Once Upon a Grimm Night: Interactive Theatre

Once Upon a Grimm Night Rating

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An interactive theatre experience is not a seated and static theatre show. Nor is it one where you are pulled onto stage to become a part of the show, like in a stage hypnotist’s performance.

The ‘theatre’ setting for Once Upon a Grimm Night was a beautiful heritage house, Lindesay House, with lush green landscaped gardens that overlooked Sydney Harbour. Odyssey Theatre has chosen the perfect setting in Lindesay House for their Otherworld meets Ourworld theatre experience.

When we arrived for our 5:30 p.m. session, we were greeted by the impressively large house, with warm lights emanating from the windows, giving it a welcoming glow. Dusky twilight oranges and pinks painted the background of the house and the huge tree in front of it, where we waited for the show to begin.

Our group was soon welcomed by The Narrator (Jared Gerschwitz) with his infectious enthusiasm. It is a credit to Jared, who outlined the storyline, clarified our quest for the night, and made our adventure into the house enjoyable while maintaining a wicked sense of humour. Other characters we met initially as we were swept into the story included Cly (Phoebe Lumley Tow), the earnest maiden, and Grimm Volkov (Harlee Timms).

Along with the heritage house, the details put into the costume design and hair styling stood out for me. The Maiden Cly’s hair was fairytale perfect, complete with the flowers in her half-up/down wavy hair. I noted the jewellery worn by The Narrator, Grimm and the Witch, who we soon met, all added to the idea of what a fairytale character would feel comfortable wearing. Look closely, to peek at some cleverly hidden clues in their costume and jewellery design!

The fourth character, the Witch (Emily McKendry), had her own back storyline, as did all the characters. One fun part of this interactive theatre involved the audience helping her brew a magic potion to help further their quest. The way that Emily guided this particular scene down in the basement of the house in the deep, cold, stone kitchen was highly entertaining.

Throughout the play, the audience was given several puzzles to solve that immersed them deeper into the storyline. Everyone had to work together to come up with the answer. The group I went through with were all good sports, and we had an opportunity to discuss what certain clues meant to try and figure out the answers. If you were someone who would rather observe than participate, I am sure that the cast wouldn’t have made you do anything.

All four characters appeared to be able to read the room, with their mannerisms tailored to the audience. Odyssey Theatre’s director and writer, Emily McKendry, creatively handmade the clue props, which stood out as original and made for interesting puzzles to solve.

The storyline would suit all ages, as a fairytale does not need to be just for children. I recommend Once Upon A Grimm Night for anyone who would like an hour of doing something different.

It was an interactive theatrical experience that was quite original and uncommon. We became part of the story, and there was something satisfying about it. I could see this experience fitting into a family night out, a unique first date, and everything in between.

All characters presented the story with humour, and their quick-witted quips felt spontaneous and fresh. Once Upon a Grimm Night plays three sessions every Thursday and Friday night throughout July.

Tickets: $49
Venue: Lindesay House
1 Carthona Ave, Darling Point NSW 2027
Season run: Thursday 4 July – Friday 26 July 2024

This review also appears on It’s On The House. Check out more reviews at Whats The Show to see what else is on in your town.

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