Invisible Treasure by fanSHEN at the Ovalhouse

Our second trip to the Ovalhouse and this time we were presented with something completely un-theatrelike. Without any actors, this was more like stepping into a virtual video game in which we were the players.

Presented by fanSHEN, a theatre company specialising in multimedia and design to transform our world, Dan Barnard and Rachel Briscoe have created a room in which we were to explore the overarching theme of power through a levels-based group participation experience.

The GingerWig’s head was the paintbrush for some beautiful pastel ceiling painting. There was dancing to can-can, salsa, and flamenco all under the command of a central screen. We had to solve puzzles and challenges as a group and eventually were presented with a seemingly impossible challenge.

Although we weren’t simply under the supervision of the eye in the sky and the screen text, we also shared the room with a giant bunny rabbit! Who was the bunny rabbit? What power did he hold over us? What would it mean to protest? We exited the space, in a predictable, yet beautiful way, to be presented with these and other questions on the outside of the space as a cellist performed Bach’s unaccompanied cello suite above our heads. Here we could write our answers down, contributing to a myriad of responses to the issues of power.

This was ingenious and adventurous theatre/art using a lot of tech. It’s the sort of thing that deserves a bigger space to entrance more minds – the Tate’s Turbine Hall maybe? It got us talking to strangers and trying to achieve something with them.

A beautiful new show that is very different in its form. Beg, steal or borrow a ticket to this show – I believe all conventional routes have sold out for this show apart from the 4.30pm on Saturday 14th November – the final day of performances.

Highlight of the show – the satisfaction of completing levels as a group and the giant bunny rabbit.

WIGS 4/5


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