Tech / Theatre

Theatre Review: Viper Squad (Interactive Zoom Event)

Ever wished you could experience the proper 80’s action flick experience? Have a shoot-out with crazed super-terrorists? Negotiate a desperate hostage situation? Defuse a bomb with 1 second to spare? Well, thanks to the team at online theatre company CtrlAlt_Repeat, your wish has certainly come true.

CtrlAlt_Repeat already have previous when it comes to staging online interactive theatre – their original Sherlock Holmes production in the summer proved to be an inventive take on the relatively new format of video call theatre, allowing for a unique blend of interactive storytelling and fun activities. Through an online Zoom meeting, the drama unfolds, with viewers invited to switch their cameras on and participate as if they were on a call with the characters themselves.

What’s immediately evident with their latest show – Viper Squad – is how the creators have honed their craft to an even greater degree this time around! The end result is a polished, intricate production, perfectly primed for the Zoom format. A loving homage to 80s action fare like Die Hard, The Delta Force and The A-Team, audience members are encouraged to create code names, and actively participate in covert intelligence briefings, hostage negotiations and tense standoffs alongside a colourful cast of stock action movie characters. The result is extremely fun, and certainly scratches any itch one may have to be part of a high-octane action thriller.

The ensemble cast are all excellent and their enthusiasm for the material is clear as day throughout. Rebekah Finch, Sid Phoenix and James Dillon inject plenty of humour and gusto into their hosting roles as the Viper Squad team leaders, marshalling participants and keeping them on track whilst ensuring the story unfolds in an entertaining manner, whilst supporting parts played by Edward Cartwright, David Alwyn and Rachel Waring provide some wonderful, engaging characters that are peppered throughout.

Those with a love for all things 80’s will also get a kick out of the overall look and feel of proceedings – the graphic design, the costumes and the musical score all feel like they were ripped straight out of a cheesy 80s thriller, such is the excellent level of attention to detail here. The behind the scenes running of such a complex, technically demanding production was on point throughout, the facade never dropping once, ensuring a proper immersive experience for all.

A perfect antidote to Lockdown 2.0 blues for fans of explosive action flicks, immersive theatre and all things 80’s, Viper Squad is chock full of ingenuity, excitement and intrigue. A must-see!

Viper Squad runs online until November 22nd. Book tickets here.

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