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BWW Review: JEKYLL / HYDE, VAULT Festival

BWW Review: JEKYLL / HYDE, VAULT Festival BWW Review: JEKYLL / HYDE, VAULT Festival

The premise of Fire Hazard Games' latest feat is simple: a series of horrendous crimes are being discovered by the police and there are reasons to believe you are involved - but you have no memory of anything that happened the previous night. Following their gut, the participants need to hit the streets of Lambeth to put the pieces together, find out the truth, and decide their future.

Jekyll / Hyde works seamlessly. The production marries technology and immersive theatre in a scavenger hunt that questions ethics and morality. The audience are left - quite literally - to their own devices to follow their own path armed with their mobile phones and a link to their unique team profile that will lead their search. A certain attention to detail and spacial awareness are indispensable as the clues require some work to pin them down, which makes for a great challenge.

The vibe is the one of a real-life video-game: the darkness of London's winter combined with the uncertainty of having to rush through the Waterloo area looking for something unspecified in very little time heighten the experience and make it a thrilling quest. On a technical level, the interface and website are smooth and quick, which ultimately means that their use is effortless.

Creative director and lead game designer Tony Porteous creates an easy-to-operate and exceptionally intuitive design, while William Drew writes a compelling script. Daniel Chrisostomou, Tim Kennington, and Chloe Mashiter kick-start the action and bring the story to its one-of-a-kind conclusion. Every choice and every answer shapes the final outcome of the expedition.

By giving the individuals the chance to be in charge of their own fate, Fire Hazard Games are handing them full agency to explore the correlation between cause and effect. They are not immune to the consequences of their decisions. Whether they decide to confess their crimes, plead insanity, or join the more dangerous side of the system, they'll be forced to come to terms with their own journey.

Jekyll / Hyde is an exhilarating night out trotting around tunnels and alleys. It's thoroughly riveting, intriguing, engaging, and - most of all - lots of fun even if one doesn't want to look into the void or examine their own instincts and deviance too much.

Jekyll / Hyde runs as part of VAULT Festival until 22 March.

Image credit: Sofia Romualdo

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