This post was first published by The Croydon Citizen on 20/03/2017.
Event review: Morningstar, at the Croydonites Festival of New Theatre 2017
I can’t say much about Morningstar, because I am being watched. It’s because of an… event that I took part in last Thursday night, on the opening day of the Croydonites Festival of New Theatre. It might be more accurate to call it a… happening. I know what the staff who conducted us through it and de-briefed us afterwards called it, but I’m not allowed to say.
Anyhow, it was pretty damned immersive. If you go to the theatre to sit in your seat and watch the performers doing their thing, don’t bother with this because you won’t like it. Whatever it is, it isn’t that.
Morningstar takes place at a secret location in central Croydon, which I wasn’t really expecting. Given that I know the place inside-out and backwards, I’d assumed it was part of the hype. But this was somewhere I had never been. The weirdest thing was… well, actually, I can’t reveal that because there’s some scary stuff going on and the people who are dealing with it, whilst they don’t know my address, could find it out in under a minute if they wanted to, along with my medical history, the contents of my embarrassing teenage diaries and what I did last summer.
But one curious thing is that when the participants assemble, you don’t know who’s for real. I’m still not sure if one of the ‘audience members’ was actually part of the… happening.
The staff in charge are really, really good, and do the sort of acting which doesn’t seem like acting, but instead like people being normal and a bit rubbish at their jobs. Until eventually, you are far within and there’s no way back. You are taken away, and you have to hand over your phone, and carry out certain… activities. You try to work out what’s going on when you’ve no idea who to trust or what to believe.
I absolutely loved it, and thought it was exciting and adventurous and cool, which was just the way they told us before our… journey began that we’d remember the occasion. Any other, more disturbing recollections would be… removed from us. We had a fun night at the theatre in Croydon. That’s all.