Parabolic Theatre Company - Land of Nod
'Land of Nod' can only be described as a fantastic and innovative piece of theatre. This immersive piece, created by Parabolic Theatre, filled my head with curiosity and a sense of wonder. The piece has a murder mystery style to it, requiring audience participation to uncover clues which leave the participants asking one thing: Who was the killer?
This performance is one in which the audience members play just as much of an important role as the actors themselves, in order to reach their own verdict. Because of its site specific nature, the sense of freedom and believability within the performance proved magical.
The whole experience was enticing and thrilling, and I would highly recommend watching this piece as it is relevant for everyone in today's society, dealing as it does with issues of gang culture and violence. I can honestly say that 'Land of Nod' is one of the best pieces of theatre I have seen all year, and I cannot wait to go back. This highly immersive show gives each audience member their own unique experience as different sections of the mystery are uncovered by each person, which means that as upsetting as it is, you won't be able to see everything. But you will definitely be tempted to go back and discover the remaining secrets surrounding the case. I know I am.
Review by Harmony Nanton
A dead body in a back alleyway, a man on the run, a drug ring with links to the occult; welcome to Land of Nod.
This is a two hour immersive theatre production in which the audience play members of the press (no journalistic experience required) who are helping the police in their investigations. But unlike conventional theatre you control what path to follow in this megalith of a production. With multiple characters and locations you’re told at the outset that you will only see about 20% of the show in its entirety. But it’s still hard not to pout like a diva when your fellow participants recount stories of where they’ve just been. Cut yourself some slack because you’ll have to reframe your ideas about theatre here. This isn’t about watching a whole plot unfold in front of you. This is about spontaneous, interactive theatre which you get to tinker with.
The show is delivered by a brilliant cast who take to their interactive roles with ease, swapping realistic banter with the audience as they play out their stories on the streets of Croydon.
If you’re looking for a night out with a difference then you couldn’t do much better than Land of Nod. Just remember, you can’t see it all tonight, but there’s always tomorrow. Now where’s that link to the box office again…?
**** Review by Rekha Shane
This is an unusual, immersive theatre production staged around the streets of Croydon and within Matthew’s Yard theatre, which is used as the setting for a police station.
The cast were mainly young people but this did not detract from the quality of the production. There were some excellent performances particularly from A J MaGillivray who played Kane Williams, the main suspect, and Lloyd McDonagh who gave a very credible performance as Leo Banks, a drug dealer.
The director, Owen Kingston, also took part in the play (reminiscent of Alfred Hitchock). The “audience” seemed to enjoy themselves as they were invited to interrogate the suspects and witnesses. Although I did find it slightly confusing, differentiating between members of the cast and members of the public. We were, however, all given a lanyard to wear, identifying ourselves as members of the press.
The scene begins with a press conference, where we are informed of a murder and handed an information pack detailing the suspects and other witnesses wanted for questioning. We were then invited to split up and I stayed behind to listen to a police interview while others went along to the crime scene.
As the melodrama unfolded, we witnessed the arrest of the main suspect, Kane Williams, in the vicinity of Croydon College. A J McGillivray gave such an outstanding performance, I was really quite afraid as he tussled with the police officer
Overall, it was an interesting and noteworthy production although unfamiliar to myself. The ending was in my opinion, rather abrupt and puzzling as we were left to make our own conclusions as to who actually dunnit. Although I enjoyed it as a one-off experience, I’m not sure immersive theatre is for me.
**** Review by Jane Dugdale