Thanks to Brexit and the General Election, the country is teetering on a knife edge. Every week brings massive demonstrations in the heart of our cities and every day, the breakdown in respect for our political overlords and overladies grows. So what happens if things go to the extreme and the people really do say ‘enough is enough’? This is the starting point for Exit Productions immersive and interactive presentation Revolution.
Revolution has occurred. The people have risen up and thrown off the yoke of their political system leaving a potential power vacuum in the heart of London. At a secret location, different factions that control various parts of the capital are drawn together – despite their many differences – to decide the fate of the city and maybe the country.
And that’s really all I can tell you about the production. Being truly immersive, Revolution is something you experience rather than observe. As you would expect with interactive theatre, Revolution is going to be unique to each player but, unlike a lot of these productions, there is no obvious storyline to follow. Each faction member has the ability and the impetus to contribute in a tangible way to making the experience their own. Exit Productions and Director Joe Ball have worked with acclaimed games and interactive media designer Kai Oliver to produce an evening where you have to think in so many ways – strategically, militarily, diplomatically, politically – to not only conquer but, unlike certain current politicians, to win the hearts and minds of the populace – no easy feat I can tell you.
Revolution is a very well put together event combining many different elements to make it more than just interactive theatre and produce a great overall experience. The graphics are nicely done and – even if you aren’t a gaming type of person – make sense. Working in corners in a dirty old basement adds a nice conspiratorial air to the proceedings, especially when trying to deal with other factions. Personally, I would have liked to see armbands or something similar as a way of identifying the factions and providing a visual link for the members. Other than that minor point, the show was excellent. Guided by Jo, Peter Dewhurst and Lauren Gibson, there was so much to occupy each and every participant, that the roughly 90 minutes went by amazingly fast and I could easily have stayed a while longer.
Thinking about the experience afterwards, I came to the conclusion that companies should forget psychometric testing, Myers-Briggs, etc and send employees to live the Revolution. It’s amazing what you discover about yourself. I came away realising I am way more competitive than I thought I was, really dislike losing and can be a little dictatorial in my dealings with people. I also realised I’m actually not bad at thinking on my feet, a reasonable public speaker and could possibly get a job in Marketing or PR. More importantly, as I headed out into the real world, I knew I had just experienced a thoroughly great evening which I had enjoyed from start to finish and as interactive/immersive experiences go, Revolution ranks as one of the best.
Review by Terry Eastham
We the people have had enough.
We the people will no longer be lied to.
We the people believe it is time for Revolution.
London is in full Revolution. You are the only one that can save us. Revolution is an event like no other. This experience brings together gaming and interactive theatre and casts the audience as leaders of factions in a civil war. We ask you to decide the fate of a Revolution. What would you fight for?
Exit Productions draws inspiration from games like Risk, Diplomacy, Settlers of Catan and Real World Events and asks players to come together to make important moral and tactical decisions which determine the shape of the experience. Could you be the one that takes control or will you fail the Revolution?
Age guidance: 18+
Running time: 90 minutes, no interval
Secret location in SE1 Central London
5th – 22 nd July (Wednesday to Saturday), 6pm & 8pm
74 Long Lane,
London, SE1 4AU
Created by Exit Theatre
Directed by Joe Ball
Performed by Peter Dewhurst and Lauren Gibson
Visuals by Brendan O’Rourke
Website – https://www.exitproductionsltd.com/
Twitter – @exitprodu