This is a production about power, love and secrets’

This is a production about power, love and secrets'
Cast members of Get Out Of My Space [GOOMS]

Here the troupe’s theatrical director, Tobias Cornwell, reveals more about the play, its clever concept and his exciting plans for 2020

Get Out Of My Space [GOOMS] has had an incredible time since it launched seven months ago, and we’ve received some amazing feedback for the shows we did in 2019. These included A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The 39 Steps and A Christmas Carol, and each one of them was performed in the immersive sense and in a special location, including Kingdom at Penshurst and The Beacon, Tunbridge Wells.

As GOOMS’ Artistic Director, I have to thank not only the hard work of all the actors and creatives who have been involved so far, but the audiences for taking a risk on my company, and their continued support.

Our first production of 2020 is Black Fate, which has just started its two-week run at The Beacon. On until February 8, it is a production about power, love and secrets, and how the smallest actions of others can have huge effects – where they least expect it. As with all GOOMS productions, it’s key to remember that perspective is a powerful thing.

Black Fate is a dynamic, immersive story based on Romeo and Juliet. There are 28 scenes in Shakespeare’s play, and I have modernised and adapted them to the context in which we have set Black Fate – which boasts 115 scenes.

But I would like to point out that as an audience member you aren’t supposed to see all 115, you are meant to see 27 of them. I have designed the show in a way that you wander around the space as the action unfolds as an invisible voyeur, and no matter which 27 scenes you choose to watch, it will all make sense.

The bonus of this is that you will have a completely unique experience of the show compared to any other audience members. There are over 10,000 different ways of seeing Black Fate, so you can be confident that only you will ever see the show in this way, which is pretty cool!

So now to the plot: Our audiences will be transported to late 1800s’ London, where the all-female gang The Forty Elephants rule. Capulet, the leader of the gang, is looking to create a legacy for Juliet to take over, but she seems resistant. Montague just wants to run the best pub in London, but the unrest on the streets his boys cause mean his protection payments to The Forty Elephants keep rising, and they’re reaching unaffordable levels.

Mercutio and Benvolio think they’ve solved the money problems, but the presence of Paris potentially ruins everything.

Nurse’s closeness to Juliet reveals to her secrets she didn’t want to know, and so she’s stuck in a moral dilemma of self-preservation or risking everything to help a friend.

Tybalt is a well-respected fighter but isn’t trusted with secrets. How hard is it to fight when you find out those sending you don’t trust you?

In the middle of all this, Friar Lawrence is trying to bring peace to the streets, but his own sins are starting to surface.

So you could watch a play about struggling faith, young love, female repression and rebellion, or any of the other themes Black Fate has to offer, the only thing you have to do is find them.

Each character navigates their own complete storylines, creating ten overlapping and interlinking narratives – no pauses, no breaks and no offstage. And no two audience members will experience the same sequence of events.

The set actually spans all three floors of The Beacon building as well as its surrounding grounds. There’s no set route around the house, allowing every audience member to piece together their own unique performance experience by roaming wherever and however they wish.

The Beacon was built in 1896, and a lot of the original decor is still on show, including the ceiling and the fireplaces. This led me to research this particular period to see if I could find any inspiration for our show.

I discovered that during this time there was a huge influx of people into major cities such as London, which made gang warfare go on the rise. Researching these different gangs I came across one which caught my attention: The Forty Elephants. They were the only all-female criminal organisation at that time and were extremely successful in Elephant and Castle. Once I found them and did some research, I knew they were the perfect inspiration for Black Fate.

If you decide to come along and see it then it’s important to know that once you enter the building you are given a mask to wear and are not allowed to talk – and no one will be telling you where you can or can’t go. You are in complete control of your experience – it is there for you to take with both hands.

Personally, I would encourage you to split up from your friends and family as you will have a far better time.

There is no right or wrong, no better or worse way of experiencing it. This is YOUR time, there are very few chances in this world to be selfish and just do what YOU want.

During the show, there will be a bar area where you can relax if you’d like, take your mask off, and order a drink.

At the end, I would heavily encourage you to discuss with the rest of the audience what you saw and thought of this immersive experience. You’ll soon learn the world was far bigger than you first thought!

There is clearly a demand for this type of theatre thanks to the likes of Punchdrunk, but usually you have to travel up to London and pay excessive amounts for this type of show.

It would be amazing if we became a hub for innovative performance and started drawing people out of London.

We hope people who have seen more than one GOOMS show would agree that each one has topped the last. But I want to keep audiences on their toes and not be able to predict what’s coming next. I want GOOMS to be known for the quality of shows, not the style of shows.

Will we do another classic film with a silly amount of actors? Maybe. Do we have a very stripped back one-man show planned? Possibly. Can The Tempest be done with four actors and a lot of seafood? Likely. Are we crazy enough to try and reinvent A Christmas Carol again? Who knows?

And am I hinting we’ll be doing all of these before the end of the year, or am I throwing you off the scent?

Now that would be telling…

Black Fate is on nightly at The Beacon until February 8. Performances start at 7.30pm and tickets, which cost £25, and more information can be found at

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