The Owls Are Not What They Seem

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4 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
 (© Travis Hodges)
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© Travis Hodges

This autumn you're invited to a dinner party in Twin Peaks, where coffee is not coffee, doctors are not doctors and owls are definitely not what they seem. If you like your meals served with a side of drama then pull up a chair, because the latest creation from immersive event experts Lemonade & Laughing Gas is based on David Lynch's '90s television series about a murder in a small Pacific North-West logging town. The cult classic celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary this year and its devoted fans have a third series to look forward to in 2016, but that this event is timely is only an added bonus – the show's otherworldly setting, beguiling atmosphere and menacing mystery mean this immersive experience goes down as easy as cherry pie.

'The Owls Are Not What They Seem' (as the event's named, after one of the show's famous lines) drops you into a world of intriguing characters and striking scenes which are both familiar and unexpected. Diner owner Norma Jennings welcomes you with a cup of 'coffee' (actually a cocktail), dreamy teen Audrey Horne loiters flirtily at the bar and as dinner is served your evening of investigations, secret encounters and private missions becomes more and more bizarre. You need to explore every last corner of the building. From a tiki-themed caravan to the ethereal Red Room, the places you'll find are sometimes unsettling, often haunting and always, well, Lynchian. No idea why there would be '60s girl groups on the jukebox or why there's a lady carrying a log? Don't worry about it – as long as youíre prepared to get sucked into the surreal you'll have a magical and memorable time (though a little pre-event swotting up will at least explain some of the weirdness).

Don't expect this murder mystery to come to any conclusion – there is an FBI agent present but he seems to have weirder things to worry about than a dead girl. Suffice to say there's something very, very strange in these old woods. Ashleigh Arnott

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4 / 5

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Tastemaker

The Owls Are Not What They Seem is good fun! I am a massive Twin peaks fan and I was chomping at the bit to come to this as soon as I heard about it. Me and my chums went for a night at the bar,which was a mere £6 a ticket. You get your six quids worth,entering the venue straight into the red room and then the bar suitably TPeaksey. The only thing was they had hardly any staff at the bar and we had to wait for around 20 mins to get served and the cocktails were a bit crap. Although very fun surroundings and I especially liked Laura Palmer's room leading to the morgue...spooky! Again I have to go on a negative,we were encouraged to go and do a Lynchian dance on the stage area and merge with other people at the bar into a happening. Well,I needed to be drunk to do that,I was an hour into my night and barely had one drink.....also the selection of booze was limited which meant,if I didn't want a cocktail,I had a bit of naff white or red or beer. 


Also we were told there was going to be a show or performance. It was midweek and we were not drunk and we were asking the staff when the show would be and we kept on being told soon......it was at around 11.30 and was basically the end bit for the diners,which was fine,but I wanted to be told seeing as the atmosphere in the bar was pretty stagnant by around 10 ish. 


I had fun and me and my chums had a good giggle. I wouldn't recommend the bar unless you are at least a bit merry,it's up to you and your chums to make it the Twin Peaks night you desire. Also probably go on a weekend!


Totally go but do be prepared for a sort of anticlimactic night

Tastemaker

A must for Twin Peaks fans, and a good reminder for anyone who has no clue what Twin Peaks is to watch Twin Peaks. Especially if you're a fan of 60s music, coffee, Americana or all of the above. Like all good immersive theatre there is plenty of rooms to explore and hidden Easter eggs when you do. Go all out as dress up as a diner waitress, character or 90s small town civilian, this is a world worth immersing yourself into!