24 January 2023
A secret location near St. James’s Park
5.0 out of 5.0 stars
Saint Jude is the newest immersive project by Swamp Motel. Having massively enjoyed their previous shows, I knew I had to grab tickets to a preview to check it out.
This show is definitely something different! Using innovative AI technology, Saint Jude presents a haunting story that is heavily influenced by each attendant’s decisions.
Saint Jude presents itself as a revolutionary medical program, located in a government building near St. James’s Park. Their new technology taps into the consciousness of people in comas, translating their brain waves into speech, while it also connects a volunteer to the “Sleeper” to guide them through their disconnected dream scape and heighten their chances of awakening from their coma.
As a brand new batch of volunteers, we are each assigned a Sleeper and receive a quick introduction into how their technology and the corresponding terminals work. We then sit down in single-occupancy booths and get to work.
The Sleeper we’re connected to reacts to everything you say, and each decision changes the story that unfolds. Each attendant gets to create their own story, their own results, based on what they ask their Sleeper.
The AI technology works incredibly well, and aids in creating an unsettling feeling, reinforcing the already tense and distressing atmosphere. The unfolding story is creepy, slowly unfurling more details of the alarming plot sentence by sentence. There is also the pressure of having to decide what the correct way forward is, how to communicate with the Sleeper, what to advise, how much to give away.
It’s extremely well done and almost entirely run through AI, so even if you’re shy or unsure of how to interact in immersive shows, there’s no need to worry and you can relax knowing this is just a computer program interpreting your reactions. Even if it feels spine-chillingly real due to the story and setup!
A fantastic feat and another astounding show by Swamp Motel!