Lockdown Town at One Night Records
Immersive theatre is back, Covid-compliant and better than ever in One Night Records’ new music-centred show Lockdown Town. Brought to us by the producers of some of London’s most successful and recognised immersive experiences, this new project takes participants through key moments in American musical history as we follow a young woman making her way to Tulsa. The live production, characterised by stellar performances, immaculate sets and a continual emphasis on safety-conscious measures, brilliantly adapts to the pandemic to deliver something both classic and fun.
Following the typical immersive theatre formula, the story is split into five distinct parts (or rooms), all linked by the protagonist’s journey, which the audience witness first-hand. The performance begins with participants at Ellis Island being introduced to our guide, a young black woman full of excitement and chasing the American dream as she begins her pilgrimage to Tulsa. We follow her through history, from the 1950’s rock ‘n’ roll era all the way to upbeat 1918 ragtime. Throughout the production, spectators are captivated by high-calibre performances and detailed set design. However, amongst the excitement and loud music, the plot and harrowing history of Tulsa are occasionally overshadowed.
Lockdown Town is above all focused on creating a good time, with its charismatic musicians and performers, a series of themed cocktails and a general air of musical celebration. The show’s intention as pure entertainment is evident and it proves impossible not to get swept away by the well-designed scenery and catchy beats. However, despite an almost impeccable atmosphere, our guide’s story is often forgotten. Occasionally, radio messages appear to remind us of Tulsa, but in many ways, the young woman’s journey becomes secondary to the fun experiences in each room. Subsequently, the plot feels stagnant at points, developing only when the show reaches its penultimate historical depiction.
However, despite the occasional faults in framing and narrative, there is no denying that the performance succeeds in engaging audiences and making us want to dance during every musical number, proving that in spite of the current times, fun can still be had. Lockdown Town is a night out no theatregoer will want to miss.
Lockdown Town is at One Night Records’ Covid-secure venue from 2nd October until 30th December 2020. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.