Naturalistic fourth-wall dramas are not my usual theatre ticket, neither are kitchen-sink dramas nor the endless reinterpretations of Shakespeare. Immersive populist theatre, with twists, practical dilemmas, physical and mental challenges and a good bit of suspense and horror is.
Crash of the Elysium, by Punchdrunk delivered my favourites on all accounts. You only have to check out the reviews and video testimonials from children and adults where there’s an endless flow of energetic adjectives that come together like some cocophany of amazement.
I eagerly waited in bay 2 – where the audience group of 18 of us sat nervously like we were about to sit an exam. I don’t want to give away the experience of the actual show but all the classic elements of a good Dr Who episode are there, from the thrills, the frights, the risk of failing, the will to save the earth, the Tardis and of course the atmospheric incidental music that is used to highlight the sense of danger or those emotional bits where you feel connect to the flippant-minded Doctor.
The hour’s adventure did leave us all a little exhausted but we all left buzzing wanting more. Punchdrunk had transformed the town’s old car park into a deluge of wonderment, raw adventure and time travel and the wanting of more adventure was persistent as I drove home.
Crash of the Elysium, presented by Punchdrunk with the New Wolsey Theatre runs to 8th July in Ipswich.
For more information on the London 2012 Festival programme, check out:www.london2012.com/festival