Sunday, 27 October 2013

The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable


MozzyMr and I have returned from a weekend visiting my brother near London.  We drove home this afternoon through the "storms" (what you mean rain?  Rain in Autumn Shocker!), and I'm writing this because I can't get to sleep and in any case I thought I would let you know about the AWESOME play/production we went to see on Saturday night.

For the last few months my brother has been waxing lyrical about a production by theatre company Punchdrunk called The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable.  He didn't give many spoilers away and I will try not to either because hopefully all of you near (or indeed not so near) London will go and see the production because truly it is amazing.

You will notice the absence of photographs in this post because for once I was actually enjoying the moment rather than photographing it.  The production is set in an old Royal Mail sorting office across four floors and you are free to roam the sets whilst the acting takes place around you.  You are given a white mask to wear throughout which signposts you as a member of the audience but also helps to create anonymity, eliminating that awkward feeling of being up close to the action.  If you want you can follow one or more of the actors or alternatively you can have a poke around the sets to discover clues to the storyline.  As part of the experience you are told to ditch your companions and explore on your own, I wasn't massively keen to do this myself and wanted MozzyMr to come with me.  I was let out of the lift on the basement floor with my brother whilst Moz was held back in the lift and taken to the third floor. My brother quickly disappeared (he has seen the production several times before and had a plan of action to follow so scuttled off to pursue it) leaving me in the dark, on my own and pretty pissed off.  I roamed about for ages not coming across anyone just creepy sets and dark corridors, moving up a floor proved a good plan as I found my first cluster of action, from that point onwards I went with the flow and fully immersed myself in the production.  The production is three hours long, as we were part of the first group to be let into the building we had the place to ourselves for what felt like the first half an hour or so.  I explored the sets until I found a pocket of acting taking place and started following one of the actors from one set to another, with 600 audience members roaming the floors it was surprising that I came across MozzyMr and my brother a couple of times throughout, but I left them to it and went off to explore elsewhere.  At one point one of the actors took me by the hand and led me to a side room which he locked behind him, for a couple of minutes the story continued just for me, which was weird, but amazing.  The attention to detail throughout the production is stunning and this little aside was unexpected but totally made the evening.

I appreciate that I haven't gone into much detail about the actual comings and goings of the production (I wonder if my brother will frown about me telling you about the aside??), for one thing I don't want to spoil it for those of you who might go, but secondly because of the freedom to roam and explore the experience is so unique to the individual, I came away with an entirely different view of the production from those of my brother and MozzyMr.

Go, seriously just book the tickets and go, I am planning at least one if not more trips back before the production run finishes.


  1. Sounds really good but I think it would freak me out! xx

  2. This sounds amazing. Too bad I'm no where near there :)


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