Review: ‘Revolution’ at VAULT Festival

Among the dozens of shows, performances and exhibitions taking place at this year’s VAULT Festival, Exit Productions’ immersive ‘Revolution’ somehow manages to stand apart from its contemporaries thanks to its thought-provoking premise and structure.

Founded on the central premise that central government in London has fallen, each of the 20-plus participants are divided into three political factions based on whether you identify as strong, principled or free.

From this point, each political party is assigned increasingly complex tasks with the aim of becoming the dominant power in London. With teams dvided into politicians and generals, this is done through gaining control of as many London boroughs as possible and successfully initiating new policy ideas.

Throwing together the most enjoyable parts of turn-based strategy games such as Risk and Settlers of Catan with innovative elements of interactive theatre, Revolution proves an effective and entertaining way to pass 90 minutes of your time.

Unsurprisingly for such an immersive production, Revolution relies a lot on the people you find yourself working alongside and competing against. Some had done their research and were fully prepared for the board game aspects of the show, while others were perhaps less aware.

In terms of setting the scene, the dimly-lit warehouse-style space works well, while props are liberally used to set up ‘camps’ for each of the three factions. If there is one area where VAULT Festival has thrived across the board, it is in providing unique and effective performance spaces that complement each show extremely effectively.

The three actors guiding the process along have to work through a lot of exposition and have to be on their toes to ensure everyone follows the complex rules and narrative.

Yet, once over those initial hurdles, the whole process develops into an incredibly off-beat, entertaining affair that is at once funny and thought-provoking, prompting much post-script discussion around the political systems and hierarchy that almost unconsciously come

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