This is one hell of a show, it’s a party, a family gathering, a conspiracy and a whole lot of fun, from the moment you join the queue by the Peaky Blinders caravan in Camden Stables you are gleefully cajoled into another world.
It’s steeped in influences from the global sensation that is the TV Series Peaky Blinders, and of course, if you’re a fan of the show then this will be an extra special treat, but it stands as a show even for those who’ve never watched an episode.
The main premise is that Tommy Shelby has invited you to a family meeting in the heart of Camden, and you’re now part of his most trusted circle and he needs your help to bring down the Italian gangs of London… and after that, the show becomes more of a ‘choose your own adventure’ or ‘have your adventure chosen’ experience.
You may be given a solo mission or taken with a group to secret rooms where singing and shouting and twisted loyalties are all in a day’s work. You’ll meet familiar characters and forge friendships and alliances, all in the name of helping the charismatic Thomas Shelby.
The set is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, the special effects are spectacular and the attention to detail in Katie Lyons’ script and Tom Maller’s vision is genuinely astounding. I’ve been to gigs and exhibitions at the Horse Hospital in Camden, so thought I knew the venue, but this transformation is… transformative. The creative crew of this show have built a three-dimensional world that is a joy to inhabit.
Many of the audience come dressed as characters or for the period, wearing flapper dresses, silk gloves, braces, flat caps (razor blade free) and adding to the incredible costumes worn by the cast. And the cast – all so sharp, so in character and making it all look seamlessly easy, when this must be a complex piece of theatre to choreograph and perform. I had brief verbal exchanges with a number of the cast and they were all quick as a whip and convincingly conspiratorial – it’s a genuine blast to be there.
It’s a brilliant concept, bought thrillingly to life and the audience felt entirely united behind Tommy and his dream of glory. It is impressive to see the loyalty a corrupt but charismatic lad with a dubious haircut and an expensive-looking waistcoat can conjure – but conjure he does – so go, dance, drink, conspire and be sensationally grateful to be part of the magic.
Review by Roz Wyllie
1921, London. Tommy has taken the northern racecourses and eliminated his opponent, Billy Kimber. He now has his sights set on a London expansion…
With the approval of north London kingpin, Alfie Solomons, Tommy personally invites you to a family meeting at the Shelby’s Camden warehouse. Tommy has a plan that could prove lucrative for everyone, and it promises to be a night of celebration.
Whether you kick back in the Camden Garrison Pub with Arthur, advise Tommy on his business affairs in his office, or conspire with the Italians in the Eden Club, how the family meeting goes is for you to decide. However, you must keep your eyes open and your ear to the ground, Tommy’s enemies are closer than you think and they may want to make you an offer you’ll find hard to refuse.