Is a utopian future really better than a Covid present? Immersive drama The House That Slipped asks some interesting questions
“I’ve got to collect the pieces of the pieces…”
Something unexpected happened partway through The House That Slipped that completely transformed the experience for me. The simple act of being asked to encapsulate the current coronavirus situation, to describe what lockdown actually means, proved quietly profound, a moment of reflection that makes you wonder just how history will remember this time.
Devised by the company for Teatro Vivo, the house in The House That Slipped is 12 Laburnum Drive, Brockley which has found itself in the year 2070. Through the power of a Zoom upgrade, they can now talk to us in the present day and in our small groups, we help the four residents to decide whether they want to return back to their original time.
For the world in 2070 has become a Covid-free utopia and there’s fun to be had in discovering the innovations that have emerged – zipwires from London to Brighton, 4 hour working days, no politics… Historical records have gone awry too, in this time Alan Titchmarsh is known as an evil warlord. And in a neat twist, our own personal futures are predicted – obviously I’m a top camembert producer in the years to come!
Directed by Mark Stevenson, the company do well to inject the requisite dynamism above moving between Zoom breakout rooms. And it is in the weight of the philosophical debates underpinning even the most comedic aspects of the show that there’s something that lingers long in the memory. Can you really get bored of utopia? Would you ever leave a loved one behind? Who determines what goes down as history? Fascinating stuff.