A masquerade sex party and murder mystery night fuse together in this new immersive theatre night.
The Invitation is the latest show from the Secret Theatre Project which come to the Capital fresh off the success of their sell-out shows in Hong Kong.
You’re dropped in the middle of an Eyes Wide Shut like masked party, located within a grand ballroom – which is a luxurious suite within the Bethnal Green Town Hall Hotel.
Within the space, there is a mix of actors and guests who explore the large space with cocktails in hand. Bloody scenes are already apparent. But the show hasn’t quite begun – or so you think. Dancers take to the room, before a murder is announced by near naked man covered in blood.
From there onwards, you’re ushered in between two separate parts of the hotel (the ballroom and the Court Room) as detectives and workers at the club fight over who is responsible.
Is there murderer in the room with everyone? Had you met them before you thought the show had even begun?
Fortunately, you’re not asked to actively try and find the killer – you mostly get to watch as it all happens around you. That is unless you’re a part of a select few people who were ushered into different rooms before most of the fun began.
NOW READ: Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes at Sadler’s Wells
More people are killed off all the while you sip on your gin and tonics. It gets super tense and frightening at times, but it is all for fun – you shouldn’t get too scared, even if it gets a bit gory.
And one of the best parts of The Invitation is that it is so intimate. We’d say about 50 people are there, running about the hotel with you. All masked, of course. It is what we imagine Secret Cinema was like before it got a little bit too big for its boots – growing to enormous sizes where you can now miss much of the immersive plot going on.
You don’t miss a moment here – they even give time for people to use the loo – as they hurry away from potential killers. How British?
They even have an optional immersive dining experience beforehand for those wanting to go all out. The menu has been created by Simon Shand, the highly lauded Head Chef at The Town Hall Hotel’s Corner Room restaurant.
The food offerings at The Invitation will be of a standard not often seen at experiential events (this restaurant is often noted as one of the best in London on the regular). Guests will be treated to two courses of contemporary seasonal dishes, all served in their historic dining room.
Founded by Richard Crawford, Secret Theatre Project has travelled the world with unique, immersive and site-specific productions, entertaining audiences world-wide.
One of the original pioneers in the immersive theatre movement, Richard Crawford is known for creating some of the most cutting-edge and risk-taking productions. And this is a superb addition to his immersive theatre legacy.
The Invitation runs at The Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green until 5 April.
Follow City Matters on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.