London Theatre Review: Lockdown Town by One Night Records
| By Sandra Howell
I confess, I attended the dress rehearsal for Lockdown Town just over 2 weeks ago, which was so promising that I was excited about the finalised performance. I wasn’t disappointed.
Lockdown Town production photos by © Nobby Clark
One Night Records: Lockdown Town London review
The whole Lockdown Town experience is immersive gig theatre at its best. Set in a series of rooms interconnected by short tunnels, a variety of brilliant musicians, singers and dancers take us on a musical journey through American pop music from the 1950s to 1918.
There are so many highs: my hopes (which were fulfilled), the energy levels, the ceilings (the building comprises of a series of railway arches), the standards set by each artist, the stage sets, and of course, the COVID-19 safety measures. I was buoyed up by the enthusiasm of the performers and the buzz from the audience.
How it all starts
In the first room, where we're cleared through customs and immigration on Ellis Island, we're introduced to the different genres of music and are even treated to a couple of folk songs sung a cappella by our immigration officer. After a klaxon sounds, we are smoothly guided to move on to another room to hear a different genre of music. The line-ups change depending on the date you choose to attend, so you can get a different experience if you choose to see it again.
Breaking down all the eras in Lockdown Town, London
It's very difficult to pick a favourite era as they are all fantastic. So my choices are focused on my musical taste. In The Studio, we are treated to 'the real McCoy' of rhythm and blues with a genuine performance from Errol Linton. The brilliant singer and the band are so authentic and so together, they are a great tribute to the original artists and music from the 1950s.
My other favourites are in Harlem in a 1920s speakeasy, where there's an excellent blues and jazz singer, Sumudu, in the vocal style of Ella (I know, different era), singing blues songs. In The River, we find ourselves in New Orleans with Laurence Corns and a hip-shaking Dixieland brass jazz. I joined in with a bit of head-nodding, which migrated to foot-tapping, along with some other members of the audience who were dancing too.
Jaz Delorean presented us with Ragtime in the Black and White room as a raconteur playing his piano and singing. He was funny and, of course, highly accomplished like all the artists in One Night Records' Lockdown Town. I also have to mention the wonderful tap dancer, who flew across the stage dressed in slacks and a shirt as one of the Rosie the Riveters building a plane during WWII. She made her tap routine look effortless and it was great fun.
Lockdown Town: What's the verdict?
We were 32 socially distanced and masked members of the audience travelling to huge, well-ventilated rooms, drinking and snacking underneath high railway arches while being entertained by this amazing array of world-class artists. Although they were performing many metres away from us, due to their experience and talent as live performers, it was such a joy to be able to bask in their energy and artistry.
I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to enjoy live music and dance as part of a real live audience, particularly as it was performed by such a range of gifted artists. So if you get the chance, get down to Lockdown Town!
Don't miss One Night Records present Lockdown Town in London from £36 and up!
Lockdown Town is one of the few immersive experiences on in London Theatreland right now! Don't miss your chance to submerge into this underground world of music and spectacle; a blast to the past that is bound to leave everlasting good memories. Tickets for Lockdown Town are still widely available from £36 and up. Be sure to book early to secure your spot for a special night on the town.
COVID-Secure Venue Location: One Night Records, Wardens Grove, London SE1 0HT
*The entrance is located on Wardens Grove and can only be accessed from Great Guildford Street.