Home » Reviews » Off West End » Crashed, Lowerwood Court Car Park

Crashed, Lowerwood Court Car Park

by Immercity Theatre Company
Directed by Rosanna Mallinson
★★★

Pros: Another well thought out production by Immercity which provides many of the components for brilliant immersive theatre.

Cons: If you haven’t done the research, I don’t think this works quite so well. If you have done the research, you may feel that what you have looked up isn’t expanded on as much as you’d have hoped.

Our Verdict: Give it a go. Immersive theatre is a popular form of entertainment at the moment and I think this would be particularly good for those new to it.

Courtesy of Immercity Theatre Company

Immercity are pros at what they do. It isn’t just about one evening of entertainment but several weeks of titbits of the story posted on various websites. The most recent production, Crashed, is no exception to this but lacked the depth of previous productions.

An alien spaceship crashed-landed in a car park two weeks ago and Crashed and Co have a temporary laboratory testing on the specimens and UFO itself. Having decided that the site is completely safe and nothing untoward could possibly happen, a tour has been arranged for the public to view the crash site and the findings of the scientists.

The audience are met with various gadgets, retinas are scanned and bags searched for suspicious looking items. Having been separated into groups with the use of coloured string, the groups are then taken around several rooms to view findings and see scientists working. The first inkling you have of something not being quite right is when “Moon Man Max”, a UFO blogger, appears in your group and quickly gets chased away by security. The story gradually unfolds leading to some interesting revelations.

This production didn’t quite hit the spot in the same way that their previous one did. The set was very basic and some of the scientists were not quite so good at ad-libbing when asked questions by the audience. Perhaps there was also too much information online to look at and so people hadn’t researched before hand. When speaking to others, I appeared to be one of the only ones that had done the “homework”. Having done the pre-show research, I wanted more from the characters I had been following. Moon Man Max played by Mischa Resnick is an alien enthusiast and his blog catalogues the goings on over the previous days and weeks both before and after the landing. This culminates with a Tweet stating that he has gone missing just days after his flat is allegedly ransacked by Crashed and Co. This wasn’t used enough for me. I half expected to see him rocking in the corner of the pub pre-show, muttering into his pint and warning people about going next door to the tour. During the production you would never have gained any of the extra information which had been provided online. But for those who had looked it all up, there wasn’t much expansion on it which seemed a shame.

Ultimately however, you get out what you put in, so below are a couple of tips for those people who haven’t been to immersive theatre before, or who have and didn’t get it:

Firstly – Do your research. When booking tickets for Crashed, links to websites are provided. It doesn’t take hours and you don’t have to hunt for it, but it really helps you to understand what is going on. This was proved by the woman who genuinely thought it was an alien crash and after going into two rooms exclaimed, “Oh I get it, it’s an art installation” and then left.

Secondly – Get involved, immerse yourself, that’s the whole point. Ask questions, touch everything even when they tell you not to. Don’t just look at what they are showing you, look around the whole room you never know what you’ll find.

Finally – Suspend your disbelief. These shows rely on the audience. There will be times when the actors can’t answer your questions or something doesn’t quite fit but if you just go with the flow you may be able to overlook some of the minor flaws in the narrative.

This one isn’t going to be for everyone but it is still very much worth going to.

Please feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!

Crashed runs at Lowerwood Court Car park, Notting Hill, London until 27 July 2013. 
Box Office: http://crashed.brownpapertickets.com/

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