Secret Theatre at Town Hall Hotel
It’s 2024, no need for juries anymore, and each spectator at the latest Secret Theatre event is part of the studio audience of Trial TV (the hottest Reality TV show around – think: “I’m a Criminal, Get to Sentence Me”). Tonight’s celebrity/defendant is a cold-blooded doctor with a known taste for human flesh. The charge: three grizzly murders on the same night, using various modus operandi, and his DNA has been found all over the crime scene. But, did he do it?
This is a deliciously immersive thrill for any would-be detectives, and our job is to walk the reconstruction, examine the evidence, listen to testimony and then decide the fate of the accused; guilty means death, live on TV, not guilty means a considerable drop in ratings. This intriguing glimpse into a possible future of our justice system is the latest project from those spectacular global showmasters Secret Theatre. Fresh from a sell-out run in Singapore they’re back in the capital and on the case.
Accurately dubbed Silence of the Lambs meets Black Mirror, this captivating courtroom thriller (directed by Richard Crawford and written by Tom Syms) has plenty of entertaining twists and turns for any wannabe sleuth to sink their teeth into. Upon entering the first location, the eyes soak in the information on offer before being greeted by Trial TV’s gloriously ghastly presenter, Rip Love (rivetingly portrayed by Monty Jones). After scanning the reconstruction for clues, which is fun but can be tricky as far as navigating the crowds, we then see the dangerous Dr Clarence Lassiter (a frightening Peter Picton) wheeled in. A few members of the audience are chosen to ask him a question, before it’s time for an ad break, location change and an all rise for the trial of the century.
The second location is simply magnificent and grips from the outset; it’s the ideal space for this absorbing trial, the audience deliberations and an explosive climax. Every member of the cast from the frustrated Judge Jones (a fantastic display by Rekha John-Cheriyan) to the chilling doctor are marvellous, and one of the surprise witnesses delivers a blistering commentary on the dangers of sensationalising crime and punishment – the speech is passionately written and thought-provoking.
It’s no wonder GQ magazine has voted this interactive production “the coolest theatre show to see in London” or that Secret Theatre has had a string of smash hits around the world. They sure have put on a memorable event, which has sold out its first run in record time. But, fear not, new dates have been added in March as, for any would-be detective or puzzle lover, this show would be a crime to miss.
Secret Theatre is at Town Hall Hotel from 23rd January until 3rd March 2019. For further information or to book visit the event’s website here.
Watch the trailer for Secret Theatre here: