Walkie Talkies, Wool Coats, and a Stolen Painting – Heist’s Immersive Theatre Adventure

I took part in a Heist the other night. It was exciting, stressful, fast-paced, and sweaty. However, the first rule of Heist Club is pretty much don’t talk about Heist Club, so here’s a brief review that hopefully doesn’t give the game away too much.

Heist is the brainchild of Difference Engine and is associated with Theatre Delicatessen. It is an evening of problem solving. The premise is simple; sign up as individuals or as a group/team of 8. Arrive at a bar, and through some shady conversations, you get recruited to help pull off the robbery of the century. The entire building is your playground, and you get a very fast paced but informative brief where you examine blueprints and plan strategies in order to work as a team to steal a painting.

There are a lot of things to consider, and there are several mini tasks you have to complete first in order to steal the painting. It does take a lot of disciplined planning at this stage, and a top tip is to memorise as many post-it notes as physically possible. From that point we are given walkie-talkies, our ‘disguises’, and we set about breaking down a wall. Not a metaphorical wall, mind. A wall. With a hammer.

The evening is hard work, but is wonderful fun. Time is spent crawling, running, hiding, and frantically whispering (and yelling) over the walkie talkies. It’s a wonderful team building activity, and it really does require full participation of every member in order to have a successful heist.

The characters you interact with are not particularly memorable, but they never stray from their character roles. There isn’t a strong element of theatre in this production; it’s certainly an immersive world you step into, but it’s actually an evening that depends most heavily on what you’ve brought to the table and how you and your team address the challenges rather than one that depends mainly on the performance of a few select main characters.

Heist is currently sold out, but you can sign up to their mailing list for a chance to participate in future events and also to be notified if they release more tickets – the first release sold out in 45 minutes, so you have to be quick — a skill you’ll also need to steal a painting, so it’s not a bad first test!

So did we get the painting?

Screen shot 2014-07-28 at 17.08.14

Damn straight we did – but you’ll have to figure out how we did it all on your own.

Learn more about Heist here, and follow them on twitter @heistlive.

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