Shocked. Guilty. Violated. Disgusted.
Some of the words that wouldn't even take you close to how I feel after tonight's performance. And do you know what? It was f---ing BRILLIANT.
With Natalia Talkowska
I met Natalia at a conference and she's one of the only people I know who might just be as busy as me.
I don't remember much of the Wolf of Wall Street film but I can remember how it felt. It was excessive, vulgar and brash and the performance tonight didn't disappoint on these counts.
I don't want to write in too much detail about the ins and outs of what happens during this 2.5 hour show because I think it would really spoil it. But i'll share what I can.
The format for the evening is that the guests are 'new fish' starting on their first day at Stratton Oakmont. We were walked around the winding, multi-roomed location and different things happened in different rooms. When that scene had finished someone nearby would say something that led you off in a different direction so every guest saw a different set of scenes. This was genius because it made you feel uneasy that shouting was happening in another part of the building and you didn't know why.
The scenes in some of these rooms might be an interactive one where we'd be really involved. Or we'd just be stood there. In one room you'd be laughing, in the next you'd feel repulsed.
And it was the standing there as passive observer rooms that made the night so disgustingly powerful for me. We witnessed Jordan and Nadine have violent, angry sex. We dodged to move out of the way as Jordan frantically tore sofa cushions apart to find his stash of drugs. We were ushered past Nadine and told not to help her as she lay injured from being pushed on the stairs. We felt like a lot of what we were watching we shouldn't have been and that by just letting it happen we were complicit to it.
The worst example of this happened downstairs in the basement social space. We stood and watched as Danny emasculated Steve Madden and made him humiliate himself by way of penance for telling too much to the police. I was horrified as members of the audience started yelling abuse at him too, shouting gross, vulgar slurs at him. It was pack mentality at its strongest and it made me feel very uncomfortable.
But I could tell on reflection at the end of the show that the disgust, fear and horror I had felt had been carefully built up by the director so that you left that venue with the same feeling that you left the cinema with after watching the film. Utter astonishment and dismay at the potential vileness and greed of humankind.
It seems to be getting hugely polar reviews but in my opinion it was very clever from start to finish, the actors gave high energy, stunningly authentic performances and I would highly recommend it. But possibly skip this one if you're easily offended. Or don't like excessive use of the F word.
Buy tickets here.