Take a Ride to the Dark Side:
I have to be honest, the words ‘Immersive Theatre’ usually fill me with dread. I’m far too much of a typically repressed Englishwoman to want to interact with actors. But when an invitation came to dine on board a train headed to the underworld, with the food prepared by Louisa Ellis a 2107 Master Chef Professionals finalist, I convinced myself that it couldn’t be all bad.
The entrance to the Underworld is actually in East London it seems. A converted railway arch has been turned into a train station, staffed by the undead. A group of slightly nervous passengers mingled in the dusty and atmospheric waiting room buoyed up by the charming train guard, Gordy, and a glass of prosecco. The story of our journey started to unfold as we were introduced to Claude the shackled conductor prior to boarding the train. Once on board, we were served a really great dinner. An amuse bouche of butternut squash veloute with toasted pumpkin seeds and chive oil was wonderfully rich and creamy. This was followed by a starter of black garlic gnocchi with wild mushrooms and truffle shaving. Whilst we were eating these, eerie messages written by unseen hands, started to appear on the windows of the train carriage. Our main course of pan-seared Guinea fowl breast served with celeriac, anna potatoes and a mustard and braised leek sauce was perfectly cooked and delicious, despite being served by the undead. The story of our journey to meet the ‘Dark Lord’ continued, we were introduced to other characters. The dance performed by the Gate Keeper had us all spellbound. Whilst we had to help break the Dark Lord’s hold over his ‘bride’ so that true love could prevail. We finished our meal with a chocolate ganache served with honey ice cream, bee pollen tuile, and a honey crisp. I’m not normally a big fan of desserts, but this was really lovely. I’m just sorry that the photos taken in the dark train didn’t do it justice.
I’ve tried not to give away the whole plot. The evening was much more fun than I’d expected, the actors were engaging, and interacted with the ‘passengers’ on a great ad lib basis. The food was very good too, much better than you might expect from this type of experience.
If you fancy taking a ride on the train to the underworld, it’s going to be departing from Pedley Street station until 7th November. Tickets start from £53 and can be purchased on the Funicular website
Funicular Productions Ltd
63 Pedley Street,