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Punchdrunk - "The Burnt City"

Updated: Mar 27

LOCATION:  London, United Kingdom

Photo above is property of Punchdrunk

Photo above is property of ESCAPETHEROOMers


📝  ETR DECODER

  • 🔑 GAME: The Burnt City

  • 📅 DATE PLAYED: September 16, 2022

  • 🎬 GENRE: Immersive Theater, Mythology

  • 🧠 DIFFICULTY (Based on 2 ppl): N/A

  • 👥 TOTAL # OF PLAYERS: 10PP per Group

  • 🕒 LENGTH OF TIME: 180 Mins.

  • 💰 PRICE: £55-125/PP

  • ☎️ BOOKING TYPE: Public

  • 🔓 ESCAPED/ COMPLETED?: Yes


📖 THE STORY

One Cartridge Place is a local that tells the story of the fall of Troy in ancient history. More specifically, it follows the stories of the plays titled "Hecuba" by Euripides and "Agamemnon" by Aeschylus. The show takes place over two large warehouses each painstakingly designed to depict the setting in question. Agamemnon is the "King of the Greeks" and reigns over the warehouse that takes place in Mycenae. It is a large area with little set-pieces but radiates from the environment. The center is a large focal point where major points of action occur and all will be able to observe the story going on. In great contrast (in the next warehouse), the city of Troy, ruled by Hecuba, is closed, constraining, labyrinthian city streets. These are based on old plays but a lot of the same themes are traced back to current day.


This is an adult show and no one under the age of 18 will be allowed into the venue. There will be disturbing imagery as well as nudity and minor gore. The adult themes were handled very tastefully during the production and added to the experience rather than taking away.

Video above is property of Punchdrunk


👀 THE EXPERIENCE

If you are unfamiliar with immersive theater, feel free to check out my article - "7 Tips & Tricks For Your First Immersive Theater Show".


As of Sept. 2022, in order to enter "The Burnt City", everyone must wear a mask. This is checked in line before you enter the building and limited masks are available at the door. You are then ushered into the first portion of the venue where there is a coat check available (for a small fee or free depending on the ticket purchased) and a front desk where you will verify your ticket and receive a playing card. Each guest is given a unique card and you will be sent to the bar. The bar is open one hour before the show and feel free to drink at your leisure. Cocktails will not be made until an hour and a half into the show.


Before arriving at the bar, you are asked to put your phone on SILENT and it is placed inside a little pocket bag where it is LOCKED closed, you hold onto your phone the entire time but access is not available unless you exit the show and have staff unlock the bag. Punchdrunk believes that for the time you are exploring the show everyone should be present and undistracted. Also, while in the show, you are asked respectfully to remain from speaking. Once the show is ready to begin they will call card values and let people into the experience in small groups. There is a brief introduction before you are let into the show and the next couple hours are yours to explore.


When the show has concluded, all are led back to the bar for merriment and discussion. This is a great time to meet up with your friends and talk about what you saw and compare. It also gives a demonstration of the live band on stage if one never makes their way back to the bar during the show.

Photos above are property of Punchdrunk

🎯 HIT THE BULLSEYE

  • The ancient cities of Mycenae and Troy are radically different in their design and it makes you really appreciate both the storyline and the sets the designers were communicating during the show. Each has a second story that incorporates well into choreography and movement during the show giving a depth unlike anything seen before.

  • Each and every actor played their part well and was able to convey their roles through their facial expressions and movements during the piece. When choreographing for an immersive show, one has to take into account the spaces created and the actors were able to use every little area to their advantage.

  • There is a beautiful score that enchants the audience members during the production. It is very much noticeable and flows with the action happening.

  • The bar was a part of the show itself. Once everyone is ushered into the main settings, during the production (about an hour after the first group goes in) the bar starts hopping with musical entertainment and merriment. Although I never personally made my way back to the bar during the show, I noticed during the production the liveliness coming from those four walls.

🧩 MISSED THE MARK

  • The show starts the immersion from the minute you enter the building, and while they do a good job explaining the bare bones of what you will be seeing. A little more information could be given about what one could expect when attending The Burnt City.

  • The show is almost too big for a single visit. I had a hard time trying to decide if I wanted to watch the events in Troy or Greece and, especially in Troy, the storefronts and secrets to be discovered are overwhelming.

  • The plays represented were foreign to me and thus I had no context for the show other than it was the fall of Troy. There are aspects during the show and standard themes one could be expected to be aware of that bridged the gap and made it an enjoyable and relatable experience.

  • We were provided with general tickets to the production, there is a premium and VIP package as well but with the price levels, we saw very little reason to upgrade. For those looking for an all inclusive night though, it might just be worth it.

🏹 TAKE A SHOT?

Punchdrunk puts on another amazing production where you are up close and personal to the actors instead of a standard stage. Each and every area is unique and one could spend the first hour simply wandering around and taking in the scenery. Feel free to move back and forth between each city and sometimes (when following an actor) you may head to the location previous with newfound knowledge. The movements of the actors (while still intensely choreographed dance numbers) felt exploratory and with purpose to convey the staging and motivations behind the characters, it is always a pleasure to follow a singular character to see what he or she will perform. If you are looking for a unique evening experience, The Burnt City provides a show you won’t soon forget!


ℹ️ ADDITIONAL INFO

Immersive Theater, NO Street Parking, Physically active show (accessible tickets available), Coat check, Drinks served for cost, multi-tiered tickets, lobby entertainment, story enhancing items to find. Masks required, 18+ required (Nudity).

 

*** We regret to inform this experience is no longer available for booking but check out other experiences on their website***



(If you do decide to try this game, give us a shoutout or tag us on social media so we know you heard it from "ESCAPETHEROOMers"!)


Disclosure: We thank Punchdrunk for comping our tickets for this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, it does not impact our opinion on the review whatsoever.

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