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Posts Tagged ‘Tunnel 228’

This is the inaugural production (if you don’t count Punchdrunk’s secret and impossible to get into Tunnel 228) in the Old Vic Tunnels under Waterloo Station. The space is extraordinarily and makes the London Bridge equivalent seem like a plush theatre! If you go there, however many layers of clothing you plan to wear add another one or two; it’s very damp and seems colder than it is outside.

It’s a promenade production and for once you don’t feel herded by marshalls destroying the effect. Twelve people are detained for reasons we (and they) don’t really understand. Supplies had been sent down but have now dried up. There is no way out. Two factions have learned to co-exist until they clash over a seemingly useless answer phone.

Though overlong at 1 hour 45 mins, it held my attention and even though the story is not explicit, that didn’t seem to matter. I’m not sure it always worked when it steered into ‘movement’ accompanied by music though. There is a sound scape, in addition to the relentless thunder of trains above your head which make the tunnels themselves vibrate, which is key to the production. There are some fine performances, particularly from Christopher Tajah.

If you prepare for the discomfort, the atmosphere of the venue adds much to the experience. This is a very welcome space for experimental work and a very creditable first shot. Well done Delirium and well done Old Vic!

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