great Gatsby' at Gatsby's Drugstore
'The Great Gatsby' at Gatsby's Drugstore
By Time Out Theatre team |
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Whether you call it immersive theatre, interactive theatre or site-specific theatre, London is bursting with plays and experiences which welcome you into a real life adventure. Pioneered by acclaimed companies such as Punchdrunk, this is theatre that does away with proscenium arches and plushy seats, but beyond that it can take any form, from intimate one-on-one experiences to dazzling virtual reality extravaganzas.

We've dug up some of the best immersive shows in hidden locations across the city. Whether you're after a '20s jazz adventure, a zombie-chasing night of terror, a dinner with a twist, or a mind-blowing night of experimental game theatre, London's got you covered. 

Theatre, Interactive

Gingerline: ‘The Grand Expedition’

icon-location-pin Secret Location, Bow
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Trying to write a review of ‘The Grand Expedition’ might well be a tremendous exercise in point-missing because Gingerline’s immersive dinner theatre show is all about the joyful thrill of surprise…

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The Great Gatsby, Vault Festival
© SR Taylor Photography
Theatre, Off-West End

The Great Gatsby

icon-location-pin Gatsby's Drugstore, The Borough
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'The Great Gatsby' is now London’s longest running immersive theatre show…

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Theatre, Interactive

Swell Mob

icon-location-pin CoLab Factory, The Borough
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Join a dissolute crew of Victorian ne'er do wells at this messy tribute to the world of the 1840s tap room. 'The Swell Mob' mixes pubby atmosphere with a knockabout collection of cabaret acts, puppetry, and clowning, all masterminded by a huge cast decked out in finest Victoriana. It comes to London's CoLab factory after a popular stint at the Edinburgh fringe last year. 

The Murdér Express, 2019
© LAURENCE HOWE
Theatre, Interactive

The Murdér Express: Jewel of the Empire

icon-location-pin Pedley Street Station, Bethnal Green
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The next in line of London’s endless stream of immersive-dining-slash-theatre experiences is ‘The Murdér Express’, from Funicular productions, who’ve done a couple of similar shows at this same address over the last year…

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Theatre, Interactive

Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell

icon-location-pin Coach & Horses, Soho
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Sip a pint and immerse yourself in some sticky-carpeted, gin-scented Soho history with this vintage play, performed in the pub it was written about. Keith Waterhouse's 1989 drama is set in Soho's Coach & Horses, a traditional haunt for journalists, and follows Jeffrey Bernard, a legendarily hard-drinking '80s hack. After getting accidentally locked in, he regales the audience with a series of increasingly rambling real-life anecdotes about illicit cat races, his tumultuous love life, and his struggles with alcoholism - and laments that his beloved Soho is changing.  'Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell' was a huge West End hit in the late '90s, when actor Peter O'Toole made the role his own. This revival is directed by James Hillier, who'll stage it in the Coach & Horses pub, in a production sparked by the growing threat developers pose to Soho's nightlife. Saturday night performances will be followed by late night lock-ins. 

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User Not Found, Dante or Die
© Justin Jones
Theatre, Interactive

User Not Found

icon-location-pin The Coffee Works Project Battersea, Nine Elms
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Dante or Die’s gorgeous site-specific show about grief and digitial afterlives is performed in a cafe…

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Mamma Mia! The Party
© Dewynters
Theatre, Interactive

Mamma Mia! The Party

icon-location-pin The O2, Greenwich Peninsula
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Open run

After spending some time searching around for a venue (it was, ironically, deemed too noisy for Waterloo) Björn Ulvaeus’s immersive experience ‘Mamma Mia! The Party’ has finally found a home…

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Theatre, Interactive

Variant 31

icon-location-pin Space 18, Holborn
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Open run

Sort of midway between the more terrifying end of immersive theatre and one of London’s ubiquitous escape games, ‘Variant 31’ is billed as ‘Europe’s largest immersive survival experience’…

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© Michael Wharley
Theatre, Interactive

The Wolf of Wall Street

icon-location-pin Secret London location, London
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Well you have to admire the chutzpah: the creators of long-running immersive London hit ‘The Great Gatsby’ have followed up with an interactive adptation of Jordan Belfort’s hit memoir ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’…

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