All Falls Down
28 January 2023
3.5 out of 5.0 stars
My second show at the Vault Festival was All Falls Down by Chronic Insanity, an audience-driven story telling experience.
This one is staged inside a shipping container near the Vaults Theatre. The inside is clad all in black, with just a small round table off to one side. Atop the table, some scattered and broken foliage, a smashed toy aeroplane, and a stack of wooden bricks. The show host started telling a story, and the audience is encouraged to make decisions to drive the story forward.
During a group reunion, out group of “friends” meets with Sarah, who left to move to Seattle years ago. She has organised a weekend getaway to get the friend group back together and is flying us all out to an island to celebrate. But on the way, the plane crashes, we find ourselves in a clearing in the forest with Sarah missing and no idea where we are. From here on out, we have to make the decisions that drive this story forward.
With some audience members not fully understanding the concept, and others making many decisions on their own, it was a little difficult to start with. As with many immersive shows, there are always some people participating more and others not at all. Unfortunately the host didn’t fully balance this issue out, and with over twenty people in a shipping container that is a tall order in and of itself.
Whenever a request or decision was made, a player had to draw a brick from the tower to see how well they fared. As an avid roleplayer, I did really enjoy this game mechanic in and of itself. It ads a bit more flexibility than just a couple of dice.
We did manage to find our friend Sarah and make our way out of the forest, but it all felt a bit awkward due to the size of the group and the fact that only about five or six of us actually participated in a meaningful way.
Overall, a great idea of storytelling, but definitely a much too large group for the show and the space itself.