Punchdrunk, The Drowned Man, Paddington

Punchdrunk is causing quite a stir. The latest production from this sensational immersive theatre company is called The Drowned Man and is taking place in a disused Paddington warehouse.

Don’t wear your work suit to this performance, you will feel truly out of place amongst the drama hungry punters and will be horrendously hot and uncomfortable after three hours of roaming around. Conveniently for commuters, this show is literally seconds away from Paddington tube station. Ticketholders are instructed to arrive at a certain timeslot – and ticket prices depend on this factor.

I won’t give too much away… the story unfolds in a random fashion, through bursts of activity that you will witness at different times in different places. A large cast of characters interact with the transformed building, and move fluidly over the floors… intrigued audience members rush closely behind, desperate to grasp a clue to piece together the story. You are given a short synopsis of characters at the start but this gives little insight.

Dressed in identical masks the audience are, as a unit, separated from the Punchdrunk actors. There may be some audience participation but on the whole the visitors are left to their own devices to make their own decisions and own discoveries. It is scary, and amazingly detailed, you really are entering another world, a world where a cabaret show, sandy landscape, filmset and woody forest all exist under one roof.

Performances are booking until 30 December. Start times are Tuesday-Thursday 10pm, Friday/Saturday 8pm and 12 midnight, Sunday 8pm with six arrival times for each performance in 10 minute intervals. Show lasts up to three hours. Tickets: from £47.50 / £19.50. For more information and to book see the National Theatre website.

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