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  • Writer's pictureleodoulton

Wibbly-Wobbly Time-Travelling Spaces

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

So, London boutique immersive theatre now has a second space to join the much-loved Colab Tavern: the Parabolic Crypt.

Both are amazing (I was lucky and got tickets for the first night of performance in the Crypts), but a thought today is this:

Any permanent immersive venue must be in a space that can travel through time (assuming naturalistic immersion).

More prosaically, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that both spaces are ones that can more or less exist across centuries.

Colab Tavern: a pub. Comfortably can exist any time from the Victorian era to the modern day, with a bit of set dressing for flavour. With a bit of squeezing, could become a futuristic nostalgia site, or a more Ye Olde Worlde Medievale Inne.

Parabolic Crypt: a crypt. Can comfortably exist any time from the middle ages to the present day, and into a variety of futuristic worlds. Church architecture purists might complain, but for most people, a crypt is a crypt is a crypt.

In both cases, I imagine that pre-electricity eras lit by candlelight might be an issue. Fire safety is important, especially since both are underground. I assume a lack of windows helps immersion by blocking out cars.

But let’s call this quality of ‘how many time periods can it exist in?’ wibbly-wobblyness.

I would really like to see more such permanent-immersive venues, so here’s a few ideas of wibbly-wobbly places to test the idea.

1. A Wild West-style saloon town. Almost no wibbly-wobblyness beyond ‘Wild West’ and ‘a film studio.’

2. A castle. Wibbly-wobbly between the medieval era and the future. Requires extensive set-dressing.

3. An office space. Wibbly-wobbly between about 1960 and the future, though admittedly requires expensive dressing (either typewriters or computers).

4. A wooden village. Wibbly-wobbly for anything from pre-Roman to a post-apocalyptic setting. But also likely to be remote and difficult to access for anything other than long-duration shows like Nordic Larp.

5. An eggshell-white suite of corridors. Wibbly-wobbly as a hospital, a starship, or any other futuristic/high-tech space. Potentially higher start-up costs, but a lot of fun once it’s going.

What are some other wibbly-wobbly spaces you’d like to see?

A house on a high tower.
This space is highly wobbly, but insufficiently wibbly.


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