Spree, Vault Festival

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The year is 1976 and after the murder of a young woman five FBI agents are brought in to question a convicted murderer about this cold case. In this immersive experience the audience of 5 divide into observers (a team of three) and participants who get to interview the suspect.

It all starts well, you are asked for your surname and “previous career” before you joined the FBI and then you are allowed into the interview room ( a small shipping crate) but the issue with this production is that it all feels very structured. There is no room for improv with a list of questions and and a note taker with a person who hands evidence through the hatch (this was me)

In the show I saw when one of the participants tried to go off script he was barked at by an actress not to do so. Which goes against the producers, Myriad, ethos

Myriad creates choice laden, three-dimensional theatre – led by live performance but inhabited and influenced by our audience. Our guiding principle is that true immersion requires decision and action: your choices give you ownership of the experience.

The audience had no ownership of the story, no ability to change direction or create an experience that could differ. Any sense of fun is non-existent and it is real shame because this is a great idea let down by its limitations and 20-minute running time. With more development and an opportunity for the audience to control the narrative it could become a classic show but right now it feels like a missed opportunity both in its immersive structure and expectations of the audience.

Spree is on until 8 March https://vaultfestival.com/whats-on/spree/

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