Immersive theatre can take many forms – buy a ticket and you might find yourself at Tony and Tina’s Wedding, dressed to the nines at an Italian-American extravaganza embedded with actors who ceaselessly work you in to the family like it’s dinner time at The Olive Garden. Or go to the Vault Festival and go on a date that will challenge your ideals, during Greyscale.
Greyscale, running through March 17th, is immersive, but different in execution and focus to anything we’ve experienced in the theatre. It is refreshingly small in scale – you are in a group of ten – and tight on time coming it at just over 30 minutes.
The premise is simple – tag along on a date and judge for yourself what exactly happened, and who should be feeling what. If you’ve been single for any length of times, you might consider yourself an expert in the subject of judging. Surely we all have sat through the morning after debriefing with friends and flatmates, and we all had plenty to say. Well, imagine if you could actually be a fly on the wall and see the date for yourself?
A voyueuristic walk around Lower Marsh Street
Greyscale gathers the audience/participants outside of the entrance to the Vaults at Waterloo, and a lovely guide asks the ten of you to step out onto the street to begin the “tour”. Stopping a few moments later, she explains the premise: Lucy and James, or one of the nightly rotating couples, have had a date, but each has a different take. Time for you to start your evaluation as you make a few stops at key locations in the night that was.
The offbeat and compellingly contemporary structure of Greyscale gives you a chance to be in the weird position of both judging on hearsay and seeing most things for yourself, and both are open to interpretation. I won’t say anything that spoils the flow of the journey on which you will embark, but shame on you if you don’t feel a bit creepy.
#Metoo, Greyscale and contemporary morals – have a think
Writers Madeline Gould and Joel Samuels and the gang at Anonymous is a Woman (who brought you the fantastic Think of England last year) have created quite the conundrum for their audience. However, after being asked to invest, and come to some sort of personal emotional conclusion, the finale leaves you feeling shorted. Greyscale lured me in enough that I wanted to discuss my thoughts with the other nine voyeurs, but like a date gone wrong, we all slunk off into the London night, not to meet again.
featured photo credit Ali Wright
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A former ABC National, Dallas and Atlanta radio personality, Martina O'Boyle is now making movies and covering culture in London, Dublin, and as far in Europe as the cheapie flights will take her, for Pop Culture Beast.