Viola's Room: Here's what we know about Punchdrunk's new immersive experience

Following the closure of “The Burnt City”, the world's leading immersive theatre company is gearing up for a new show.

Founded in 2000, the award-winning Punchdrunk has revolutionised theatre by placing audiences at the centre of its immersive performances, earning recognition as one of the most influential artistic endeavours of the past 50 years. Their iconic masked shows like "The Drowned Man" and "Sleep No More" have achieved global acclaim, breaking box office records and redefining immersive experiences, and the company has also collaborated with notable figures and companies across music, tech, fashion, and TV. 

In September last year, Punchdrunk's most recent blockbuster production, “The Burnt City”, drew to a close and they've been somewhat quiet since. Now, details about their next show are finally starting to emerge. Titled “Viola's Room”, the new show harkens back to Punchdrunk's very beginnings – the original version was staged way back in 2000, when the fledgling company had sufficient funds to stage it for one night only. As it was a one-person-at-a-time experience, only four people got to see it.

The updated version of “Viola's Room” scales things up significantly, but is still a much more intimate experience than “The Burnt City” and its ilk. The experience takes visitors on a linear audio-driven journey based on “The Moon Slave”, a classic gothic mystery about innocence lost and obsession unleashed, adapted for Punchdrunk by Booker Prize-shortlisted author Daisy Johnson. In another departure from recent Punchdrunk shows, there's no live cast and you won't be required to wear a mask. Instead you'll follow a fixed route in groups of two to six, all barefoot, as an unseen narrator guides you through the sensory adventure lasting about one hour.

Compared to previous Punchdrunk epics, “Viola's Room” might sound a tad underwhelming, but those who've attended one of the company's previous productions know they always deliver – they're the foremost immersive theatre company in the world for a reason. That said, “Viola's Room” will only run at Punchdrunk's headquarters at Woolwich Works for a month, from 14 May to 16 June, as there's another production being prepared already.

Tickets for “Viola's Room” go on sale on Wednesday 20 March – you can book yours here.