Monday, 28 September 2015

The Owls Are Not What They Seem: Twin Peaks Comes To London

At a secret location in East London, down some stairs and into a basement, you can leave the big smoke behind and enter the town of Twin Peaks. On Friday night myself and my friend Al put on our finest Twin Peaks attire and as soon as we spotted a line of people wearing mainly plaid, we knew we had found the right place.

The Owls Are Not What They Seem is an immersive theatre/dining event produced by Lemonade and Laughing Gas. Tickets cost £66.50 which gives you the full experience, including a 3-course meal and cocktail and I guarantee it is worth every penny. If you are thinking of going and want everything to be kept a mystery just know that I thought this was a tremendous event and would highly recommend it. For anyone else curious to know what happened, read on...

Everyone was asked to bring an owl with them. This was our contribution!

After descending the stairs we were met by a man resembling the wacky psychiatrist Dr Jacoby who gave us both a prescription which detailed our character for the evening and the role we play in the town. It is up to you how much you get involved but playing your part makes the entire experience so much more fulfilling and interactive. The actors were all exceptional in their roles and we had so much fun speaking with them. They mingled with the guests and were very good at remembering names and picking you apart... I was appropriately given the role of 'The Town Gossip' who had been drinking at the bar on the night that the murder occurred.

Red room realness. Chevron shoes available from ASOS for £25.
Stepping into the diner we were given a very warm welcome by some incredibly friendly waitresses who were all very chatty and helpful. They served us a cup of damn fine coffee (with a slug of whisky) and talked us through the menu. All of the food was hearty and wholesome, exactly what you would expect from a diner. A soup served in a coffee cup with savoury donuts made for a lovely and appropriately themed starter and I loved the main course which was like a posh fry up. I have to be honest, I hardly touched my cherry pie at the end, not because it wasn't delicious, but I was so enthralled with the experience and what was going on around me that I really lost my appetite! We purchased a bottle of the house white wine which seemed pricey at £20 a bottle but was very nice. I don't like to mix my drinks so didn't try any of the delicious sounding cocktails on offer but there was a varied selection and all Peaks themed.

Delicious beetroot soup with a savoury doughnut.
As we ate, the actors would perform little surrealist scenes, complete with lighting and music changes. It was very dramatic. In between courses we were encouraged to have a look around whilst the actors mingled and interrogated us. The one thing about the experience which has to be taken with a pinch of salt is due to copyright infringement all of the names have been slightly altered. For example, Luanne is on the end of Coop's recorder, not Diane. I didn't think this affected the authenticity of the experience as the actors were so convincing in their portrayals of who they were. I was grinning ear to ear as Gordon Cole shrieked at me across the diner!

At one point whilst sitting at the diner bar, Deputy Brennan came running over and sat down next to me hyperventilating. We got him some water which he spilled over himself and then he asked me to follow him to the Sherriff's station. His phone was covered in sellotape and when I listened in there was a very creepy voice on the other end of the line! Moments like this made me truly feel that I was part of the town of Twin Peaks. The actor playing Deputy Brennan was brilliant and just as adorable as Andy was on the show.

After dinner and a town meeting we made our way through to the Roadhouse and to explore the rest of the sets. When we stumbled into a corridor resembling The Black Lodge I squealed with excitement. We were joined by my BFF Sarah and the rest of the night was spent exploring the copious sets and enjoying the amazing entertainment in the Roadhouse. They really do give you your money's worth and I cannot believe you can see all of this for a £6 bar only ticket which Sarah bought to join us afterwards.

My pals Al and Sarah. Al came 2nd place in the costume contest for his Bobby outfit! 
The actors continued to roam around and encouraged us to take on some missions... Deputy Brennan dropped a note written backwards on our table and upon completion of our dancing quest Ava Horne left us in a creepy room where we could find a small prize! 

Overall, we had an incredibly fun, surreal and unique evening and I woke up the next morning with my head full of amazing memories. Had it all just been the most beautiful dream? I desperately want to return... I promise you dinner is worth the money for the experience alone. But for £6 just to enter you cannot miss this! It will run until the end of November and tickets can be purchased here. I can't wait to go back. Definitely dress up and definitely embrace your inner improv abilities to get the most out of this wonderful and strange experience...

Having a moment in Laura Palmer's bedroom.

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