Tag Archives: Peter Dewhurst

For King & Country – 4 Stars


For King & Country

COLAB Factory

Reviewed – 26th April 2018


“a truly immersive show – the role the public plays means that no two performances are ever going to be the same”


A soldier in a second world war uniform is the only indication that something unusual is going on behind an unsuspecting doorway in South East London. He welcomes you into an intimate flag filled bar transporting you instantly back to the 1940s. Cast members circulate in period costume whilst Douglas Remington-Hobbs introduces himself and gives you a brief back story as to your purpose for the evening.

It’s December 1940, but not as we know it, Lord Halifax is Prime Minister, Edward VIII is on the throne, Nazi troops have landed in Britain and are rapidly advancing through the South East of England. Britain is in crisis and an emergency session has recalled both houses to Parliament. A small number of backbench MPs and their families are whisked away to a secret London location. As a member of the audience you assume the identity of one of these designated survivors. Almost immediately disaster strikes in London and soon you are electing a new Prime Minister and cabinet to take the lead and take control of the situation.

Peter Dewhurst is excellent in his role of Douglas Remington-Hobbs. He controls proceedings and is responsible for steering the audience through the tough decisions they have to make. He is quick witted and his ability to draw out suggestions and shoot down the crazy responses is brilliant. This is a truly immersive show – the role the public plays means that no two performances are ever going to be the same. The actors are talented and experts in improvisation. They feed trickles of information and direct you towards a solution – sometimes facing the difficulty of dealing with a particularly headstrong and passionate individual. The evening progresses with a mixture of healthy debates in a makeshift parliament interspaced with the audience being sent off to carry out a number of different tasks.

Notable performances also came from Christopher Styles and Edward Andrews playing Major Timothy Smythe and Squadron Leader James Muir. The set (Owen Kingston and Christopher Styles) is fantastic with the attention to detail adding to the atmosphere. The space is used to maximum effect and easily negotiated as you move through the different scenes. Whilst those with “elected” roles are given specific direction “unelected” audience members are left to wander freely as each scenario unfolds. Sometimes this allowed some to become a little bit lost with what was going on. I felt that it would have had a better flow if the “unelected” had been split into groups and given specific tasks.

Overall For King and Country is a clever, fun evening out – original and extremely engaging. A knowledge of historic events and participation is not essential but would add to your enjoyment enormously. Don’t worry if you are not “elected” to a lead role there are still plenty of opportunities for immersion.


Reviewed by Angela East

Photography by Owen Kingston


For King & Country

COLAB Factory until 10th June


Previously at this venue
Hidden Figures: WW2 | ★★★★★ | March 2018


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Revolution – 5 Stars



The Vaults

Reviewed – 24th January 2018


“without a moment to blink you are placed in your faction to begin the game”


“Do more than belong: participate”

(William Arthur Ward)

Most often, or not, as audience members in a theatre we naturally fall into the habit of remaining subdued during a performance, unless encouraged to do otherwise – and most likely only if we see others doing the same. As soon as we find our seats and settle in, it’s almost as if we silence ourselves simultaneously as we turn our phones onto ‘silent-mode.’ Whilst this may be generalising ever so slightly, if there ever was an interactive performance to kick-start your audience-member-receptors into gear, look no further than Revolution.

As part of the extensive programme at this year’s Vault Festival, Revolution is a 90-minute immersive and interactive performance by Exit Productions inspired by games like Risk, Diplomacy, Settlers of Catan, and Civilisation. It takes place during a revolutionary upheaval in London whereby the audience are protagonists in the story and are split into rival factions. Throughout the high-energy performance it is up to you and your fellow audience members to decide the course of the revolution.

The performance is a delightful ride from the very beginning. After gathering at the meeting point before the performance we were led through the Vault Tunnels past a variety of political graffiti, the majority being various depictions of Trump, which seemed incredibly poignant as a precursor to the performance. Once we arrived at the venue we were quickly ushered inside where an intense soundscape filled the space, and without a moment to blink you are placed in your faction to begin the game.

This arena couldn’t have fit this performance more appropriately, there was an open area where, between rounds, the audience convened, as well as divided spaces for the faction HQs. It felt almost maze-like, adding another layer to an already incredibly animated experience. Additionally, the set was comprised of a selection of furniture that gave that feeling of instant immersion, vital for such a performance.

The potential downside of such a performance is that it relies so heavily on the audience willingly participating for the full game. However, the overall atmosphere of the game was commanded incredibly efficiently by the entirety of the actors (Peter Dewhurst, Lauren Gibson, Chris Neels, Clemency Thorburn), often without you realising. Even for the most shy of audience members, the energy within the performance space will make you feel like taking part is the only option.

If you’re in need of channelling your inner-frustration with the current political climate elsewhere, I’d wholeheartedly recommend taking part in Revolution as a remedy. I promise, it works!


Reviewed by Claire Minnitt



Vaults Theatre until 18th March



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