Last night I went to see ‘The Black Diamond’, an ‘immersive mix of real life cinematic experience’, presented as a peripatetic performance in several locations across Shoreditch. The project was created by the superbly brilliant theatre collective, Punch Drunk, in collaboration with Mother London for Stella Artois Black.
Devised as a film noir love story set in the 1960s, the plot is revealed in a series of surreal situations and settings, using the city as a stage for the action to unfold. After meeting in Old Street station and answering a ringing public pay phone, we were immediately thrown into a tale of crime, loss, mystery and desire: unearthing dark secrets and clues along the journey relating to the missing, cursed black diamond. The audience were not mere spectators, we became participants.
Moments within the experience were incredibly intense and explored the possibilities for theatre, which breaks down the ‘fourth wall’. Having been bundled into a vintage car by an actor, a key scene unfolded between the two other passengers: the female protagonist Lola Coeur, and the traitor, Lucas Chabrol. It was the closest I’ve come to being a voyeur, as I watched them kiss inches away from me, and it really did feel like we had been transported inside a black and white film.
The sets and attention to detail were fantastic, and what I’ve come to expect from a Punch Drunk production. The project is also intended to be experienced through online interactive elements presented by Stella Artois Black, divulging background information to the characters and plot.
- Meet the speakers: Dougal Wilson, Ewen Spencer, GraphicDesign& and Gal-dem
- Claire Hentschker: the artist who recreated The Shining as an interactive 3D space
- Rosanna Webster and Phoebe Henry’s cinematic portrait of Cuba
- Alex Hunting’s crisp editorial designs are considered and multi-layered
- Raine Allen Miller’s latest ad shows kids experiencing the “side effects” of tech toys
- Colin Pantall's warm depiction of childhood and fatherhood taken over 12 years
- Parker Day's lurid colours and grotesque characters elevate identity and fantasy (NSFW)
- Paper reveals Break the Internet take two, with Nicki Minaj shot by Ellen von Unwerth
- Bea de Giacomo photographs the wonders of pregnancy
- Matthieu Lavanchy recreates food emojis "irl" for The Gourmand's tenth issue
- Introducing Broccoli, the publication “normalising cannabis use, especially for women”
- One Step Ahead: we meet Paula Scher, the trailblazing Pentagram Partner