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Goosebumps Alive: Discover what lurks beneath at The Vaults below Waterloo in an immersive spooky experience

Goosebumps Alive

Goosebumps Alive, an immersive, theatrical spooky experience runs at The Vaults until September

It’s one of the most popular book series of all time, having spooked hundreds of millions of readers around the world. And now fans of the ’90s hit books Goosebumps can experience some of the scary tales coming to life in a new immersive, theatrical experience.

Lurking deep in the abandoned railway tunnels beneath Waterloo station will be scenes from some of American author R.L. Stine’s iconic stories, such as Stay Out Of The Basement, Night Of The Living Dummy and Say Cheese And Die! Audience members young and old will be taken on a journey testing their mettle as they venture from room to room. Among the experiences guests can expect will be being buried alive, witnessing a flock of birds crash into a window or being grappled by monsters!

The new production, which opens for previews on 6 April, will be split into two immersive experiences – Goosebumps Kids (for children aged 5-11) and Goosebumps Alive (Adults, but suitable for over 12s). Directed by Tom Salamon, the experience will also feature original artwork from original Goosebumps books illustrator Tim Jacobus and set design by Samuel Wyer (from last year’s Vaults production Alice’s Adventures Underground). The Tiger Lillies band will also be performing live intermittently during the run.

Kieron Vanstone, Director at The Vaults said: ‘I’ve wanted to take Goosebumps to the stage for years but had to make sure I could do justice to R.L. Stine’s trademark combination of horror and humour. Immersive events have become the lifeblood of London culture, from Punchdrunk to Secret Cinema, and Goosebumps is perfectly suited to the genre – these stories were made to be experienced up close, with every shiver, sound and unsettling sight! I’ve been a lifelong fan of Goosebumps – who could forget Night of the Living Dummy? – and am thrilled to be bringing these shows to London this year, along with some of the best creative talent around.’

  • Goosebumps Alive is on from 14 April until 4 September 2016 (previews start 6 April), while Goosebumps Kids runs from 14 May until 4 September (Every weekend and Tues-Sunday during school holidays only). Tickets: Adults start from £32.50, Children from £15 (plus booking fees). The adult show lasts 90 minutes with entry times from Tues-Fri: 7-9.30pm, Sat 1.30-9.30pm and Sun 1.30-7.30pm. Kids show lasts 50 minutes with entry times from Sat-Sun 11am-12.30pm and school holidays Tues-Sun 11am-12.30pm.
  • The Vaults, Launcelot Street (off Lower Marsh), Waterloo, SE1 7AD. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and booking, visit Goosebumps Alive website.

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Found & Lost: Discover the secret life of a luxury hotel with an immersive opera experience

© Sim Canetty-Clarke

Found And Lost at the Corinthia Hotel London in January 2016
© Sim Canetty-Clarke

Opera fans are in for a treat this winter with a unique new production coming to London. From acclaimed composer Emily Hall – winner of the Artist in Residence 2015 – is a new promenade opera, which will première at the lavish five-star Corinthia Hotel London.

Rather than sit and listen, an intimate audience of 12 will be taken on a musical journey across various rooms in the hotel. You’ll get to peek inside some amazing spaces normally off-limits to the public, from the master bedroom to the boiler room.

Accompanying the performances will be a live choir with specially recorded music as the audience move from room to room while the drama unfolds.

The new piece is the result of a collaboration between Hall, sound designer David Sheppard and poet and Jerwood-Aldeburgh winner Matthew Welton, inspired by texts found within the hotel. Previews start on 25 January with the one-hour performances taking place nightly at 7pm and 8.15pm with 3pm matinees on Saturdays.

  • Found & Lost takes place from 25 January – 3 February 2016 at the Corinthia Hotel London, Whitehall Place, Whitehall, SW1A 2BD. Nearest station: Embankment or Charing Cross. Tickets: £27.50, Under 26 and Concessions: £20, Premium tickets: £35 (inc limited edition print of the libretto, a download code for the music and a glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne). For more information and booking, visit the Corinthia-Air website.

For a guide to what else is on in London in February, click here.

