Punchdrunk & Old Vic Take Over Waterloo TunnelDate: 8 May 2009
Site-specific specialists Punchdrunk have today revealed their latest London venture, Tunnel 228, a collaboration with Kevin Spacey’s Old Vic which sees disused British Rail tunnels under Waterloo station (pictured) transformed into a temporary performance space for 15 days only from today (7 May 2009).
Taking its title for British Rail’s own officious name for the space, which has not been used in more than 30 years, Tunnel 228 involves eight performers posing as a track cleaning crew and interacting with theatregoers, who are admitted, and issued with protective face masks, at timed intervals between 3pm and 10pm daily.
Thanks to sponsors at Bloomberg, all 15,000 tickets for Tunnel 228 are free – but they’re already all gone. If Lambeth Council permits a longer run beyond initial dates scheduled through to 27 May 2009, extra tickets may be released via the project’s – purposely misleading – website at www.tunnel-228.com.
The Tunnel 228 spectacle is inspired by Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent science fiction film Metropolis. In addition to the Punchdrunk performance, there are a series of visual art installations by contemporary artists including Anthony Micallef, Doug Foster, Paul Fryer and Ben Tyers. The event is produced by Hamish Jenkinson.
Punchdrunk’s previous award-winning pieces include The Masque of the Red Death and Faust, which transformed, respectively, Battersea Arts Centre and a disused factory in Wapping. Later this summer, the company teams up with Blur singer-songwriter Damon Albarn and BBC filmmaker Adam Curtis for another new piece, It Felt Like a Kiss, which premieres at Manchester International Festival, running from 2 to 19 July 2009 at the city’s Hardman Square (See News, 20 Mar 2009).
- by Terri Paddock