Unique theatre proves a big hit in Saffron Walden

PUBLISHED: 14:30 12 August 2011

Michael Bell, who played Terry in the play

Michael Bell, who played Terry in the play


OVER 100 people turned out for a look at a unique type of thought-provoking theatre – without a clue what they were going to.

HyperFusion Theatre Company is running a project called the Shhh Experience, which sees the company retain its sense of intrigue by not telling the audience what the show is about.

And from the moment of walking through the Town Hall doors, the unique Shhh Experience began.

The audience was guided into the wake of Terry’s wife, Carol, by friends and family of the woman and treated as fellow guests.

The play then looked at how Terry’s life unfolds post the loss of his wife and climaxed in a fierce ending of his breakdown of communication with everyone.

Yet it was not the end of the play – it was just the beginning.

Audience members found themselves directing the story to help Terry communicate with those around him, giving real advice for the actor to try and constantly readdress it as the story developed.

Director Sarah Ellis said “The atmosphere was electric and full of passionate debate. It was fantastic. HyperFusion tour this forum theatre work all around the country but we have never brought it to Saffron Walden and the feedback has been incredible.”

Other audience members said: “An excellent thought provoking tool”, and: “A really big well done for bringing this to us in such a stylish, contemporary, London Theatre eat-your heart-out kind of way.”

The show raised money and awareness of the work MIND who were there to help people after the show and received support from Saffron Walden Town Council, Tourist Information Centre, Waitrose, The Duke pub and Starbucks.

“The Shhh Experience is here to stay now – the idea is that each professional theatre production will remain a secret until the audience gets there,” added Mrs Ellis.

“Keep an eye out for the Shhh logo – the next show will be completely different as we play with unexpected theatre in unexpected places.

“So the next time someone tells you to Shhh, it could be the start of an exciting night to come.”

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