Prepare yourselves. Kings Cross Theatre’s latest spectacle is a whole body experience.
Inspired no doubt by the whimsical genius of UK theatre company Punchdrunk’s incredible immersive productions around the world, Visiting Hours will take audiences on a similar theatrical journey. It enjoyed a sold-out run during Vivid in 2016, and has returned once again to delight the senses.
Written by Constantine and Michael Costi, the show takes its cues from a local historical figure – the notorious Gun Doctor of Kings Cross. Six levels of the Hotel have transformed into a medical asylum, into which audience members are committed, tested and diagnosed. Throughout, the ominous suggestion of an omnipresent Doctor is suggested. But we mustn’t fear – we are in safe hands. Aren’t we?
It’s certainly an exciting and different way to experience theatre. You’ll be immersed into their world completely at their mercy, poked and prodded by nurses and doctors wearing horror movie smiles and crisp, white scrubs.
It can be chaos, but it’s all held together by deft direction from John Harrison and Michael Dean. The actor/musicians display impressive skill, and are mostly convincing in their medical responsibilities. They work well as an ensemble to build tension and create an uneasy atmosphere.
One thing they don’t tell you is be prepared to be touched, to be made a little uncomfortable. While this understandably adds to the drama and uneasiness, it’s probably a good idea to ask those with anxiety or other issues if they’re okay with this. And the actors need to be receptive when someone expresses a wish not to be touched. I think in the excitement of the moment it can be easy for an actor to miss these social cues and carry on full speed ahead, leaving an audience member uncomfortable for the wrong reasons.
Having been to Punchdrunk’s The Drowned Man in London, I have witnessed the end goal, the epitome of immersive theatre. This production has to be commended for its bravery and dynamism, but moves a little too slowly to completely hold its tension. Scenes take a bit too long, and sometimes the actors are dictated by the energy, not the other way around.
And I have a sneaky suspicion they knew I was reviewing, because I was singled out not once, but twice…
Playing at the Kings Cross Hotel until 17 Feb.
Alana Kaye – Theatre Now
7th – 17th Feb
Thur – Sat (Wed 7th Preview)
7pm, 7,30pm, 8pm, 8.30pm & 9pm
Theatre Company: 75 mins
The Doctor will see you now.
An old-school Sanitorium. A revolutionary new pharmaceutical. And a quest for eternal life.
A doctor’s work is never done.
The surprise sold-out hit of Vivid 2016 returns, updated and extended in a New and Improved Formula! Visiting Hours is a mind-bending immersive experience that sees the Kings Cross Hotel re-imagined as an off the grid medical facility run by an enigmatic and dangerously obsessed doctor. The Doctor is back, and he has the cure for all ills.
It’s time to book in for your appointment. ENTRY through the back door, after dark …
guests enter the experience in groups of not more than 20, at 30 minute intervals.
To book your tickets, select the date you wish to attend and choose your preferred entry time.
Bring proof of concession status.