29th March – 15th April 2018
Directed by Zoe Flint
Written by Paul King
Hidden Figures: WW2 is billed as a WW2 immersive experience at CoLab Factory, the only London venue specializing in Immersive Adventures. Having been a theatregoer for 20 years, I have never been to an immersive theatrical experience. This. Did. Not. Disappoint.
We arrived at the carpet factory in Borough and gained entry through coded conversation.
From the moment we arrived, we were in the world of WW2. From the themed bar, to the characters that greeted us. We were put into a small group of strangers and navigated our way through the maze that had been created. Each of us was given a character to take on, so as we met several different WW2 real life characters, solving puzzles together, we found out more and more about ourselves and them.
Also there is alcohol involved in this production. As theatrebox readers should know by now, you always receive bonus points from me if your play features gin. Which it did. Huzzah!
Every character we met was very different and entirely real. Every room we entered, the atmosphere changed. Every puzzle or interaction with a character was so beautifully and cleverly crafted. I could have spent hours down in that maze. This production excited and enthralled me throughout.
Without giving too much away, what was really fantastic about this, was discovering more about our characters and the truth behind all of these people.
My one issue with this production would be that although they executed very well the light and dark of WW2 and made it rip-roaringly fun; for my taste, I feel like they could have embraced the dark a bit more. Those moments of pain and truth could have been elevated, so much like a Martin McDonagh play, we could have been punched in the gut with the reality of this horrendous time.
This production is a production for every type of Londoner. The theatregoer, the non theatregoer, the historian, the partygoer, the clubber, the logistics specialist, the city boy etc etc..
This is exactly the production to bring more people and interest more people in diversity and difference in story telling and theatre.
I’ve been seduced into immersive experiences, and am now planning my next one and I’m sure this will seduce you too.
So grab a friend NOW, book your ticket and prepare yourself for a truly special evening.