Wednesday 10 August 2016

Review: The Games Afoot: The Interactive Sherlock Holmes Experience

 Move over Cumberbatch there's a new Sherlock in town...

I think we all know by now how much we at Dark Reders love a piece of  interactive theatre.... I love to be taken into another world and have an experience with the performers in such a real and immersive way.

Produced by Les Enfants Terribles, a company that I have now fallen in love with and have the highest esteem for The Game's Afoot is a great take on the classic Sherlock Holmes tales, bringing you into the world and putting you in the title role. There's been a murder (Gasp!) and Sherlock is missing (Gasp gasp - i hope you are gasping along) so you have been enlisted by Scotland Yard to solve the crime. Challenge accepted...if anyone can solve the crime its me! (that's the right attitude to have as a police officer I believe)

I was a little sceptical going into this as I have been with events like this before, because when I think of Madam Tussauds I generally think of the wax statues so I didn't know what to expect from this experience..

You are lead down a staircase, the temperature is dropping and the cobbles are feeling colder and suddenly you're in Victorian London outside 22b Baker Street infamous home of Sherlock Holmes.

So how does one solve a crime...well I've read enough crime books to  know you have to look for clues in everything. Paranoia is the name of the game. Interview the wife, because it's almost always the wife right? Or anyone who has an agenda with our everyone. So that's what I did.

Like any great murder mystery if you've ever been to one, or play Cludo, each section had a set character who you could interact with. They built their stories so well, embodying their characters with such whit and skill. There was even a sharp barb the stupider the question got. I found I was quickly falling into the role of Police officer and trying to be smart. Don't try and be smart, they know and this is a testament to the writing skills of Oliver Lansley and Anthony Spargo, I loved the costumes and the drama that they played out with each other. Victorian soap operas we're so much more exciting! Think Penny Dreadful!

And Samuel Wyer's sets...woof (though I would expect nothing less form this company)! The complete set itself wasn't on such a large scale, more it was like a little maze but each places was beautifully constructed with so much in it that you could explore and interact with. Sherlock's study particularly was resplendent, decked out with artefacts and books from his travels and a working phone that I had an interesting conversation on. There was a lot of thought put in here, the rooms were carefully constructed to create a great feeling of actuality so that could could act within your role not just walk through, so mega 'props' to Aoife Flynn for her prop work.

The one flaw that I has was that time flew by. By the time that I was really getting into it, conspiracy theories raging around my head, in typical Conan Doyle style picking at all the pieces that were left to you trying to find the red herrings, the game was up. S I would have loved a little longer to explore everything in detail, but that's more my compulsive need to live in a world like this and explore everything than a real fault!

This is a great show that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and perfect for the summer holidays, running until September 30th 2016 at Madam Tussades. Tickets can be bought HERE

If the BBC ever need a new Sherlock I am ready and available.


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