From: Wednesday, 14th August 2002
To: Sunday, 26 January 2003
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Soho Theatre Company teams up with San Francisco's ground-breaking Antenna Theater to present Euphorium - a hallucinogenic trip through Samuel Taylor Coleridge's opium-infused fantasia, Kubla Khan. Using MP3 technology, digital audio effects, multi dimensional images and a few Coney Island funfair tricks, Antenna succeeds in creating a pleasure-dome which transports the audience through a maze of sights and sounds to the netherworld of Xanadu.
15 August 2002
I'm not sure where to begin in trying to review Antenna Theater's Euphorium, the Samuel Taylor Coleridge-inspired "hallucinogenic" trip that originated (rather unsurprisingly) in California and is now installed in the labyrinthine Undercroft of Camden's Roundhouse care of Soho Theatre Company - in my book of somewhat arbitrary definitions, this ain't theatre!
The show promoters themselves seem to have had difficulty defining it, choosing to bill it as "part performance, part installation". That's a generous description, since the live performance part is miniscule to non-existence. There are no in-the-flesh actors (the list of credits includes an assortment of fabricators and voices instead) - bar, that is, the sultry "opium goddess" who leads punters, at 60-second intervals, into the installation.
From there, you're on your own, armed with a Walkman and a virtual reality visor designed to emulate the opium-induced dream that became Coleridge's most famous ...
Latest User Review
USER: Whatsonstage.com - 2 September 2002:
An interesting experience, but not as exciting or full-on as I had hoped. You're led down some spooky, narrow tunnels by your 'goddess' and then given a Walkman which provides the background sounds and commentary during your Kubla Khan experience. Even if you walk very slowly (and you've got no choice, actually - you're in the dark, feeling for the handrail and at one stage, wearing a cumbersome headpiece) the 'trip' only lasts about 25 minutes. It's worth doing, but be prepared to suspend disbelief; you can see some of the joins but hey, it's a relatively minor quibble. ...