For a review of the Northall restaurant at the Corinthia, click here.

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Alice’s Adventures Underground review: Feel like a child again on a fantastical immersive theatre experience

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

Head to another world in immersive theatre experience Alice’s Adventures Underground

Immersive theatre and cinema has been steadily growing in popularity in London in recent years, with Secret Cinema and Punch Drunk two stellar examples. With the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland this year, theatre company Les Enfants Terribles have created an immersive journey into Wonderland in the vaults below Waterloo station.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

A dodo acrobat in the Wonderland bar

My friend and I paid a recent visit on a Sunday afternoon. It’s admittedly a bit tricky to review as different groups have totally different experiences and I wouldn’t want to ruin it for any potential visitors so I will try to give a flavour of what to expect. Photos aren’t allowed (except in the Wonderland bar afterwards) so you are free to fully immerse yourselves in the experience without the distraction of cameraphones.

After arriving 15 minutes before our allotted time, we were put into a large group and shown into a dark, messy room full of Victoriana – the study of Lewis Carroll. It isn’t long before we were given the choice of ‘Eat Me’ or ‘Drink Me’, splitting the group in half. We chose ‘Eat Me’, so ended up going through a special door. It wasn’t long before our groups are split in half again. As our journey continued, we were taken from room to room where we met characters from Wonderland, including the White Rabbit, the Playing Cards and a female version of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. Throughout the experience, there is plenty of opportunities for interaction with the residents of Wonderland. I had a brief exchange with Alice, while my friend spoke to one of the Hearts playing cards.

One of the highlights was the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party – where all our original group were reunited for a fantastically chaotic tea party with the Mad Hatter, the March Hare and the sleepy Dormouse. My friend and I admitted we wished we had our cameras because it was such a fantastic sight. After finally getting the chance to see the terrifically scary Queen Of Hearts at the climax of show, we emerged into the atmospheric Wonderland Bar. The bar serves suitably themed cocktails and nibbles, but is also open late on Fridays and Saturday with live music and DJs.

My friend and I totally loved the show. It was a surreal and entertaining experience. The cast were brilliant and it is really down to them that the theatrical journey was so real. I was a fan of Alice In Wonderland when I was younger and the production really made me feel like a child again.

  • Alice’s Adventures Underground takes place at The Vaults, Launcelot Street (off Lower Marsh), Waterloo, SE1 7AD until 30 August 2015. Nearest station: Waterloo. Tickets (should be booked in advance for specific time slots): Tues, Wed and Sunday £35, Thurs £40-£47.50, Fri and Sat £47.50. For more information and booking, visit the Alice’s Adventures Underground website.

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Travel through time in thrilling new immersive theatre meets live quest Time Run

© Time Run

Enter the world of Edwardian adventurer and inventor Luna as you take part in Time Run
© Time Run

Have you ever wished you could travel through time? While the science world is yet to give us that opportunity, wannabe Marty McFlys or Bill & Teds can get a taste of what it could be like with the new experience Time Run.

Coming to East London this spring and summer, Time Run is a live quest meets immersive theatre in a new twist on the ‘escape  the room’ games. Groups of three to five people will be taken on a 1 hour journey across history, where they will take on puzzles, challenges and solve mysteries. With just 60 minutes to complete the mission, the team-members will need to work together to escape a series of three rooms.

Joining them on their quest will be Edwardian adventurer, inventor and scientist Luna Fox and her eccentric, robotic sidekick Babbage, who will guide the new recruits along the way. The experience will bring 21st century gamers into strange new environments, where they will meet various characters and interactive with their unusual surroundings.

Time Run is a new concept from Josh Ford, the Director of boutique events company and festival Winterwell and co-founder of crazy golf club Swingers. Ford has teamed up with the Disappear Here collective to develop and produce this innovative new project.

  • Time Run is taking place at 9-15 Helmsley Place, London Fields, E8 3SB from 23 April 2015 – 25 April 2018. Nearest station: London Fields. Tickets: £24 (off-peak), £29 (peak). For more information and booking, visit the Time Run website.

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