‘For audiences who want to play, not watch’
Rogue Production’s tag line, ‘Modern audiences want to play, not watch’ is exactly where this show wins against other immersive pub theatre shows. We have become used to being inside the set on occasion, particularly at some of the smaller pub theatres. It does add a unique element to the show, but LAMPLIGHTERS takes it one step further. The audience are part of the action too. Think HEIST and CRYSTAL MAZE EXPERIENCE, both from this same producer and you are beginning to get the feel for it.
LAMPLIGHTERS is a parody of John Le Carré’s Cold War spy novels and films which were based on Le Carré’s real life experiences working with MI6. Our host for the night, performer Neil Connolly starts the evening off with a little background on Le Carré and his own love of spy games which he didn’t have the opportunity to play as a child. It isn’t long before a volunteer is found to play John Doe (dead body). Who was the traitor? As the show progresses a large part of the 50 or so people in the audience take part as musicians of the famous film music and characters with code names. These include the much loved iconic Le Carré field agent, mole, honey trap, janitors and the lamplighter of the title. One of the beauties of the show, is that its going to be different every night, depending on the audience.
Host Neil Connolly is no Alec Guinness, but he directs the entire show with charm and skill with a little help from atmospheric lighting designed by Saulius Vaulinas.
Not unlike CRYSTAL MAZE, audience members had to find things, complete puzzles, draw meaningful pictures, improvise and make charades. To get the most out of the evening it is essential to either join in or go with a group. Without this, the evening could leave you feeling left out in the cold. It’s much more fun watching mates having a go or interacting yourself. Certainly the 20 and 30 somethings in the audience had a whale of a time.
Yes, it missed the possibility of an elaborate set, or the entire audience moving from room to room but what it loses in scale it gains in affordability. With tickets at just £16.50 it’s a bargain for audiences who want to play, not watch.
Presented by Rogue Productions
Performed and co-written by Neil Connolly
Direct and co-written by Dean Rodgers
Old Red Lion Theatre, Islington 24 July – 18 August 2018, 7.30pm
Reviewer Heather Jeffery is founder and Editor of London Pub Theatres Magazine www.londonpubtheatre.com @pubtheatres1 (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Formerly playwright and Artistic Director of Changing Spaces Theatre. Her plays have been performed at Drayton Arms Theatre (Kensington), Old Red Lion Theatre (Islington), VAULT festival (Waterloo), St Paul’s Church (Covent Garden), Cockpit Theatre (Marylebone) and Midlands Arts Centre (Birmingham)