Taking immersive theatre to the next level, Applespiel have launched into this year’s Fringe with a set of corporate seminars, designed to improve everyone’s awareness of themselves and their strengths in the workplace.
The premise, then, is simple enough, and what follows is an ensemble production in which members of the audience are used as ‘contestants’ in different games. The Australian company have a slight bit of drama that runs through the piece - a sort of subplot that centres around the relationship between a couple of the characters - but it is far from taking centre stage and in itself doesn’t contribute much to the show as a whole. This is an experience rather than an emotional ride - and in that, feels like it lacks any point.
Using the audience as contestants works well, but the scoring system means that one member of the audience can very quickly take the lead and leave everyone else behind. It also feels like a gimmick rather than any kind of meaningful escapade, also leaving the show lacking in any ‘oomph’.
Ultimately, they do do well to control the audience, and Applespiel are clearly talented in creating immersive work. This one, however, doesn’t quite hit the mark.