Monument

Theatre, Outdoor theatres
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(34user reviews)
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Monument
'Monument'

See London with fresh eyes with this gloriously weird outdoor show

'Monument' has been renamed 'Wiretapper'.

By: Daisy Bowie-Sell

Posted:

Event website: http://wiretapper.co.uk/
To improve this listing email: feedback@timeout.com

Average User Rating

3.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:9
  • 4 star:11
  • 3 star:9
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:2
LiveReviews|34
1 person listening
1 of 1 found helpful

It's not often I can genuinely say I've had a unique experience and seen something truly new - This week I got to use my Apple watch to pay for a coffee in my local coffee shop and then last night I was involved in a mass aural promenade theatre event. When I first arrived at our location I wasn't aware who was audience or who were regular londoners going about their everyday lives. The App kicked in and immediately I started to question what was real and what wasn't. It was only when we were instructed to head to a second destination that it became apparent that there were about 150 other people taking part in this experience. The show makes you question yourselves in a really interesting way and there are so many moments throughout the hour that are just magical. Yes there isnt much of a story but thats not what it's about. This is about the experience itself and you wont have experienced anything like it. GO GO GO

1 of 1 found helpful

The general concept of this event was brilliant, moving through the streets of London as a loosely connected crowd was exciting and novel however I just felt like there was no storyline or character development, the last 15 minutes felt a bit pointless and the ending was a massive anticlimax. Far more impressive were the sound effects and novelty factor so worth a go for that and quite entertaining in parts of the weather is nice.

1 of 1 found helpful
Tastemaker

Moments in this were pure genius & it's a great concept which will I'm sure be adapted & honed over time. At times witty, exciting, bizarre & genuinely unnerving. The opening 10 minutes were a highlight & we felt like mission impossible agents rushing to the next secret rendezvous. Some very clever & impeccably timed moments like the plane passing overhead. My only complaint would be lack of coherent narrative- it changed tack 2/3 through from being mystery thriller type storyline to comedy (didn't like actors talking as if in reality) & the ending felt abrupt & as if the writers ran out of ideas. It's intriguing & made for an entertaining hour on a lovely summers evening.

Remember look inconspicuous!

Tastemaker

I'm a big fan of immersive theatre, and this was certainly a bit different from the norm in using a public space setting. The start was great and exciting and the whole concept was fresh and quite clever and there were lots of good moments. While the storyline was ok this was not a strong point which was a shame as I felt they missed a trick here as with the novelty of the show concept it could have made this really special. The show highlighted that there is real potential for shows of this type and I'm looking forward to what comes next. 

Tastemaker

The sound effects are the outstanding feature of this production, so perfectly timed and realistic that it confuses you! Be sure to take a really good pair of noise cancelling headphones to fully immerse yourself. When setting out, you are swept up in the thrill of the mission, the anticipation of getting to the next location and scoping who else was taking part with you.

Unfortunately, beyond that it falls a little bit flat for me. There was no linear story, there were introductions of irrelevant aspects and characters (terrorist & sniper), other audience members were supposed “allies” but this lead nowhere and there was no interaction with anyone else. It didn’t know what it wanted to be whether a thriller, mystery, drama or comedy. It’s a fantastic and unique idea, just not executed as well as it could’ve been. I’d give it a look though, can’t go wrong for a tenner and you get to see a part of London that maybe you would’ve neglected to see before!

Tastemaker

There is something pretty cool about being part of the crowd in monument when the tourists/londoners around you have no idea what's going on. The concept behind monument is interesting, fun and unique.  However, the execution of this was only really immersive at 1 point throughout the play and for the rest of it just required you to stand and listen.  I wondered if I might have been able to do that from a coffeeshop or at home?  The storyline and characters felt a bit boring after a while and I was tempted to not move on to the second scene.  It's worth it to see something new, but keep in mind that it does drag on a bit.


Didn't know what to expect when I experienced "Monument" the software is easy to use and appeals to the romantic notion that you are witnessing something rather unique. I love the secrecy element too.. rather Mission impossible!  I went with a hand full of friends and we all found something different from it. Well worth the ticket price. Go and go soon!!!

tastemakerTastemaker

I've never experienced something like this before - it kind of reminded me of one of those choose-your-own-adventure books, with the exception that someone else was choosing your adventure for you. I loved the secrecy of it; the app recording at the beginning was fantastic and set the tone for the whole event. It was pretty cool to feel like you were in an exclusive club in the middle of central London with the world around you! Granted, there wasn't too much of a plot/storyline to follow, but it didn't bother me until the ending, which left me with questions. I suppose that was beside the point - it was all about the experience. I definitely recommend it as a little something different in the middle of the bustling West End theatre world.

