Punchdrunk finds permanent home in Woolwich Arsenal
Punchdrunk, the acclaimed immersive theatre company, has announced their brand new show for 2022.
The Burnt City will open on 22 March 2022, running for a limited season until 28 August 2022.
This major new show will take place in Punchdrunk’s new permanent home in Woolwich Arsenal, as they take over three Grade II Listed Buildings as part of the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s new creative district, Woolwich Works.
The Burnt City promises to be Punchdrunk’s most ambitious and epic production ever, and will feature a cast of over 30 international performers, including original members of Punchdrunk’s first shows.
Billed as a a “future noir” retelling of the fall of Troy, the experience will contrast ancient worlds of Troy and Mycenae, with each world given a dystopian sci-fi twist, and where audiences will encounter gods, monsters, secret passageways and more.
Audiences will be on their own theatrical adventure at the show, and free to explore this dystopian landscape – taking them from the majesty of royal palaces to the pulsating underworld of Troy. Audiences – up to 600 at a time – may choose to follow the characters who emerge from the shadows, saturate themselves in the show’s shifting atmosphere, or break free of the crowd and discover mysteries lying in wait at the heart of the labyrinth.
The show will start as if people are entering a slick museum tour, but are then plunged into a neon-lit Troy inspired by Fritz Lang’s classic movie Metropolis. In one building, Troy will feature alleys, palaces, a hotel and an opera house; and the world of Mycenae, in an adjacent building, will be of a similar scale.
Punchdrunk pioneered the breakthrough of immersive theatre in the UK, and this is their first London show since The Drowned Man in 2014. Since their last London show the company has been busy opening new shows around the world, and venturing into TV with The Third Day. Their long-running international productions include Sleep No More in New York and Shanghai – where it has been playing to sold out audiences since it re-opened in June 2020 following a Covid break.
In Woolwich Arsenal, the venue for The Burnt City will see some of the buildings open to the public for the first time. The enormous size of the buildings, at over 100,000 square feet will provide a scale never before seen in a Punchdrunk show. The buildings will also host Punchdrunk’s offices where the company develops new works across theatre, TV and gaming.
Directed by Punchdrunk’s Artistic Director, Felix Barrett, and Associate Director and Choreographer Maxine Doyle, The Burnt City is choreographed by Maxine Doyle, designed by Felix Barrett, Livi Vaughan and Beatrice Minns, with sound design by Stephen Dobbie, lighting design by FragmentNine, and costume design by David Israel Reynoso. The show’s Creative Producer is Colin Nightingale.