Yesterday I went to the new Punchdrunk theatre project – this time a collaboration with the Old Vic under the command of Kevin Spacey. Punchdrunk specialise in ‘site specific theatre’ in London’s hidden derelict, underused and evocative urban spaces.
I saw their production of Faust in 2006 – a wild Edward Hopper inspired 1950’s americana nether world constructed in a five story warehouse in Wapping, where actors and audience followed one another in a raucous, confusing and intriguing performance through the beautifully created sets.
The new production, tunnel 288, is a post industrial Metropolis inspired dystopia, more of an art installation than a play. The website maquerades as a transport company, you enter the tunnel though a battered wooden door behind Waterloo station. Inside you are issued with a mask – swine flu style (in Faust audience members wore more theatrical masks). Then you are free to wander around the tunnels and explore Punchdrunk’s latest brilliant genre bending installment.