Every now and then, London shows you a little bit of magic.
And if you happen to be strolling through Spitalfields one evening this week, you might notice – aside from the tour groups lapping up grizzly tales of Jack The Ripper – a few people here and there who appear to be in on a big secret.
That secret is Behind Closed Doors, a new audio show from theatre company 27 Degrees.
Developed as a form of ‘non-contact’ theatre during lockdown, it’s now returning as one of the most unusual pieces of promenade theatre you’ll have seen for a while. Led by your phone, you’ll be taken on a journey through the back streets of Spitalfields, hearing the stories of its fictional inhabitants as you watch them… through their windows.
The setting is hugely atmospheric. The streets here have barely changed in the past 300 years, and as you follow the map on your phone, you’ll come across houses that stand out amongst their shuttered neighbours. With the curtains drawn back, you’ll have a direct view into the front room where you can spy voyeuristically on the houses’ inhabitants, and as you watch, you’ll listen to their story, often told through the eyes of their neighbours.
The path you follow is entirely up to you, and as locals pop in and out of their front doors, the lines between fiction and reality are consistently blurred. It feels a little bit like you’re visiting a strange, alternate reality for the night.
The show holds a mirror up to the prejudices that run through society, and explores how communities can be fractured when we don’t take the time to get to know each other. As the evening winds on, you’ll find yourself more invested in the people you’ve encountered, and asked to make choices that may reconcile their relationships…
…to see if neighbours really can become good friends.
NOTE: Behind Closed Doors is only on until 9th October, so you’ll need to book in quickly. Tickets cost £15, and can be booked HERE.
Behind Closed Doors | Christ Church Spitalfields, Commercial Street, E1 6LY
Like interactive experiences? Check out the new art gallery, Superblue