Happystorm theatre's The Crypt Project is staged in the inner depths of the Lowry and it is promenade theatre at its best.

Director Sarah Meadows, the production team and the cast use their new surroundings to create an innovative and sensitive piece of drama. On arrival the audience are given identity cards and hard hats, and led under the Quays theatre. From there you are led around the space; you are taken up stairs, through corridors, into the industrial looking space right under the theatre and occasionally into the theatre itself. The experience is disorientating and at times a little
claustrophobic.

It does not feel as though you are watching a play.Instead you are walking into episodes of a person’s life. You find yourself suddenly in a hotel bedroom, a bathroom, or a sitting room, and you are the voyeur. You are able to witness private moments, which at times feels a little uncomfortable.

There are some very strong performances from the cast, especially from Denise Kennedy whose character Jeanette is shown at different ages and times in her life. The dialogue, which is mainly performed as monologues, combines true
addiction stories from Salford residents, with directed improvisation from the actors.

The glimpse into the inner workings of people riddled with addiction is reflected in the performance and space as a whole. As you walk up and down stairs, dipping in and out of moments and memories, it is almost as though you are walking through somebody’s subconscious.

If you can get a hold of the limited tickets, it is a curious and unmissable experience.

- Joanna Ing