The Owls Are Not What They Seem

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4 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

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 out of 5 stars