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The Great Gatsby Immersive Theatre

The best immersive shows to see in London right now

Marianka Swain
Marianka Swain

The social distancing rules, and other Covid-19 safety measures, have challenged theatre artists to find creative solutions for performances that reduce risks for all involved while still keep audiences engaged. That live connection between actor and viewer is such a vital part of why people love this medium, and it's been a thrill to see productions popping up again post-lockdown. Judging by ticket sales, the audience appetite is clearly there, as long as shows feel safe to attend. 

One strand of live performance is the immersive production, which can be adapted to suit our new circumstances, perhaps taking advantage of outdoor or alternative venues, and can still make the audience feel like a key part of the action without actually invading anyone's physical space. Here are some of the best immersive shows in London to check out.

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Mamma Mia! The Party

You love the music, the musical, the film(s), but now you can step into a traditional Greek taverna on the exotic island of Skopelos and let the story unravel around you. Fuelled by the famous ABBA numbers (and three courses of traditional Mediterranean food and drink), partygoers will be enthralled by the story taking place around them, with the chance to dance the night away to their favourite hits from the band. It's currently a huge success in the band's native Sweden, where it's currently in its fourth sold-out year. For the English-language production, Calle Norlén, Roine Söderlundh and Björn Ulvaeus' story has been adapted with Sandi Toksvig.

Mamma Mia! The Party tickets are on sale now.

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The Great Gatsby

You're invited to the Guild of Misrule's Roaring Twenties bash, hosted by the one and only Jay Gatsby. This inventive, super-stylish immersive theatre experience plunges you into F. Scott Fitzgerald's hedonistic Jazz Age world, combining a dramatisation of the gripping story by committed actors with period sets to explore, and plenty of opportunities to imbibe bootleg liquor or Champagne while you Charleston the night away.

This popular experience takes place at Immersive LDN's Mayfair mansion, an historic building that used to be home to Queen Victoria's Rifles Association. It's the perfect setting for that shady charmer Gatsby, whose heart belongs to the beautiful Daisy - now married to millionaire Tom Buchanan. Let Nick Carraway guide you around this sumptuous world, where you'll also find the golfer Jordan Baker, mechanic George Wilson and his unhappy wife Myrtle.

Excitingly, the immersive Gatsby is now reimagined as a 1920s masquerade ball - presumably a setting that will allow for easier social distancing, as well as ingeniously incorporating masks. Other Coronavirus precautions will be in place, such as a reduced audience size, face coverings, hand sanitiser stations, and temperature checks. So, dig out your smartest tuxedo or most sparkling flapper frock, and enjoy this decadent escapism, surely needed now more than ever. 

The Great Gatsby tickets are on sale now.

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Magic Mike Live

Channing Tatum himself is the mastermind behind this live show. Taking the sexy silver screen sensation and bringing it to life on stage at the Hippodrome Casino via Las Vegas, as you enter  Magic Mike's mythical Club Domina for a 360-degree spectacular unfolding before your very eyes. Full to the brim of sexy dance routines, daring dances and amazing acrobatics, you'll be up close and personal with this irresistible show at the Hippodrome. 

Magic Mike Live tickets are available now.  

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Doctor Who: Time Fracture

The BBC's beloved time lord is coming to the stage. This new live experience is set in 1940 at the height of the Blitz. A weapon of unknown origin destroys part of Mayfair, opening up a rift in time and space. UNIT is recruiting help to deal with the ensuing chaos - which involves Daleks, Cybermen, and a character from Time Lord Victorious. Can you step up and be the hero? It's your chance to save the planet, while journeying to other worlds and confronting both monsters and aliens.

Covid-19 secure guidelines will all be complied with, such as: venue and zone capacity limits to ensure social distancing, venue-wide sterilisation, hand sanitisation stations throughout the building, visitors and staff all required to wear face coverings, temperature checks upon entry, and a no-questions-asked ticket exchange policy.

Officially licensed by BBC Studios (and with the accompanying merchandise to prove it), this keenly awaited theatrical enterprise is a love letter to Doctor Who fans. Writer Daniel Dingsdale promises to draw on the show's rich legacy. But it'll also be accessible to those who can't tell their sonic screwdriver from their TARDIS, and, as directed by Secret Cinema's Tom Maller, should offer an epic adventure. 

Doctor Who: Time Fracture tickets are on sale now.

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Only Fools The (Cushty) Dining Experience

From Greek islands to market stalls of Peckham, join Del Boy and Rodney in the Nags Head for a night full of wheeling and dealing and a right good knees-up. Served up with some classic pub grub, you'll meet all your favourite characters from the classic TV series in a unique and lovely jubbly environment. Whoever came up with this idea must be a millionaire by now...

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