Dressed in a soft white robe and bed socks, I lie back on a pillow, transfixed on a gigantic teddy bear which is draping a man swaddled in white cloth. 'There was once a little girl who had everything she ever dreamt of', the man reads from a storybook, 'and one day her mother decided to leave her in the woods'. No, this isn't my entry for a short story competition, nor is it a bizarre childhood memory; it is Somnai, the hotly anticipated new immersive experience from Ellipsis Entertainment. Combining immersive theatre and VR, Somnai casts you as a patient to their sleep clinic for just more than an hour.
Having raised £3 million in funding, and with an Oscar-winning producer on the board, the event is looking to change the way we see entertainment in London. A warehouse near Old Street has been transformed into a labyrinth of different themes, from an incredible room with a screen that seems to boom you off into space, through to a dank cellar splattered with blood. Fantastic actors play your guides for the evening, being both jarringly personal and robot-like at the same time.
For me, the stand-out was the VR, which had us crossing rickety bridges through dusty canyons and touching soft toadstools in fluorescent wonderlands. The theatre is just as good, and without giving too much away, there was one point when the Fitbit I was wearing for the evening started flashing alarmingly due to my terrified heart rate. There are a lot of immersive experiences out there, but Somnai is a real game changer; with superb acting, amazing set design and technology distorting our reality, it's not hard to really believe that you might just be trapped in an episode of Black Mirror.
Somnai is taking place in Old Street, 2 Pear Tree St, London EC1V 3SB. Tickets cost £50 per person, for around an hour and a half which includes time in the bar.