IMMERSIVE LDN – LONDON’S HUB FOR IMMERSIVE WORK GOES FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH
IMMERSIVE LDN – the new West End venue dedicated to developing and staging theatre-led immersive experiences – opened its doors to the public in October 2019. In the four months since it opened, it has hosted the West End transfer of the UK’s longest running immersive show, The Great Gatsby (which has just extended booking until July 2020), been the venue for Gingerline’s sell-out dining and gameshow experience TV Dinners, seen audiences enjoy festive cheer during the seventh seasonal run of the Immersive Christmas Carol, and had over 25,000 patrons come through the doors. Immersive LDN was recently a finalist for The Stage Awards 2020, in the category of Innovation, which highlights the best new design, technical or creative developments in the performing arts in the past 12 months.
In 2019, Olivier Award winning producers Louis Hartshorn and Brian Hook launched a new company IMMERSIVE EVERYWHERE, entirely dedicated to developing and staging theatre-led immersive experiences and have recently announced a major new production Doctor Who Time Fracture.
IMMERSIVE | LDN is the newest of their network of venues, which houses a café/bar, commercial kitchen, rehearsal and workshop spaces to help the development of new work. A 32,000sq ft historic building in the heart of Mayfair, which was home to the Queen Victoria’s Rifles Association until 2017, the venue includes three floors of immersive theatre and event spaces designated for performance, immersive dining, live gaming, events, escape rooms and private parties, and in March 2020 an extension will be opened, with twenty offices dedicated to the use of those in the creative industries.
Spaces in the building include:
THE MESS HALL (a 300 capacity 3,500sq ft blank canvas space. Its flexibility and location make it an ideal space for boundary pushing events – major brands that have already used the space include Google, Ikea and London Fashion Week). Ground level vehicle access and a disabled toilet makes The Mess Hall fully accessible.
THE BASEMENT – incorporating a former shooting range, ammunition store, and a commercial kitchen – this space features three rooms with a combined capacity of 210, providing an opportunity for shows and events to take place in one of London’s most interesting and atmospheric spaces.
GATSBY’S MANSION – the UK’s longest running immersive show is currently performed over seven rooms split over two floors – a space measuring over 5000sq ft. The stunning re-design of the show (which transferred from a two year run at Colab in SE1) features secret doorways, intricate detail and even a unique scent design for each room.
THE LUCKY CLUB – The Lucky Club – an ethical fashion brand focusing on genderless streetwear – launched a permanent bar on the ground floor of Immersive LDN in November 2019. Mixing in-store fashion, cocktails and food during the day and evening, The Lucky Club bar provides a positive, inclusive hang-out and shopping spot; a hub for local creatives – with the vibe of a members bar but free to all.
Immersive LDN have a partnership with FLAVOUROLOGY, which allows innovative catering for any scale of event, from simple canapés to fine dining. The three-course pre-show dining experience for The Great Gatsby launched in December and has proved a huge sell out success, with the demand leading to the producers doubling the capacity.
The establishment of Immersive LDN has facilitated permanent job creation in terms of administration, F&B and show staff.
Louis Hartshorn and Brian Hook said, “We think this is the first time the immersive industry has created permanent jobs, and we’re thrilled to have over 40 people on the payroll on this amazing building. “