The company behind Crisis, What Crisis? and For King and Country have announced a new production – available from the 15th February.

(c)Dan o’Connell and Owen Kingston.

Combining a free-roaming text adventure with live performance on Zoom, this new show from Parabolic Theatre will take immersive game theatre to new levels in lockdown with The House of Cenci.

The House of Cenci features digital castle ruins for audiences to explore while uncovering the events of a harrowing tale. Across four weeks, the secrets of The House of Cenci will be gradually revealed for those brave enough to solve the mysteries.

After 400 years, the secrets of a family tragedy are awakening. Hidden in the depths of theHouse of Cenci, the truth waits to be set free. Count Francesco Cenci was a tyrant; his daughter a victim and a murderer. Based on the true story which inspired centuries of retellings by artists from Percy Bysshe Shelley to Antonin Artaud, originator of the Theatre of Cruelty, The House of Cenci exposes an awful tragedy and the slow procession to disaster.

In order to solve the mysteries, audiences must solve puzzles, complete tasks and deal independently with moral dilemmas. The show will use early computer game format of text adventures, the story is split into four acts and live interactive scenes act as a threshold into each. While those taking part can roam the castle at leisure, live scenes occur weekly on Zoom and for an hour at a time. Audiences must interact with the scenes to find out
more and progress to the next act of this digital tale.

The cast for the show is set to include: Ed Cartwright (For King and Country, The COLAB Factory; Dr. Thorne) as the Cardinal, Dare Emmanuel (Hunted Live; Portals) as Orsino, Ellie Russo (The Merchant of Venice, The Duke of York’s Theatre; Cavalleria Rusticana / Pagliacci, Royal Opera House) as Lucretia. The House of Cenci also stars Ewan Bagshaw (Bridge Command and England Expects, Parabolic Theatre) as Olympio, Edward Andrews (The Pilgrim; Romeo & Juliet, The Harold Pinter Theatre) as Congressman and Sandy Murray (Shakespeare in Love, Noël Coward Theatre; Fisherman’s
Tail, Edinburgh Fringe) as Giacomo with further casting to be announced.

Talking about the production, Artistic Director of Parabolic Theatre, Owen Kingston said: ” The Cenci story is a fascinating one – timelessly relevant with a huge theatrical legacy. I’ve wanted Parabolic to do something
new with it since founding the company, but the scale of the story has always placed it out of reach of our resources. Reimagining immersive performance for a locked-down world has given us a fresh perspective on what is possible, and the hybrid digital/live performance approach that
we’ve taken allows us to finally present a worthy adaptation of this story for the modern world.”

The House of Cenci will be available from Monday 15th February
2021 and the Zoom sessions will be at 8.30pm on 19th, 26th, 27th February and 5th, 6th, 7th, 12th,13th , 14th, 20th and 21st March. Tickets are available from £12.50 here.