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Theatre Review: The Soulless Ones - Hammer House of Horror Live @ Hoxton Hall

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Upon entering Hoxton Hall I was given a black cloak to wear, which was a nice touch.

I took a seat in the hall, all the while taking in my surroundings. It felt as though I had been transported back to Victorian London.

The performance began, with members of the cast already placed among us, they too were members of the audience for the nights spectacle. We were soon told to go, witness, watch and observe the hive at action. We were implored to explore, that our lives would never be the same after what we experienced on that night. So explore I did.

Every single room, corridor and staircase had been designed to keep the atmosphere alive. The set design was phenomenal. A huge space, an entire building, was transformed. It felt like the building was bigger than it probably is while simultaneously each room felt intimate and enclosed. This really helped create the sense that anything could happen and there was no where to run to when it did.

If you did wander off it was easy to get lost as the building felt like a maze. Halfway through the performance I ended up wandering into a room I had never seen before, or into a room from an angle I hadn't seen it from in the past. The magnitude of this production is quite amazing. It is disorienting and absolutely fantastically done.

There is no guide, it is up to you to decide if you want to stay in one room, explore yourself, or follow one actor. I chose the latter and while I did of course explore myself and bump into many characters and their stories on my journey, one character who's story I followed in particular was that of Remy, played by Samuel Collings.

Remy, the dreamer, had a story that was incredibly engaging. When I did wander off to discover more I would always find myself wondering what was happening to him. Collings played the part impeccably, never once slipping out of character on his journeys through the building.

Other stand outs for me include the character Dimi who Robert Nairne played with a vulnerability that was heart-breaking, Roslyn Hill who played Loveday, and was just very watchable. Also Edward Elgood and Theo Devarney as Aubrey and Ambrose, two excitably dangerous vampiric brothers who played up their mischief to enjoyable levels.

Overall the entire cast was brilliant, inhabiting their characters with full force. Never once did their energy levels slip despite running around Hoxton Hall, up many flights of stairs to the top floor and back down many flights of stairs to the cellar. The acting remained strong and grounded, making an unbelievable experience incredibily realistic.

The strong performances from all made it hard to choose whether to follow the sceptic who became more bedraggled each time I saw him, the new vampire thristing for her first taste of blood, or the vampiric queen who made my heart stop each time I saw her. Therefore, when it all tied together at the end of the performance with each story pushing each character into the same place it was very satisfying.

The timing of the piece was impeccable. There was never any overlap and each character managed to find themselves exactly where they needed to be, when they needed to be there. It was these overlaps and interactions with one another that amazed me. Many mistakes could have been made if one actors timing had fallen out but this never happened.

The only thing I can find to fault is the very few occasions where small slip ups took me out of the moment. This can be forgiven and forgotten, though, as the scale of the production is unlike anything I've ever seen.

Overall, the immersive experience is one that shouldn't be missed. The entire night felt like I had stepped into a Hammer movie, and I left feeling like I wanted to go back and witness it again from a different perspective. The Soulless Ones is a unique, thrilling and intoxicating night of theatre that needs to be discovered by you immediately.

The Soulless Ones is playing at Hoxton Hall until 31st October. Find out more and get tickets here.




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