Tastemaker

A very interesting and exciting event. Difficult to say too much without giving anything away but definitely worth the money. As others have said the ending is a bit of an anti-climax and there isn't a huge amount of story to it but it's not really important.. it's all about the experience and makes you question what is real!

Tastemaker

Despite having technical issues with the app, I really enjoyed this immersive experience. I've missed the first 10/15 minutes of the show as I had to reboot many times the app to be able to play the audio instructions. My friend's audio was playing perfectly so I could quickly follow while trying to make it work. I had this double experience of being part of the show and not being part of it as any passerby wondering what was going on. The Wiretapper app has a great potential and it could be developed further to include more the listening audience. Maybe because I jumped late into to story, I found it a bit unstructured and the ending was a bit abrupt. But I really like being part of a plot, wondering who is an actor who is not, and just looking at the passerby's expressions. 

Tastemaker

'Monument' is much more traditional than it seems. English theatre began with medieval performances on carts in town squares and streets, and the audience moved around to watch the action. So watching this production while moving around outdoors in London (albeit on very famous squares and streets) takes drama back to its origins. Having the play delivered aurally by app is new, and rather than being gimmicky it actually works very well. 


The fun of this production is watching ordinary tourists, oblivious to the performance in front of them, become accidentally or deliberately integrated into the action as the actors move around the squares and streets. The story rather unsuccessfully blends myths of the American west with cold war paranoia, but the actors do their best to make audience members feel that they are part of a secret story. The ending of the performance did scare the wits out of passersby who seemed to think something disastrous had actually happened (and they seemed to want to intervene, which is reassuring in a huge, isolating city). Being an official audience member here means that you become part of the often absurd action, at least to passersby, so that you're part of a play within a play. For further productions, a more ambitious and coherent plot and narration would be very welcome indeed, but you'll never think of street theatre the same way again with this production.

Tastemaker

Didn't really know what to expect beforehand so I was equipped with an open, slightly suspicious mind. As the app notified me the show would start in five minutes, I got all excited. You could spot all the fellow-participants at the otherwise busy Charing Cross station. I went through several emotions during the hour: giggly uncontrollable lolling, excitement, confusion, boredom and some more confusion. The characters were interesting but the storyline didn't really work. The sound effects save the whole shebang, creating a whole different world around the listener. The most entertaining part was definitely watching people watching us watching into the emptiness. Fun but nothing I'd necessarily recommend to my friends. If you go, wear a big woolen sweater!


A different and highly recommended theatre experience. You don't really need to fully understand the story to appreciate it. The Wiretapper app worked well and the audio is extremely clever and you soon forget what is real and what is not. Great fun to see the bemused look on the bystanders faces. Do go and see- great entertainment for a very reasonable cost.

Tastemaker

So I think the first thing any person wants to know when they hear the term "immersive theatre" is: "Am I going to have to participate?" And it will relieve you to hear, that the answer to that is "NO" (if it doesn't relieve you to hear this then you're clearly destined to have more fun at You Me Bum Bum Train). 

Conceptually, Monument is interesting and raises lots of potential for other productions to use creative sound design for an alternative theatre experience. If you saw Sadler's Wells' Electric Hotel production in 2010 which was held behind King's Cross, it used a similar conceit of plunging you into a world through the use of sound (both Monument and Electric Hotel had Ben and Max Ringham involved). Where Electric Hotel captivated with it's spooky atmospheric sound and the intertwining storylines of all the inhabitants of the Electric Hotel, Monument meanders more experimentally. Don't think of it as narrative theatre and you'll be delighted, it'll make you experience your surroundings in a different and surprising way. 

Tastemaker

Not for the paranoid, easily spooked, or near sighted.


I saw this yesterday and really enjoyed it - without understanding a second of it! Really original use of the technology that most theatres are so averse to. You're dropped deep in to a conspiracy and you have no choice in the matter, your only allies are the rest of the participants (who are just as confuzzled as you are), a dude in a green tracksuit, a lady in blue who changes identity more times that James Bond and Dr Who combined, and a cowgirl. Not of course forgetting the clown.


It's definitely worth going just to have all the confused tourists looking at you in Trafalgar Square - I can only imagine what they must think of Londoners now. I was asked by a French man what was happening and I didn't answer, cause I thought he was part of the play - you're suppose to watch without watching, and ignore the actors, you see.


But the whole thing comes to a bit of an abrupt end. And the ending happens a far way away from where you're left.I had forgotten my glasses so not only was I shocked at the whole thing ending without warning but also that it did so it a bit hazy blur of blue, green, and pink!


I can't however, hold my lack of eye-wear against it.

I highly recommend it!

