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A House Repeated by Seth Kriebel at Battersea Arts Centre – Review

A House RepeatedIf there is one place you could be on a cold and dark October evening, it is most definitely to find yourself among new sudden friends, laughing and discussing something wonderful and yet slightly haunting.

A House Repeated, originating from Seth Kriebel’s imagination, is pleasantly presented and is like no other theatrical performance I have been to.

What Kriebel has written is no regular play script, but a mere outline to which we are allowed to create around. And who doesn’t want a chance to create something new and in the moment? Although unallocated seating, the stage is set traverse, allowing each side of the audience to become a team. This brilliantly creative piece means you are thrown into this virtual world, and through the help of Kriebel himself, and a pleasantly warm Zoe Bouras, you are given the chance to explore for yourself.

Through simple choices provided, each team works together to discover and uncover the mysteries that lie beyond. There is a definite fairytale and almost magical feel to the descriptions given throughout, creating chances for minds to run free. It is a refreshing atmosphere, and I believe that may come with the simplicity of not once having to leave the comfort of your seat. The relaxed nature of this set-up means the team effort needed to drive this piece forward is easily found.

Had this production been staged as a site-specific piece, I wonder whether it would have worked as well. Being given the same choices but physically walking around the building, I dare say, would have left your teammates less willing to speak up and discuss the options before you. Kriebel’s performance is practiced and professional, allowing this gaming inspired piece to work. However, the balance of Bouras’s more relaxed approach helps make the text trustworthy and therefore have you wholly believing in the process. You will certainly want to explore and create, and this is a wonderful opportunity for non-theatre-goers to relax and experience something brilliant.

A House Repeated is an extremely fun and stimulating piece of work, with its simplicity completely making the experience work. This is a production that could only possibly leave you wondering, laughing and absolutely wanting more

4 stars

Review by Amy Spinks

Inspired by early text-based computer games of the 70s and 80s, A House Repeated pits two audience teams against one another to unlock the secrets of Battersea Arts Centre’s labyrinthine old town hall. Blurring the line between reality and fantasy, creator Seth Kriebel conjures a world of half-real and half-imagined spaces inspired in part by the building’s original and modern-day architectural plans.

Together with collaborator, Zoe Bouras, audiences are guided on a thrilling adventure from the comfort of their seats as rooms are traversed, dead-ends reached and steps retraced whilst the promise of historical discoveries and illicit encounters hang in the air.

Part of a series developed using Scratch, similar games have previously been created for the Science Museum, British Library and the Turner Contemporary Gallery. Now audience members at Battersea Arts Centre in possession of a firm mental compass are invited to actively engage in the adventure, whilst those more cautiously curious can sit back and witness the journey unfold.

Listings information:
A House Repeated
Seth Kriebel
Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, SW11 5TN
18-29 October 2016
7:15pm (Running Time: 60 min)
£12.50, £10 concessions
Box Office: 020 7223 2223
Come In. Sit down. Explore.


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