The Masque Of The Red Death by Punchdrunk, Battersea Arts Centre, 15 February 2008

Wow and double wow. This was a Friday evening to remember.

There is an excellent Wikipedia entry describing this outstanding immersive theatre / site-specific installation show, saving me the trouble – here.

The references section of that Wikipedia article has links to most of the hot reviews.

Here also is a link to Punchdrunk’s archive piece on this production.

This piece from the Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) site is very interesting.

We went on a Friday evening, so we got to enjoy an after-show party as well as the show.

Naturally we lost each other in the first part of the show; the cast and ushers deliberately separate you to add to the sense of discombobulation and to make you wander around in a less-than linear way.

I managed to find my way to the bar a fair bit quicker than Janie did and ran into Richard Russell (who I used to see regularly at Lambton Place back then) and his entourage. Janie eventually joined us; she had met Richard before, not all that long before in fact, at the Cafe Anglais. She wondered afterwards if “that man is everywhere”; turned out soon enough that he was!

Then a bit more wandering around; I wanted to make sure I’d seen all the action from the earlier part of the show. Then the ushers started to steward us into the more climatic scenes and then to the finale and party, where we ran into Richard and Co. again. They stuck around longer than we did. The live band were very good; I remember them playing Swing Swing Swing with great verve.

An especially memorable show and evening.

 

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