A Dalston vision of the future

The words installation and sensory are usually entertainment-killers. Add interaction and you’re in for a possibly worthy but certainly dull evening.

Bunker plc in the heart of Dalston is the exception. Loving Dalston termed the ScreenDeep production  the year’s “first hot ticket”. It was a near-unforgivable resort to cliché that turned out to be justified, probably.
For your £7 ticket, you get 45 minutes that quickly build to a truly discombobulating experience. Perhaps it is because of an ingrained claustrophobia that can hit you in a semi-underground cellar; perhaps it’s because of the assistants, who act as robotic staff, issuing instructions in a monotone that can turn into an authoritarian barking of orders.
The set-up is that it is AD 2031 and you are applying to work for Bunker plc. So you’re shown the kind of brand-image video beloved of big companies (and of the little firms that make them).
Confronting climate change, Bunker is involved in controlling the natural world: “weather modification”, vertical farming and genetics.

We punters are given IQ-type tests, offered suspicious-looking drinks (relax: no after-effects occurred) and sneakily persuaded to provide personal details (age, eddress, etc.).

Maybe that was a self-referential joke. What was definitely amusing was observing those around us as we struggled to put on plastic overalls that made us look a little like the sperm soldiers in Woody Allen’s comedy, Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex
The struggle was worth it, because part of the Bunker’s effort to discomfort us was that in between being bossed about, we’d be pampered with a gentle head massage, followed, inevitably, by a shock: a body-dismemberment.

The representation was cartoon-like, but by then my imagination was doing its worst. The acting was a little rough but is bound  to improve. Recommended.
* Bunker plc, Abbot St, Lon E8 3DP, to Sun 15 May 2011

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