The Crash of The Elysium
Written by Tom MacRae
Produced by Punchdrunk Theatre Company
Following its successful run in Manchester last year, this interactive theatre piece has moved to Ipswich for a limited run as part of the Cultural Olympiad.
Starting with a gentle exhibition into the history of Victorian steamer The Elysium, proceedings are soon interrupted by two soldiers who take participants inside a recently crashed spaceship, also named Elysium.
From there, MacRae and Punchdrunk have fashioned an engrossing timey wimey tale, that moves between the Victorian era and the present day. For monsters are aboard, and there is a mission from The Doctor to complete.
The sets are things of beauty, rich in detail that demands far longer in the ‘rooms’ than one is given before the action moves on. The cast, drawn here from Ipswich’s Wolesey Theatre, keep the story on track while involving different members of the audience in parts of the drama. As with all interactive theatre, the more you and your fellow participants (up to 20 per show) put in, the more you will get out.
To say much more would ruin the suspense and the enjoyment of the piece. The only slight disappointment was the lack of merchandise on sale at the end, but everyone does leave with a very special memento of their experience.
While this run finishes on Sunday, I would be surprised if Crash wasn’t staged somewhere else for the 50th anniversary next year. Recommended for fans of all ages, but wear light clothes – you will sweat.