Giddy as a pair of school girls, a friend and I recently found ourselves at the preview of Goosebumps: Alive! It’s one of the latest immersive theatre experiences to hit the capital and bring R.L Stine’s spooky series to the interactive stage for both children and adults. This version, however, is just for adults. Aptly located beneath London Waterloo, in The Vaults, this chilling new production will be taking place from 6th April, recreating the episodes including those from the 90s Goosebumps tv show which once saw a wee, curtain-haired Ryan Gosling act.
If you’re partial to a good spine tingle, I must emphasise that this one’s for you.
We jumped at the chance to play with the creepy props. In the show, audiences will be terrorised by evil scarecrows chasing them on stilts. These stilts were impossible to balance on so I hope the actors will have practised. Just sayin’. We also enjoyed putting on some delightfully scary pumpkin heads whilst vogueing with a ginormous clown face and evil, algae sea fiend. A collection of hideous heads, mean-looking plants and other disturbing props hung around, eyeballing us.
One can’t deny the thought that has gone into making the production. The New Yorker behind the magic, director and co-writer, Tom Saloman, elaborated on the collaboration with The Vaults’ director, Kieron Vanstone who explained, with great passion, his long-term desire to put on the show. Sam Wyer talked to the crowd and us separately about the set design and using specialist makers, Ministry of Masks.
What to expect
What we saw actually looked like a huge film set so there’s clearly a big budget behind the production. Audiences can expect around eighteen different scenes across the underground chambers. There’ll be towering ceilings, dark crevices and elaborate sets. Some really imaginative stuff was being constructed by a large contingent of designers and builders. I shan’t spoil it but just say, expect big.
Excitingly, the scenes will be uniquely based on different episodes of Goosebumps which, as far as I can remember, scared the heck out of me as a child and I’m confident that it’ll be suitably adapted for adults. If the snippet we were treated to is anything to go by, I’m sure audiences won’t be disappointed. It involved sitting cross-legged in a dimly-lit tent, listening to a teenage girl telling us a tale. There was a blood-curdling surprise at the end which made our group screech like banshees. Superb.
Go! The passionate creators really seem to have cooked up a scarefeast through imaginative sets and carefully-selected spooky actors. Tickets (which you can buy here) start from just £25, a reasonable price for something that is guaranteed to fill audiences with both terror and delight.
So once again, if you’re a sucker for a good scaring, take a friend and be prepared to hold on to them tightly. This production is going to be a nerve-wracking experience that’s sure to give you… goosebumps.