• Amy Toledano

Crooks 1926 presented by COLAB

Image courtesy of Michael Kaltenborn

What is it?

The latest piece from veteran immersive company COLAB, Crooks 1926 transports the audience back to the grimy streets of London during the 1920s.

What's it all about?

A war is brewing on the Streets of London… Nothing is certain, violence is rampant and bargains are made to be broken. And now you can shape it all, Join the MacDonald Family in this all new immersive experience and become a 'Crook' your own way.

How did it make me feel?

At the door audience members are stamped with a rank as to where to go when the first initiative begins - for instance I was stamped with the sign of a coal worker and was told to stay with Wag MacDonald to discuss and create tactics along with some other audience members. This isn’t a normal theatre experience, where you sit down and watch a performance - you are here to interact and make choices and your choice can make a difference to the plot. There is no team as such - the audience are all working for the MacDonald family (unless you are told otherwise at the start).  The premise and execution of the whole production is fantastic, the actors (only five in total) are superbly cast and two of them multi role which is quite hilarious to watch them go from one character to the next. All the puzzles, tactics and drama are very enjoyable and for a two hour + hour show time really does go when you’re having fun.

It’s one of the best immersive experiences I’ve been to - CoLab really know how to get an audience involved.

Where is it playing?

It’s at the now disused William IV Pub at 16 Harper Road, but COLAb have created a brilliant world within.  They use the charm of the pub (there’s a working bar as you enter the premise) and each room is given it’s own unique vibe, for instance there’s the betting room where you can bet on the horses (and rig them to get more money) which is furnished as a cosy old fashioned sitting area. There is even a basement area where some of the action takes place - I don’t want to spoil anything but do check it out before the beginning of the show - the actors encourage you to do so and I would highly recommend it. 

Anything Else?

Would highly recommend dressing up in some form of era clothing as the experience tailors to you to look the part.

Claire-Monique x

Crooks 1926 presented by COLAB is playing at William IV Pub until the 29th March 2020.

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