Tastemaker

Monument was a very interesting experience. The event started at Charing Cross Rail Station and moved to a couple of other places nearby – I don’t want to give it all away. I can really recommend it! It’s such an interesting venue for a performance – the audience is dispersed among the regular crowds around places like Trafalgar Square. The actors are very visible though, and there’s an element of tension and unpredictability as everything is happening in an outdoor environment which the actors don’t have complete control over. The sound quality in my in-ear headphones was good and I felt able to suspend my disbelief – I felt simultaneously that I was still in London in a familiar place but also slightly out of London in another time or place. It was an interesting and weird sensation. The performers did weave a narrative, but it was mostly implied, allowing the audience to draw their own conclusions. There was the odd puzzled look from passers-by. The actors blended in effectively enough that some bystanders walked in front of and among the actors without realising. Still, I never felt that my view was blocked by random tourists. My friend and I tried to figure out afterwards which of the people were extras in the show and which were innocent onlookers. I see endless possibilities with this type of interactive theatre, especially in London! Fascinating!

Tastemaker

I won't go into too many details here as I don't wish to spoil things, but for a tenner, this is definitely worth a listen and a look just for the novelty factor. I only really came away with the thought 'that's clever' as the story didn't really make much sense to me, but there were moments of genuine amazement as we were led from the starting location to a central location London as part of what could have looked a bit like a flash mob. Merging reality and fantasy, the show definitely transcended normal theatre and what was also amusing was seeing the reactions of people who weren't plugged into Wiretapper wondering what the hell was going on when a clown ran through the square. We, of course, knew better as we had the narrative directly in our ears. Monument is a fantastic feat of audio engineering and the acting was seamlessly in time. Go, if only for a genuinely different experience.

Tastemaker

Huge Potential.

The wiretapper app, the intimacy of the hearing the sound through headphones even though you are in a public space and the idea of a play playing out on the streets of London are all fantastic.

This show does not realise that huge potential. There are moments of brilliance and I suspect that there is a great future for this form of entertainment. There was no real story, no characters that were developed enough for you to care about and the ending was an anti-climax.

There was enough in this play to make you realise that when it is done well, it will be something amazing, but I'd probably recommend that you wait until their next production.

#TOTastemaker


Potentially this could have been brilliant but unfortunately it disappointed. The idea is very original but this show could have been much more intelligent and creative. I went away feeling completely ripped off. What exactly did I just pay for? And how can the people behind this show justify taking £11.50 from people as apart from a few actors that don't really do much, and recording an audio track, they haven't paid for anything! Probably the best money making gimmick ever invented and I only wish I'd thought of it first! For the same money do yourself a favour and go see the Heartbreak Hotel. 

Tastemaker

All in all ‘Monument’ is theatre. It’s a slightly weird experience that belongs to the world of modern plays. Following different narratives in a slightly incoherent order, sometimes comical sometimes dramatic, it leaves you intrigued and a bit confused.

But there’s a unique charm in being there and experiencing something while other passers by get on with their day. Surrounded by the unaware tourists and busy commuters around, you slow down and learn to appreciate London again. A spark of creativity in a chaotic city.


 WOW. I can honestly say I've never experienced anything like this before. The sound quality was exceptional and the sense of being 'other' in both form and content really changed my perspective on both immersive theatre and the city around me. It's worth it just for the looks on the faces of the general public! I'm excited for the future of Wiretapper as a platform - so much potential. I feel like I'll be able to look back in years to come and say, "I was there for the very first one!"


Do not want to give too much away as that, the suprise, is some of the beauty of this production – but what I can say is – that from the first minute, my heart was pounding. I experienced –Heard? Saw?Listened? To London in a refreshingly new dimension due to the fusion of both the Wiretapper app and Shunt’s theatrical composition.

The show keeps you on your toes – literally, as you pass through what might even be someone’s normal commute (the set is London itself!), but is then reimagined. Reimagined is a good word to describe the piece – the normative and the beautiful in London is experienced in a new way.

An awesome piece of experiential theatre – Shunt along with the Wiretapper app once again blur the lines between spectator and performer to an inspiring degree! Rad!

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I really REALLY enjoyed the whole experience. The first 15 minutes I had my heart in my mouth and was genuinely nervous that we would be discovered! The composers / sound designers have done an amazing job of the show and it is worth going just for that! Clever idea and personally i liked that the idea and basic storyline just flowed from one idea to another without needing to tidy everything up at the end. Just like real life! I highly recommend it to everyone who lives in London! “Try to look inconspicuous”


Amazing! Such a clever idea and I LOVED THE SECREY of it all. 'just run away...' 

Tastemaker

I really enjoyed this 'show', I think it's one of these things you only get in London. I don't want to give away too much, as not knowing what is going on, is part of the fun and excitement.

