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Review: Cat, Etcetera Theatre

A work in progress - testing out The Rise and Fall of Geo Goynes

Geo-Goynes-2-478x359You don't realise how many people there are hanging about the streets until you have to try and suss them out. It is all part of a new interactive street theatre experience called the Rise and Fall of Geo Goynes that is currently being developed by Root Experience.

Based out of the St James Theatre in Victoria we were given a mobile phone and divided into three groups (you'll need to leave something like your own mobile with the technicians as a security deposit).

Each group has a different experience based on the same story premise: a computer programme has been developed that predicts the future but has fallen into the hands of a corporation which doesn't necessarily want to use it for good.

Our group were sent off with a map of the local area and the task of stopping the corporation. We were  guided through the narrative via phone calls and a "character" we encountered en route.

Sometimes we split and went about different tasks within our group - honey traps and retrieving equipment and information, for example. There was also a lot of tailing characters, hiding around corners and reporting back plus a bit of good old fashion briefcase swapping, sometimes with our character sometimes without.

It was certainly different and fun - albeit better to do in the summer in warmer weather. The technology needs a bit of work as the mobile headsets we were given were very noisy, making it difficult to hear group discussion (at times I didn't quite know what was going on).

There was also a bit of waiting around on street corners but talking to one of the technicians who manage the performance it was because our group was much quicker than the others and the characters had to catch up. I'm sure these are all teething problems that will be ironed before a proper launch later in the year. 

Definitely worth a try if you like a sort of treasure hunt mixed with improv - but not for the shy and self-conscious as everyone gets involved along the way.