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Wilderness Presents 'The Day Shall Declare It'

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by Ian Marshall (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer and yogi living in Tepoztlan, Mexico where I'm running with my girlfriend. You can keep up with my other writing on or
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Immersive theatre to question your relationship with work
In London for January, the Wilderness Theatre company from LA takes us into their world of depression-era factory workers and salesmen, trying to understand the value of money and the meaning of work.

We are immersed from the beginning as the action revolves around the audience, who follow from one room to the next in a series of clever devices that open up the space.

If you haven't experienced Punchdrunk or some similar form of "immersive" theatre, then be prepared for actors whispering in your ear, leading you to dance or offering you another route through the story. This is admittedly on a lot smaller scale than some other productions of this type I've been to, with only 3 cast members which limits the amount of variation available, but it does make for a much more focussed piece.

Wilderness, The Day Shall Declare it
Credit: Emma Jane Richards

We start in a glamorous club, with a couple flirting and dancing and then move 10 months later into their flophouse apartment with the man raging against his daily grind and dreaming of the stars while the girl bemoans not taking more stable opportunities.

These are dramatic and sexually charged scenes with the actors literally climbing the walls as they dance around the audience and tell a tale of despair, dreams and disappointment. The leading man here is trapped in space, talking about the walls that enclose him and the work area that he inhabits on a daily basis.

Wilderness, The Day Shall Declare it
Credit: Emma Jane Richards

I won't spoil the later scenes, which see different characters interacting and showing slightly more affluent but no less desperate work-life situations but the physical space and artefacts within become fully a part of the performance as the audience is enclosed in a tight space and all the action is up close.

Wilderness, The Day Shall Declare it
Credit: Anka Bogacz

If you haven't been to this kind of immersive performance before, this is an affordable and well produced show which asks some fascinating questions and will keep you engaged for the 75 minutes running time.

Wilderness, The Day Shall Declare it
Credit: Anka Bogacz

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Why? Great immersive theatre
When: Tue-Sat 7pm Sundays 5pm
Phone: 0844 8700887
Where: Old BBC London building, Marylebone Gardens
Cost: £15/£12 Concs
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