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Hattie Lloyd 25/04/24

Viola’s Room

Something new is rising from the ashes of The Burnt City.

That vast, ambitious show marked the first major London run in almost a decade for immersive theatre pioneers Punchdrunk. And thankfully, rather than taking another 9 year hiatus, they’re returning with a smaller, more boutique experience at their Woolwich home this summer.

Viola’s Room will be an adaptation of a turn-of-the-century gothic mystery called The Moon-Slave. It’s actually not the first time that Punchdrunk have turned to the text for inspiration – they developed a version of the short story 24 years ago, but back then they could only afford to stage a four-night run.

Punchdrunk is known for creating jaw-droppingly detailed sets, but it sounds like Viola’s Room might be a departure from the norm. Instead of one enormous, free-roaming world to explore, they’re describing it as a vast, ‘maze-like installation’… which you’re encouraged to explore barefoot. Guiding the way will be an unseen narrator (if she sounds uncannily like Helena Bonham-Carter, that’s because she is), who you’ll be able to hear through a set of headphones.

Punchdrunk’s shows have also previously turned the audiences into anonymous voyeurs by giving everyone masks, but you won’t be wearing them in here – and far from being part of a huge crowd, you’ll be taken through the story’s unsettling twists and turns in a group of just six people (or one, if you’re a wealthy attention-hog).

If you’ve ever been to one of Darkfield’s pitch-black audio adventures (staged inside a shipping container), you’ll know that they can be highly transporting experiences.

So with one of the world’s leading lights of the immersive genre at the helm…

…this one could be downright amazing.


NOTE: Viola’s Room runs from 14th May – 18th August 2024. Tickets start at £28.50 and are going fast – book yours HERE.

Viola’s Room | One Cartridge Place, Woolwich SE18 6ZR

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Viola’s Room

One Cartridge Place, Woolwich, SE18 6ZR