Following on from 2015's delightfully bonkers immersive version of Alice In Wonderland, The Vaults producers have teamed up with Scholastic publishers to create the first ever theatrical experience based on the best-selling Goosebumps books. Relive the most heart-hammering nights of your childhood as the horror phenomon comes to life. But, be warned, though the books are for children, the show is aimed at adults (strictly over 12s, and anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult).
‘Goosebumps Live!’ is a tale of two emojis: you’ll leave screaming in terror, and crying with laughter. The Vaults are transformed into a labyrinthine tour through your darkest preteen library trips for this immersive experience: if ‘Stay Out of the Basement’, ‘The Cuckoo Clock of Doom’ and ‘The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena’ fill you with dread and horror to this day, this show is not for you. Jumps and screams after slow, creaky ascents through familiar plots offer effective and nostalgic post-office catharsis, though, for those who were hooked on the CBBC gorefests of the 90s and 00s after a hard day’s work at primary school.
Stuanch Goosebumps fans will be pleased to know that the designer/illustrator of the original book covers, Tim Jacobus, is behind the aesthetics for the show along with Samuel Wyer, who masterminded the design for Alice Underground. Throw in animatronics, puppets and an original score from 1990s band The Tiger Lillies and this nostalgic reminder of a childhood fave will have you feeling like a frightened preteen all over again.
The horror, though, is fun, campy and all in good fun, but more adult themes of loss, trust, and the strains of relationships have been playfully woven through some of the extended, non-participatory vignettes in a bid to translate these stories for a grown up audience. One or two of the ‘experiences’, including the visit to Horrorland and the thrilling final encounter with RL Stine’s most famous creation, impress with disquieting imagery and truly frightening themes, but these are offset against more gleeful shocks and thrills in the rest. (A word of warning: we did jump out of our skin in the elevator... And in the tent. And in the basement.) Each route is different, and you’ll mix with a crowd game for a laugh and a fright.
Theatregoer beware – you’re in for a scare!
The production is aimed at adults and over 12s, with a children’s version of the show (Goosebumps KIDS) opening in May to run on weekends and holidays (14th May – 4th September) - suitable for ages 5-11.
We expect equally terrifying twists and turns in store for London's children. Click here to book for families.
|What||Goosebumps, The Vaults review|
|Where||The Vaults, Leake St , London , SE1 8SW | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
06 Apr 16 – 04 Sep 16, Weekday entry between 7pm - 9:30pm; from 1:30pm at weekends
|Website||Click here to book via Culture Whisper and Seetickets|