The Kindling Hour
Ever since live theatre stopped being possible in person, there have been few opportunities to engage with art in a way that feels immediate and exciting. Theatre companies have experimented with short form content, live streams and experimental Zoom work, but until now, not much lived up to expectations. The Kindling Hour gives its audience a sense that they are part of something. It may not be traditional theatre, but Swamp Motel have come across an incredibly exciting format for human interaction.
Ultimately, it is like an online escape room: audience members sign up as individuals or teams and are put into “chat rooms”, where they can play the game together, regardless of where they are based. The Kindling Hour is part of a narrative trilogy revolving around a mysterious cult that participants must defeat. They must crack codes, solve puzzles and answer riddles that take them all over the Internet, as well as making phone calls and sending texts. While it can be a little nerve-wracking to pick up the phone and call an unknown number, it is exciting too. Very rarely do audiences get to drive a plot by their own actions
The attention to detail is second to none. All aspects of the production, from the quality of the videos to the depth of the content, show that it was put together by an incredible creative team. Viewers go through a fascinating array of media, all collected and executed with a stunning degree of care. It is curated in such a way that one has a sense of excitement and freedom to explore the material, while also having well thought out and intellectually exciting puzzles to discover.
In the interests of not giving too much away, this review will stay short and to the point. To experience the game to its fullest, readers should buy a ticket and invite a couple of friends. A fantastic way to spend an evening in lockdown.
The Kindling Hour is available to stream from 20th March until 30th May 2021. For further information or to book visit Swamp Motel’s website here.
Watch a trailer for the production here: