101 (4 stars)

This article is from 2011


Group hugs, cult chants and it’s all your fault

Back with three new immersive scenarios after causing a stir last year, the 101 team show just how compelling theatre can be with the most elementary of resources. No special effects, no set, scarcely anything you’d call a costume and yet the young company does a thoroughly persuasive job in commandeering your imagination.

In the 11am scenario, you are co-opted into a primitive religious sect, pagan chants, ritualistic gestures and all. There is a good deal of cultish hugging and call-and-response liturgy as you await the coming of a living goddess, a figure of terror or liberation depending on the depth of your faith.

By the time the show mutates into a Beauty and the Beast-style myth, you realise you have been a participant in a morality tale with a bitter and unhappy ending.

You could make a case for the show being about the perils of group thinking or the hazards of blind faith. You could make an equal case for it being a load of made-up tosh. What you can’t dispute is the utterly absorbing and intense nature of a thrilling performance.

C Soco, 0845 260 1234, until 21 Aug, times vary, £7.50–£9.50 (£6.50–£8.50).


  • 4 stars

101 returns with an all-new set of scenarios. This critically acclaimed interactive experience sees a small audience involved directly in the unfolding of a performance grounded in classical drama and folklore. 'Really rather fascinating' (Lyn Gardner, Guardian).

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