Immersive, interactive dining experiences are becoming a part of London’s theatre scene – there’s a multi-course Dionysian dinner show in the Vaults and an immersive Mamma Mia! dining experience on the cards.
This is this the second such production from Funicular, which like its previous show The Murder Express uses Masterchef finalists to create the menu.
Journey to the Underworld seems designed to tap the lucrative Halloween market. The pristine rail carriage set from The Murder Express has been seasonally themed, sporting plenty of cobwebs and splashes of gore while the interior is eerily lit with blue lights and the merest hint of haze.
Gordy Maxwell’s effete maitre d’ provides a light counterpoint to Chris Heany’s scenery-chewing performance as Claude, setting the mood for the evening by delivering fire and brimstone warnings to all those who have sold their souls for a ticket.
Writer Bobby Lee Darby and Craig Wilkinson’s blend of a horror and love story starts well but peters out by dessert. The use of animated exposition projected on the carriage windows works well but even with the addition of Charlie Bond as Claude’s soul-mate Sabine, the performance element still seems slight.
Though Louisa Ellis’ menu is beautifully designed corners have most definitely been cut with costume and make-up. With so much attention to detail in all other aspects, especially Jack Barton’s animation, it’s a shame that final arrival of the Prince of Darkness raises squeals of laughter rather than horror. The food is splendid though, and an improvement on the last outing