The Swell Mob, May 31st
Flabbergast’s Swell Mob was one of the best pieces of immersive theatre I’ve ever been to. But this may be as I was forewarned that you really do have to get involved and seek out clues in order to drive the story forward and figure out what the hell is going on.
Which was right up our street as the performance turned out to be part treasure hunt/part theatre and we actively started opening draws, looking behind pictures and were duly rewarded with finding scraps of information that allowed us to slowly work out that all was not what it seemed at the Swell Mob tavern. Not at all… it was far more… sinister.
I love things with a creepy edge and had not expected this aspect at all so really enjoyed the turn the plot took. We are something of completists so rather than follow each clue to where it took us, we focused on gathering as many as possible and then working things out which was, on reflection, not the right idea. By the time we felt we had a handle on it and started trying to do what we could to effect a happy ending, we were too late and the denouement was upon us!
But I didn’t mind. I thoroughly enjoyed finding the backstory, working out what we could, and interacting with the characters to further the storyline. There was some excellent acting taking place and some set pieces which you were drawn into (a bit of gambling perhaps… or a séance!) even if you didn’t notice the other layers to it. Quite like a concentrated, darker Door in a Wall. And we were assured there are multiple endings depending on what the audience uncovers so I was very tempted to head back to try things a different way, but alas, don’t think I have time before it ends.
I shall most definitely be looking out for their next piece (although please bring this one back at some point)!