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Recollection review – ‘an exhilarating and topical immersive experience’

Rebecca Ward in Any One Thing's Recollection. Photo: David Smalley

This is quite a lot of fun. Fresh-faced company Any One Thing’s Recollection is an immersive experience that involves its audience members – six at a time – dashing through the streets around London Bridge, bundling into a mini-van, and breaking into an office block after-hours.

Richard Pucci’s plot could be elucidated better – it gets muddled towards the evening’s denouement – but at least it is satisfyingly topical. A white-toothed company, Memorious, has selectively erased some of our memories, Eternal Sunshine-style, and we’ve got to get them back, because now they are flogging our data to some shady, Cambridge Analytica types.

Sophie Larsmon’s staging is lean, with just two actors – Rebecca Ward as our homeless hero-guide, Benedict Hudson as her untrustworthy aide – but it works well, for the most part. As with all immersive stuff, it’s only as enjoyable as you make it: the more you put in, the more you get out.

The most impressive element, though, and what makes Recollection stand out from its competitors, is the way it incorporates the audience’s own information into the show. Early on, you supply your name and a mugshot, and later down the line, rifling through the filing cabinets of Memorious’ offices, there you are: your friends, your Facebook photos, your data.

That’s Any One Thing’s thing. Founded just last year by tech entrepreneurs Justin Fyles and Paul Farnell, it uses technology to tailor experiences to its audience. This debut show is a decent effort, and definitely something to build on.

Is immersive theatre growing up or growing too big, too quickly?

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Exhilarating and satisfyingly topical immersive experience around London Bridge from fresh-faced company Any One Thing