Immercity is a theatre company specialising in immersive shows. I saw their production Crashed! last year, a piece about an alien landing which took place in a car park in Notting Hill, and I was impressed by their originality and energy; so when I got the chance to book a half-price ticket to their new show The Three Rings of Cirque Tsuki, I did so straight away.
Taking place in the company’s home at Babel Studios, south London, the show was based around a cast of circus characters who had their own personalities and backstories which played a part in the performance. The tiny basement was decorated in black and white to match the costumes of the cast, and the whole production had a lovely intimate feel. In between shows there was a chance to interact with cast members, hear stories, play games, and have your fortune told. I sometimes get a bit nervous about immersive theatre, but I felt completely comfortable here, chatting to cast members and audience members alike.
The first tale – which had been performed as a standalone piece earlier in the year – was called Birthday, and was a retelling of the story of Little Red Riding Hood. It was cleverly done, beautiful to look at and original in the telling. This piece was aimed at children, but there was plenty for adults to appreciate too – there were no children present when I saw it, but as far as I could tell everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
The second story, Feast, was a version of The Thousand and One Nights. It was incredibly complex, with stories within stories within stories, and I was impressed with how it had been put together, and at how easily I was able to follow it.
The third and final tale was a ghost story called Parade, inspired by tales from Japan. This was a suitably spooky way to end the night, and was just as entrancing as the other two.
Before arriving at Babel Studios I was slightly concerned that five hours would be an awfully long time to spend in one enclosed space, but in fact it went really quickly and I could easily have stayed longer in the world of Cirque Tsuki. A powerful, dreamlike experience, and one which I will be thinking about for a while.