Hinter the scenes at Punchdrunk’s Woolwich HQ

Last updated September 8, 2021

This sneak peak shows the major changes that are coming to this groundbreaking immersive theatre company.

London Unattached was able to see the magic behind Punchdrunk’s success last Thursday. In partnership with Greenwich Council they have redeveloped the Woolwich Arsenal into what could be an important new centre for arts and culture in South-East London.

Photo by Julian Abrams

What is Punchdrunk, you ask? Punchdrunk is not your typical theatre company. Punchdrunk has been creating immersive, interactive theatre experiences since more than twenty years. They have productions on television, in person and online. Their most well-known show is one in which they take control of large urban areas and use performance and set design to create stories that the audience has to uncover. Sky TV recently commissioned them to produce a 12-hour, single-take live event for Dennis Kelly’s drama “The Third Day”. This earned them a nomination at the BAFTA.

Photo credit Julian Abrams

This new theatre won’t be the only reason to travel to Woolwich for Punchdrunk. It will also be joining Luca Silvestrini and the Chineke’s Protein Dance. The Woolwich Works Redevelopment opened in 2013. A new Crossrail station will make it easier to travel South-East, offering 15-minute rides down from Liverpool Street. Punchdrunk will not be catering only to its old audience. Instead, it will create 120 jobs in the area and allow local A-Level drama students to participate in a masterclass hosted by this award-winning organization.

Photo credit Julian Abrams

One of their spaces, “The Burnt City”, was shown to us. It is a Fritz Lang and Usbourne Book of Greek Myths tale of Troy’s fall. Although many details felt a bit far away, we were taken around an empty warehouse with hi-viz jackets. Co-Director Felix Barrett gave us spirited explanations about what would make a reinforced steel column. It was certainly an engaging and thrilling experience.

Photo credit Julian Abrams

The ‘The Burnt City,’ with strong Arts Council England support and financial backing from Porsche, is certain to be a success. It is testament to both the success of the production and its secrecy, which has been kept at almost clandestine levels. We have been allowed to inform you that the production will invite its audience into a fantasy world of Troy and Greece. If you are willing to do so, you can expect a wild adventure.

Photo credit Julian Abrams

The 22nd March 2022 is the first day of previews for Punchdrunk’s “The Burnt City” and tickets will go on sale on September 8th 2021.

Publiated at Wednesday, 8 Sep 2021 21.34:38 +0000

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