The sound effects were great and really realistic and I absolutely love the concept. The actors were okay, but what this is really lacking is a story line...

I'd still recommend this though, as it was good fun!


Be aware that if the technical system doesn't work on the night there's no one to help you. My audio instructions did not download properly and despite three emails requesting help I got a reply one and a half hours after the event had finished. Left high and dry. Not impressed.


What a waste of money....

They had such a nice idea but they did nothing with it. No plot! Disappointing end!


Monument was a really unique experience. It's hard not to ruin it - the appeal is all in the specifics, but knowing the specifics beforehand would spoil the surprises in store. All you need to know about this one is that you're in a real-world environment, witnessing...stuff. The glue that holds it all together is audio delivered via smartphone app, and it's brilliantly executed. The sound is amazing, and they do a great job of setting the scene. What held it back from being really good or great to me was the dramatic content, which is basically non-existent. There are a lot of concepts thrown at you, but it's not cohesive, or to any particular end. If the novelty alone is enough to get you curious though, it's definitely worth checking out.

Staff Writer

This immersive audio experience was truly unique and thoroughly enjoyable. You feel like you are having an experience on your own and with others at the same time. It makes you feel like a spy in the city on a covert mission, being told to move about and act natural whilst you are watching a scene play out in front of you that the many other people around have no idea about. It feels special and somehow like you are in a secret club playing around in the incredible city you already love. The sound quality is top notch, the dialogue often very funny and creates those moments when you are laughing out loud or find yourself sharing a wry smile with a stranger who has obviously just found the same part of the story amusing. The hour I spent being sent to different locations in London at sunset made me fall a bit more for the city and by the end of it I felt like I had been a  part of something new, exciting and special. It was also a lovely change to experience something theatrical without being shut in a stuffy theatre for two hours or more. 


We enjoyed it. Given a public place and a time to meet with instructions to download an app on to your smartphone, we spent the 10 minute countdown to 'show start' trying to suss out who else was here for the performance and who was just hanging around with headphones on. It only becomes apparent who's in on it, when you're told to move on to another location and suddenly half the crowd turn and walk as one, in one direction. And that's the pleasure of it – it's a bit flash-mobby. So those on the 'outside', just members of the public, quickly become aware something's going on, but what? Some of the reactions are excellent. The story's not much, the audio is excellent and clever one-liners and sound effects keep you interested and amused. It lasts 50 minutes in total and you spend another 10 minutes after that coming back to reality. Go, go, go – what else you gonna do?


Staff Writer

After 15 years of having a mobile phone, this is possible the best experiences I've ever had with one. The audio is incredible. There were times I honestly didn't know if things were happening in real life or via the app. The plot isn't the strongest. In fact, it's the weakest element in my opinion but it still didn't impact my enjoyment of the show itself. To be honest, this whole show is about the experience and the observations you make of the world around you so you could quite easily ignore the story altogether and focus on the crowd reacting to those participants of the show and the little details and moments they've created for your enjoyment.


Basically, there's nothing I can say without ruining it so all I can do is encourage you to go and try it yourself.

Staff Writer

What a brilliant idea and a fantastic experience. I think that this should be experienced at least once but with that said I will more than likely go again. I truly believe that the experience will be different each time. 


I found that the storyline or lack of it was a little broken, however there were so many brilliant aspects to this show/experience/performance that is brilliant. To begin you will need to download the Wiretapper App in advance, once your ticket is brought add in your code and be ready for alerts on the day. I can't say where we started or where we ended up but on the day you put in your headphones and simply listen, wonder and watch. The sound effects are incredible- I actually had no real knowledge of what was real and what was in my ear, I kept looking over my shoulder to find that there was no one there. This show/experience had me wondering throughout who is involved? who is real? what is real? what is not?...you get the drift. People's reactions to the performers and to us (the audience) with our headphones was also a part of the experience and brilliant to witness. 


Such an original idea, in this modem world of technology Wiretapper is one step ahead. 


I went not knowing what to expect and really enjoyed this piece of "immersive theatre". I've seen Shunt productions before and enjoyed how they draw you into their altered reality. This time they subtly insinuate into ours, gently encouraging us to question what is really happening in a very public place which we all think we know. Nuanced sound design. Funny too. I walked away feeling like the theatre continues... 


Monument kicks off with a totally inspired opening sequence and then continues to confound as we are transported around sites in Central London. Soon enough you begin to wonder who, like you, is watching (only those with over ear headphones are clearly audience), and who is performing - members of the public become unknowing members of the cast (those that understand they are unwittingly a part of something going on get the bigger parts.) Brilliant concept wonderfully played out. It felt exciting to be part of something genuinely new.