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VIPER SQUAD at Colab Tavern | Review

It’s immersive, interactive theatre time, as your reporter was summoned to a secret location in SE London to travel back in time and become a member of Viper Squad.

VIPER SQUAD at Colab TavernIt’s 1988. New York City. A team of dangerous criminals are attempting to pull off the biggest heist in history. Lives at stake and millions in cash on the line, only one thing can stop them: Welcome to the VIPER SQUAD! An elite team called in to handle only the most extreme circumstances.

Now, although I can’t tell you too much, you must admit the paragraph above whets the appetite, and, given my love of the old immersive and interactive, I was really looking forward to my time with the squad. So, after a quick drink listening – and possibly quietly singing along – to a superb 1980s playlist, we met The Chief who welcomed us all to the squad. The next moment, an emergency report flashed up on the TV and it was action stations.

The next two hours – including a swift break to replenish the inner person – flew by as we entered a world that was very familiar to anyone that has watched 80s cop shows. As with all immersive experiences, you get more out the more you jump in, and this is definitely one of those where involvement is key. I was on the intel team, and we had a great time with our role of identifying the bad guys and making decisions that could affect millions of New Yorkers, not to mention various animals. Poindexter, the lead in our team moved us along nicely and responded well no matter what schemes or suggestions we threw their way. Not even taken aback when I suggested feeding a child to a lion – it made sense at the time I promise. When the three teams were united, we worked well with each responding to the work completed by the others so that you really did feel like a co-ordinated and connected group.

The team – David Alwyn, Ellen Fry, Elsie Watkinson, George Collie, James Dillon, Josh McCormack, Maddie O’Brien, Rachel Waring and Shea Wojtus – really threw themselves into the production and kept things moving whilst giving us the opportunity to fully participate in a well-written plot that is lively, fun, even scary at times and keeps the adrenaline levels high – particularly in the last 10 minutes or so. The venue works well with areas that worked for both the smaller task focussed groups and when we all got together to play out events that could shape the world.

For the would-be new members of the squad, I have three pieces of advice. First, think of a good alias/agent name before you arrive. Colours and animals are a good place to start but beware or you’ll end up as the Pink Poodle like I did. Secondly, take in everything you hear and see and be prepared to be unprepared for what happens. And thirdly, be prepared to have a fabulous and exciting time defending the free world.

5 Star Rating

Review by Terry Eastham

There’s currently an ongoing standoff at an art gallery in Downtown Manhattan. Armed gunmen have entered the 24 Wall Street Clifton Gallery and the situation is tense. We’re hoping the mayor will make the right choice and call us in. Whilst we await the call, we’re calling all squad members to our new secret base of operations, O’Malley’s genuine Irish Pub.




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