• Amy Toledano

Black Fate presented by Get Out Of My Space

What was it? 

A retelling of Romeo and Juliet set in the gritty gangster underworld of 19th century England with Capulets as the female cast members and Montagues as the male. Set in The Beacon in Tunbridge Wells this immersive evening lets you wander, sip on wine and choose the storyline you want to follow. Running at just over ninety minutes this feels perfect.

What was it about?

Based on Romeo and Juliet but entirely it’s own piece, it feels like it borrows parts that it needs to, whilst still making it feel fresh and socially relevant. On arrival you are encouraged to meander and explore as you please, look, read, pick up whatever you wish as it's all part of the experience and completely immersive, wholly encompassing the space that transports you to this gangster ridden world of forbidden love.

How did it make me feel? 

On entry you are given masks to wear to ‘blend in’ and encouraged to go wherever you want and explore all different parts of the building and the story. Not a typical sit down Two Act show, but a venue with an abundance of props, installations and characters each with completely separate and complete storylines that cleverly weave in and out of each other simultaneously. Inside and out (don’t worry you don’t have to brave the cold or wet if you don’t want to) you could spend your evening solely following one character and the next night have a totally different experience with another. This is a hugely brave and ambitious concept and I admit before I arrived I was intrigued at how it could all logistically work and run seamlessly. But with credit to the sharpness and quality of direction, performances and design, this makes for a really enjoyable experience, unique to itself rather than a carbon copy of a classic. 

With the females playing much stronger and denser parts, it really highlights the tension between the two families (which I loved) and there is something for everyone- you can spend the whole evening watching a love story or the entirety following an action film (with skilled and apt stage combat done well in such intimate arenas at times) depending on where you choose to go.

Highlights are performances from a female Tybalt (Sarah Dean) and an unlikely love interest in the male Mercutio (Will Beynon) that I haven’t seen done before. Their chemistry is fierce and volatile, yet vulnerable too making it compelling as I found myself following this thread for fear of missing out on wonderfully intricate moments from both actors. Eoin McAndrew (Friar Lawrence) is a stand out for me too as this version plays heavily on his moral turmoil between his head and his heart and he brought a really human and painfully conflicted performance to his take on the Friar.

Where is it playing? 

In a wonderfully picturesque and perfectly apt setting for such an experience Get Out Of My Space perform their shows at a restaurant and hotel in Tunbridge Wells in Kent. I travelled from London and it was totally worth the trip so if you’re thinking of heading along and live close by or have easy access via train I’d say it’s a perfect way to spend an evening. Wonderful escapism if you fancy a little trip out of the city for an evening!

Anything else?

I had a really enjoyable evening and this show exceeded my expectations. I loved having control of what I wanted to see and where I wanted to go and I loved that it was so interactive and immersive. I think this is a really clever skill to make such a well known play seem so fresh and with some very detailed and truthful performances from cast members and a well planned, smoothly running evening in all areas, this is a show I would definitely try and catch in this venue before the end of the run. 

Black Fate is playing at The Beacon, Tunbridge Wells, until he 8th February 2020.

If you like our reviews and want to support this blog feel free to buy any of us a virtual coffee here!