Behind Closed Doors
17 April 2021
5.0 out of 5.0 stars
Behind Closed Doors by 27degrees only had a short 4 day run in Spitalfields, but will hopefully be back again soon. I attended the Saturday evening performance, it was such a novel concept and so suitable for the times we live in. Covid safe and fully outdoors, there is no contact between attendees and actors at all.
The show runs through audio clips (subtitles are available) on a website, short performances inside buildings, viewed from outside through the windows, as well as light installations and small scale art pieces. Through these techniques, Behind Closed Doors tells the stories of a small neighbourhood and the interesting people living within it. The immersive part of the show happens through decisions each attendee has to make along the way. It is a very interesting concept and so well realised.
It all started off on the stairs of Christ Church Spitalfields (this was the only not-accessible part as there are stairs to climb as well as a bit of a funnel at the entrance where people had to gather and wait, but I’m sure the introduction could have been done outside the church grounds for those who couldn’t get to/up the stairs) with a short introduction into how the show would work and what to do to log into the website and get the audio adventure started.
From there, each attendee was on their own to make decisions and discover parts of this fascinating neighbourhood. The route only spanned two roads, with each location just a few steps apart, so it was very easy to reach the different show stops and observe the installations or live performances. The only thing I found a bit detrimental to enjoyment was the fact that some attendees stood right up to the windows, blocking everyone else’s view, when standing back would have allowed more people to see at the same time. But as each stop only lasts a few minutes, it was easy enough to just wait for people to move on.
I loved meeting the different inhabitants of this fictional neighbourhood and making decisions on who gets to meet and change each other’s lives. What a beautiful concept and well realised show!