Wyrd at a secret location in Southwark
Immer City are perfectionists. From the moment you arrive at an undisclosed location in Southwark you are completely swept up in the confusion of who is and who isn’t part of the production. Secrecy and mystery are key. Meeting at the crowded Lord Clyde pub in the depths of old London town, you stroll past graveyards of outcasts from times gone by. Victoria Johnston is first to arrive as Lilith the witch, bedecked in gypsy-like garments of the occult. Gradually, further leaders of the séance appear and explain to a bemused and slightly nervous crowd that we have gathered here tonight to help Jo Warding (Geraint Hill) find out about the brutal killing of his grandfather in a nearby, disused wine cellar.
Warding’s wife Fiona (Victoria Jane Appleton) is also present in a supporting and convincingly doubtful manner, as well as their drunk, bumbling American friend Ethan (Sam Trueman). Séance leader Dr Isabelle Gowdie (Abi Blears) gives the audience further background information, explaining past horrors of the Southwark area with delight – tales of witches, child prostitution, the bubonic plague and a previous myriad of grisly murders in the very building we are about to be visiting. Last in the motley crew is Amanda (Selma Glasell) who never lets her guise as channeler of the spirits slip – she rarely speaks, greeting you with a fixed stare and mad ramblings. Beware standing next to her for too long, who knows what could happen!
Entering the disused cellar is a totally immersive experience: every aspect has been controlled to leave you on tenterhooks, with genuine shivers running down your spine. It is dark – there are moments of complete blindness, with the frightful sounds of scratching and screams. There are wonderfully well thought out occult props such as crystals, an altar, sacred oil, candles and wine bottles discarded all over this haunted lair. The rushes of excitement that Immer City have created make it worth skipping a night at the pub or a traditional theatre trip.
Be prepared for jolts of fear as the spirits of the dead enter the cellar, and expect exciting scenes of a sexual and violent nature. If you can cope with these then you are in for a treat! You will leave the creaking haunted house with a thrill that you are unlikely to experience anywhere else and escape feeling lucky that you got out alive!
Wyrd is at various locations around Southwark until 19th May 2013. For further information or to book visit Battersea Arts Centre’s website here.