I don’t know if any of you have seen the film The Game. It came out in the late 90s, and I rather liked it. It was directed by David Fincher, who did Se7en and Fight Club, so as you may expect it’s a pretty unsettling film.
Michael Douglas gets set up by his brother Sean Penn with a subscription to Customer Recreational Services’ unspecified ‘Game.’ Douglas’s jaded merchant banker is variously beaten up, savaged by guard dogs, locked in a cab that plunges into San Francisco harbour, shot at, drugged, and left for dead in a Mexican cemetery. It’s like an acid-fuelled cross between After Hours and any John Dahl thriller you care to mention.
It was only a matter of time before some fringe wackjob thought this idea should be brought to the real world, and now it has. Enter CoLab Theatre, a tooth-itchingly horrible name that makes me want to punch somebody quite hard.
They’ve already offered performances where audience members are taken hostage, tied to chairs, subjected to mock gun battles, all you could want from a matinee in your local rep on a wet Saturday afternoon.
The wackjob director of CoLab, Bertie Watkins, tells the story himself.
‘We’re working on The Hunt. They will be fugitives running away from police. It will be a show for up to 50 people to participate in. A Tube journey need never be boring again.’
Well, yes that’s one way to put it. There’ll be Get Out Of Jail Free cards in that the ‘cast’ can declare safe areas where they can carry on their normal lives, but this seems a bit of a copout to me. Nothing like the threat of getting your collar felt to get the adrenalin pumping through your arteries, and it’s cheating a bit to go ‘barleys’ when you get a bit out of breath.
If we ignore possible problems with the pursuers getting busted for impersonating coppers, we’re hot to trot. But who’s likely to take this opportunity?
You’re going to need to be well heeled, that’s for sure, because this little jaunt is going to set you back several thousand quid. I can see it might appeal to RP gamers who are fed up with couching out and shooting aliens. Paintballers, who are plainly deranged anyway, might well want a crack of the whip here, though they might make better pursuers than prey.
Either way you’ve got too much time and money on your hands.
By the way, if you do get to see The Game, the scene in the canteen/commissary is an excellent opportunity to play ‘Spot the bit part actor.’