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