News: Parabolic Theatre announces a new dedicated immersive venue in London with opening season Make do and Mend

One of the leading immersive theatre companies Parabolic Theatre has announced their exciting new immersive venue CRYPT and the opening season of Make Do and Mend. CRYPT is an atmospheric and mysterious underground space that will host some of the best immersive shows from across the country.

This innovative new venue is dedicated to immersive and interactive theatre and will open in the heart of Bethnal Green in March. Parabolic Theatre will initially return with the celebrated workshop series on immersive performance, How we work, which debuted online over lockdown and will be presented there in person for the first time. Parabolic Theatre has committed to rehoming shows which were meant to run at VAULT Festival. To launch the venue the first of the VAULT shows is Trajectory Theatre’s new show Circus in a Bottle, opening on 28th March.

CRYPT will then host the opening season of work titled Make Do and Mend in April. The season will include a collection of wartime-inspired immersive pieces, some of which are brand new, and some of which had highly successful runs in London before the pandemic. The British Resistance Museum from Parabolic Theatre, Illicit Signals Bletchley from Mechanical Thought, Line of Fire from Cross-Stitch Theatre and Hidden Figures: WW2 from Partygeek will all be part of Make Do and Mend. Further exciting shows from Parabolic Theatre as well as from companies that were to be at VAULT Festival will be announced in due course.

Owen Kingston, Artistic Director of Parabolic Theatre, commented: “We are thrilled to be able to announce the opening of CRYPT and the Make Do and Mend season of work. As a company, we benefitted hugely in our early days with a space dedicated to immersive theatre – the COLAB Factory. It allowed us to experiment and spread our wings in a low-risk, nurturing environment. Our hope is that we can provide something similar for immersive companies that may be struggling in the post-pandemic climate. It is vital that we do everything we can to build each other up in these challenging times”

As Parabolic Theatre rebuilds after one of its most difficult and destructive periods in living memory, this season of work about beautiful things being made from limited resources sets a tone of hope triumphing in adversity.

How we work workshops by Parabolic Theatre
Saturday 19 – Sunday 20 March

Following the success of the Parabolic Theatre’s online workshop series during lockdown, the company has launched the first in person programme focusing on immersive theatre practice which will be explored over four sessions in a single weekend. Participants will have the chance to examine the company’s approach to creating a live performance that is truly interactive and enables the audience and performers to occupy not merely the same space, but the same world.

Circus in a Bottle by Trajectory Theatre
Monday 28 March – Thursday 3 April

Following the cancellation of VAULT Festival, Trajectory Theatre has been rehomed and will present Circus in a Bottle which is a tech-driven exploration of circus life that uses interactive augmented reality to deliver a powerful story. The incredible experience fuses cutting edge technology used to support digital and augmented reality throughout the live performance. Audience members will use Magic Leap AR headsets, uncover some of the trapeze-like highs and the crushing lows of life under the big top.

Circus in a Bottle will follow ‘The Barker’ who, despite growing up in the circus, has inherited none of his family’s skills. Touring big tops with his grandiose father, he witnessed it all; acts that defied logic defined generations and underlined the majesty of the sawdust ring. The Barker and his miniature assistant recreate these Circus acts from bygone years before your very eyes.

With more exciting shows to be announced in due course, the Make Do and Mend season will include:

The British Resistance Museum by Parabolic Theatre
Friday 8 April – Thursday 14 April

This family-friendly show will tell the alternate history of the British resistance to Nazi occupation during World War Two by giving the audience a tour of the museum dedicated to the British resistance – with a supernatural twist.

Museums about major historical events are commonplace. Museums of alternate history are rare. Step inside the museum of the British Resistance to the Nazi invasion and explore the wartime shelter from which the liberation of the United Kingdom in 1944 was organised. Our museum guide is knowledgeable, and the story of the British Resistance is a thrilling one, but something is very wrong with one of the exhibits, and someone may be reaching out to the present from the past with a desperate cry for help. This interactive show is designed for families and explores what might have happened if the war had gone very differently, and gives all participants the opportunity to make a difference to history.

Illicit Signals Bletchley by Mechanical Thought
Monday 2 – Saturday 28 May

A remount of the hugely successful show by Mechanical Thought that premiered at the COLAB Factory ahead of the pandemic. Audiences work alongside famous figures from the Government Code and Cipher School at Bletchley Park on cracking ENIGMA, while uncomfortable secrets closer to home threaten to be revealed. Illicit Signals Bletchley combines historical drama with rewarding codebreaking to create a fun, stimulating evening.

Step back in time to 1940s Bletchley Park, a world of espionage, code-breaking and secrets. It was here that men and women, both young and old, cracked German codes and unveiled war-winning secrets, but these men and women kept secrets of their own, both from each other and the public.

Follow in the footsteps of real-life cryptologists as Bletchley Park goes through its most pivotal moment. Crack codes and decipher messages to uncover their private lives and make the tough decision of whether to keep their secrets or spill the beans.

Line of Fire by Cross-Stitch Theatre
Wednesday 1 June – Sunday 5 June

Line of Fire, a new murder mystery in wartime from emerging company Cross-Stitch theatre, will allow audiences to step into the golden age of detective fiction.

April 1943. Another bombing raid, another body in a bombed outbuilding. Another senseless victim of war. This corpse though is different – this man died before the bomb fell. Peter Walker was murdered. With his superiors brushing his death under the mat, nobody can bring this young man justice. Nobody that is, except you. Part of a group of covert operatives pulled from the ranks of MI5, it is your job to uncover the secrets of Peter Walker’s last days. Hidden away from the powers that be, you must untangle truth from fiction and unmask the killer.

Hidden Figures: WW2 by Partygeek
Friday 1 July – 30 September

Returning after a sell-out run, the highly acclaimed Hidden Figures: WW2 participants will delve into a secret storytelling maze and uncover the lives of the unsung heroes of wartime. In this highly acclaimed show puts the audience in the shoes of one of several wartime figures whose vital stories have been largely lost to history as a society wasn’t ready to accept them.

Participants will go through a series of training exercises as part of their recruitment into the Special Operations Executive. The teamworking skills from the audience will be tested as you are run through a series of challenges to see if you possess the skills and nerve to deliver Europe from the dark grip of occupation.

For more information visit https://www.parabolictheatre.com/crypt

Photo credit: CNC

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