London’s first purpose-built immersive theatre complex, Space 18, will open on April 13 with an immersive survival experience called Variant 31.
Space 18, on Oxford Street, will consist of 7 buildings, with more than 200 rooms set across 35 floors, housing 5 bars and a nightclub, with a maximum capacity of 1,500 audience members.
Variant 31 is a £2.5 million show, with producers Dalton M Dale for Big Dreamer Productions, Stephen McGill for McGill Productions and Oscar Blustin, behind it working in association with Rachel Kraftman Productions and Dahl Rasmussen of MDR Productions.
Dale said: “I started doing what I call 4D theatre about 15 years ago in the US, knowing that audiences wanted something more than being sat in a theatre watching a show. Two years ago I came to the UK specifically with the idea that the London market was primed and ready for a new generation of immersive experiences.”
He added: “As an innovator and an artist, I’m so excited to be opening up a new venue to provide the opportunity for people to innovate and see immersive theatre take flight. It will allow artists to come and create work that’s never been seen before.”
The show, Variant 31, will allow audiences to experience what it would be like being in a horror movie, which they need to navigate solving challenges. Billed as the largest of its kind in Europe, audiences will be able to take their own path through the hour and a half experience, with more than 1,000 possible routes. It will feature parkour, aerial acrobatics and combat scenes as well as one-on-one actor experiences with a cast of more than 100 performers and complimented by themed bars.
Variant 31 will run at the venue for two to three years before the space is opened up for productions by other immersive theatremakers, with the space large enough that multiple productions can run concurrently.