To set the scene, ‘The Development’ was held in Alexander McQueen's old design basement, and on arrival we were ushered quickly and silently down a set of stairs and along along corridor before reaching a set of heavy black doors. What lay ahead of the doors was somewhat of a mystery to us; with 'rave' and 'theatre' being the invitation, our insides were all-of-a-flutter. How could these two genres, which usually sit firmly at opposite ends of the spectrum, become one?
Our coats were taken and we were instructed to read aloud a pledge of secrecy (we're breaking the rules giving so much away already!), then we were handed two 'treats' and swore not to touch them until the right moment arose.
And arise it did - as we traveled through several stages of human emotions personified into characters who’d have you laughing, wincing and blushing at any given moment - but who played their part with so much energy, that even the quietest of audience members were toe-to-the stage, fist-pumping the air, and hanging on each and every word.
This immersive experience was sexy and alluring whilst being fiercely energetic. The performance is backed by a plethora of drum beats, chants and mantras; staged on a black and white tiled catwalk with splashes of red lipstick, and lashed with the scars of red wine.
Your part as a member of ‘The Development’ is down to you; since you’re given a series of choices and opportunities throughout. The first was was a test to your self-discipline as you unwrap your first treat - a little heart shaped chocolate - and tantalisingly tease it around your face and lips. Will you be one to give in to temptation? Will you eat the chocolate?
I might add that I was rather surprised to find myself one of the only audience members who did!
We could go on to unveil all of the shows beguiling secrets, but just be assured that it paces forward healthily until the final stage: the 'rave initiation' - in which the show seamlessly gives way to the second stage of the evening: the live DJs. By this moment, you’re a fully fledged member of ‘The Development’, and the bar opens up to serve great cheap drinks (at £3 for beers, ales and wine). The DJ then provides a choice selection of vibrant house and electro music with George Fitzgerald and Jamie XX to name but a few examples.
Had the crowd been a little bigger we would have happily held out until closing time (1am) before chipping over to Fabric - which is just around the corner. Unfortunately, there weren't quite enough lively young faces still around by the end to keep us dancing…but we'll chalk that up as seasonal timing - we can imagine the dance floor fit to burst and pulsing with energy until the small hours on a regular night of this unique show.
This isn't just a theatre performance; it has the potential to also be a cheap night out with great vibes all round - so we suggest you grab a group of friends, head over to 119 Farringdon Road and soak up some of that atmosphere!
With guest DJs joining the line-up the show resumes January 2015 through to Feb 14, and there are some surprises on the horizon that’ll make it an even more attractive night out… so watch this space!
Get your tickets here: