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BWW Review: LOST ORIGIN, Hoxton Docks


A new immersive production from Factory 42

BWW Review: LOST ORIGIN, Hoxton Docks BWW Review: LOST ORIGIN, Hoxton Docks Bold ideas, impressive sets, and innovative technology transport audiences into an entirely new realm in this immersive production from Factory 42, in collaboration with the Almeida and Sky.

After receiving rave reviews for their previous productions, such as Hold the World with David Attenborough and Painting the Future with Jonathan Yeo, it's no surprise that Factory 42 have once again excelled in their mission to "change the way people experience entertainment."

In fact, Lost Origin is a theatrical experience like no other - one that gives audiences the chance to step right into the story, and even change its outcome.

Upon arrival at the Hoxton Docks location, audiences are welcomed into Wing Seven, an undercover unit tasked with bringing down Emporium, a dark web marketplace. Their mission? To enter the heart of the illegal warehouse, uncover damning evidence, and figure out the identity of its mysterious owner before it's too late. However, there may also be a few paranormal twists in store.

With a running time of slightly over an hour, audiences move in teams of six through Emporium's marketplace, which consists of a series of artfully designed rooms where danger lurks around every corner. Each space is entirely unique, from mysterious passageways to warehouses stacked with illegal goods (human organs, COVID vaccines and Oprah Winfrey's diary, to name a few).

As the truth is uncovered, audiences are then encouraged to don VR headsets which reveal that there are more secrets at play here than meets the eye.

While the narrative can feel a little shaky at times, Lost Origin is unlike anything I have seen before. With a stellar team of creatives at its helm (with credits including Harry Potter, The Hobbit and The Avengers), it's all too easy to get lost in the world they have created. And the small audience sizes guarantee that everyone can make their mark on the story.

The star of the show is, without a doubt, the set (designed by Alice Helps and Julie Landau), where even the most minor details feel purposeful. However, the production is also elevated by strong performances from each cast member, with Emily Johnstone a standout as our charismatic guide.

Lost Origin is the product of a research and development project, partly funded by the Government's Innovate UK scheme. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the face of this project changed significantly, moving from museums and shopping centres before finding its home in the Hoxton Docks.

However, the quality of the show, despite the various challenges it's faced, is a testament to the strength of its concept. Throughout, it's clear that this funding (and extensive research) is put to excellent use, showcasing just how much technology - and a little imagination - can do. It also proves just how much the arts industry as a whole deserves funding and support, especially when magic such as this can be created as a result.

In short, Lost Origin is phenomenal, a theatrical production with the stakes of an escape room and the tension of a crime drama. So, whether you're looking for a bit of escapism or wish to bring your dreams of being a detective to life, you won't be disappointed.

Click here for a behind-the-scenes look at Lost Origin

Lost Origin runs 21 November-4 December

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From This Author Abbie Grundy