“Do you want to go?” She asked me, after a more adventurous participant had ventured off down a long, whitewashed corridor.
He’d just disappeared through a sliding door and left the remainder of the group, including my companion and I, awaiting the next stage of what was possibly the most bewildering 45 minutes of my life.
We were in the first of many shipping containers on The Jetty on Greenwich peninsula, visiting a creative work by arts organisation Shunt called ‘The Boy Who Climbed Out of His Face’. It was a cold Thursday evening, a gentle rain fell, but the quaint pier was full of both the intrigued and the relaxed – depending on whether they’d taken part yet.
To describe what’s inside the containers fully would be to entirely ruin the surprise. All I can say is that each room sparked very different emotions – I felt awkward, fearful, excited, and sad at varying stages.
Above all though, the whole affair was quite funny, really. I can’t say I fully understood it, which is fine, but anything that makes me laugh is worth doing in my book and I’d urge others to take the plunge. It’s an adventure and makes mid-week a lot more interesting. “Immersive theatre” experiences usually do.
That said, it requires an explorative side and I’d encourage taking full use of the bar on arrival. And afterwards you might enjoy another drink, perhaps moving on to the cocktails crafted by the pirate-like proprietor of Horsham’s best kept secret, The Dead Parrott bar. I had a ‘Meantime Martini’, very fitting, and which – in a nice way – smelt faintly of the sea.
There’s also food at the inevitable pop-up restaurant, with various seaside treats, or a barbecue putting out ribs in sweet glaze, the smokiest of pulled pork, and strips of beef. This might be enjoyed while sitting on a wooden pallet and listening to live music. A word must be said here for Jide Kuti, who made pop songs better with a guitar and a soulful voice.
The Boy Who Climbed Out of His Face is running until September 28. Tickets here.