Smoking Gun

A dodgy MP, a new and potentially dangerous drug and a mysterious whistle-blower. In Fast Familiar’s new show you’re not just watching the action, you’ve very much at the heart of it.

Smoking Gun is a piece of theatre that left me gripped

Smoking Gun is brand new interactive show from Dan Barnard, Rachel Briscoe & Joe McAlister. Over the course of five nights, you’ll investigate NHS records, review security camera footage and track down the clues. With new evidence being revealed every morning, players need to piece together the mystery and make their decision as to who, if anyone, they should reveal to the press.

Every morning new information is sent to players – videos, photos, websites, emails and the like. Players review the evidence, follow any leads, and prepare for the live 30-minute chat every evening (either at 6 or 9pm). The live chat takes place on an app similar to WhatsApp (cleverly custom made for the show) in groups of up to ten people.

Certainly the chat that I was in during the five nights was both entertaining and investigative. The 30 minute time limit focused minds on investigating the case and the anonymity provided a level playing field. There was the flush of pride when I presented new evidence to the group and my heart lept at moments when chasing breadcrumbs suddenly started coming together – and it’s a hugely enjoyable and rewarding experience.

It rather tailed off in the final days – and ended with a somewhat unsatisfying conclusion. There were moments where I was trying to ‘hack’ websites and emails trying to discover any more breadcrumbs, but sadly there weren’t that many left to find. Also, don’t expect a black and white final answer, Smoking Gun deals in greys and audiences are left to make up their mind for themselves.

That said, it’s been the talk of the household over the last five nights – and whilst there’s flaws in the overall process – it managed to engage us more than anything seen since lockdown started. Flaws or not, Smoking Gun is a piece of theatre that left me gripped.

On the sixth night, they host a Zoom chat to meet your fellow team-mates and ask questions to the producers. At the end they plugged their next show, The Evidence Chamber... I have eagerly signed up. I recommend you do to.

Reviews by Nicholas Abrams

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The Blurb

A whistleblower contacts you, says they have information which the public should see. But they need your help getting it out there. 

Over 6 days, you receive information on your phone - you solve puzzles and put clues together to figure out what is going on. 

You message with a small group of other people who are playing - you compare theories and work together. 

At the end of the week your group will have to decide whether you go to the newspapers with what you’ve found out. 

As you’re drawn into a world of politics, corruption and surveillance, who can you trust?

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