This is my fourth trip to the old Woolworths building on the Moor in a few weeks – I went to Horror Souk three times – and upon leaving I realise I’ll be doing the same again over the next week. They’re going to get so sick of me. The building has been transformed once again into a maze of fleeting experience and wondrous discovery that participants are guided through by a cast of larger-than-life characters living in the world of 1920s gang warfare.
You may remember that during September the building was used as a story cafe by The Bare Project, a local theatre company specialising in immersive theatre and new works. During that time they collected over a thousand stories from the people of Sheffield and this performance retells some of those stories in an immersive, multimedia experience.
From the uplifting tale of a boy who moved to Sheffield and saw snow for the first time to the kooky grandmother making a cemetery for local animals and the touching tale of the alcoholic, dry for 19 years, each story was moving in its own way. But I think what got them under your skin was the quality of the performance from each of the actors, effortlessly drawing you into their world for a few moments as you passed through, on your way elsewhere but always with time to pause and listen.
This is an incredibly ambitious production. There are 12 different performances happening concurrently in the building and each is dressed, lit and produced as if it’s the only one. Mega props have to go out to the technicians whose sound and lighting designs elevate the spaces and transform their character, so every room feels new and each performance has a unique atmosphere.
You won’t get to see every story in one night, but you’ll have a great time swapping stories with your fellow adventurers at the end and you can always go back. You’ll need to hurry though as the last night is Saturday 6th December. Up to and including that day the performances will run every night at 7:30pm with Saturday matinees at 3pm (tickets here). You won’t regret it.
Words: Sara Hill
Images © Sara Hill