Strobe lighting and scenes of a sexual nature, ok fairly usual fare you might think in an immersive theatre show, but hang on a minute... simulated sacrifice?

This was the warning my friend and I received when ascending the stairs to the studio space about the Arts Theatre on Great Newport Street to partake in an evening’s entertainment entitled Follow The Faun.

I had seen the piece at a festival earlier in the summer in a light-filled tent on a sunny Sunday morning so its transference to a black box was notable.

In the gloom we are asked to close our eyes and then a thundering of hooves explodes around the room.

There is a musky masculine scent. On opening our eyes we see a beast - half man half goat who beckons us to do as he does.

We gallop over graphically rendered hills and forests projected onto the backcloth. This subterranean environment brings a darker edge to the performance in which the audience is drawn by a follow-the-leader type game.

It feels like a fantasy adventure at the start but descends to explore baser traits, animal instincts and mob mentality.

We are asked to slay a creature before us and then eat it. What? Emotions run high as we take in the meaning of our actions, even if they are only make believe. Then the music ramps up and we dance, howling, loosened and tribal we dart around the room to a furiously upbeat house soundtrack. 

The just as swiftly we plunge from this manly world into the feminine. We invoke the spirits of air, earth, water and fire to run with us.

It's no long Pan who tells us how and where to move but the goddess. We mimic movements and become a series of female icons: Cleopatra, Madonna, Evita, Marilyn, etc.

We are playful, loving, we join hands and encounter the softness and loveliness of female expression. Then we rave throw our hands in the air to all-inclusive disco that doesn’t discriminate in terms of gender but celebrates our oneness as humans.  

High commendation to performers Andy Black, Becky Bassett and Allie Ho Chee for this mindful exploration into where the really wild things are.

Five stars

Above the Arts Studio Theatre

Great Newport Street


Telephone: 020 7836 8463

Runs to November 12 at 7.30pm (Saturday matinee at 2.30pm). Age 16+