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Blood Will Have Blood review at Old Police Cells, Brighton – ‘atmospheric but gimmicky’

Blood Will Have Blood at Old Police Cells, Brighton.

Underneath Brighton town hall are the city’s old police cells. In these damp and melancholy rooms Immercity are performing Blood Will Have Blood an interactive piece which casts its audience as Fleance, son of the murdered Banquo.

The show is designed for eight audience members at a time. Everyone is equipped with a pair of headphones and led into a brick chamber. The floor is strewn with twigs and we are all invited to dig a small pouch from a tray of earth, to feel the dirt beneath our nails. Through the headphones we hear the story of a lost young man who meets a witch out on the heath and slowly remembers the past he has walled up and forgotten. Will he continue the cycle of murder and revenge?

Clancy Flynn’s writing is evocative and the text is well-spoken by Daniel Buckley. The location is very atmospheric, a small sad space deep beneath the streets, but some of the interactive elements feel forced and the sound quality is glitchy throughout, frequently cutting out. At one point a sections of text is repeated and one person’s headphones stop working altogether. There’s plenty of potential here, but it’s continually undermined by these technical issues. The headphones end up creating a barrier between the writing and the audience, and dilute the piece’s power considerably. They feel gimmicky and unnecessary. If only there was some other way of telling this story in this space? Of delivering words from mouths to ears?

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Atmospheric interactive show undermined by technical problems