He’s coming, but we can’t say where, exactly
An immersive production of the Wolf of Wall Street is coming to London late this summer. I know when – but I don’t know where. More on this in a moment.
The immersive element is that audience participants can choose to be either a member of the Wolf-hunting FBI or a fellow rogue trader.
No contest in my opinion! The latter sounds much more fun.
The Wolf of Wall Street is based on the real-life experiences of former US stockbroker and convicted fraudster Jordan Belfort. When it was filmed with Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role it left many cinema-goers torn about whether it was okay to like the main protagonist. The term lovable rogue might have been coined with him in mind.
Belfort was projected as a misogynist and “take his grandma’s last penny” style of cheat. Not exactly traits one should warm to. I found the portrayal of him engaging more than likeable, but very watchable.
My feelings about Belfort pretty much mirrored my thoughts about Frank Abagnale, coincidentally also played by DiCaprio, who we encountered in the film, Catch Me If You Can (above),based on another true story. The main difference being that forger Abagnale went on to do good by working for the FBI. So, I guess, it was more okay to like him.
Belfort, on the other hand, did time – 22 months – but seems to have emerged quite well financially with his motivational speaking tours being sell-outs. But the media continues to question the ethics of how he conducts his business.
So back to the immersive production of Wolf. No one is saying where it will be staged but, given it is going to be set over four floors, that must narrow down the potential venues.
The dates are projected as September 5 to January 19. Those who attend will be able to eat and drink on the set as well as trade with the Belfort character and other cast members. American office attire of the 1990s is the suggested dress code. The production has Belfort’s support.
Tickets cost just shy of £60 and £100 though there will be a lottery for £10 and £25 tickets.
The Wolf is the latest in a growing line of immersive productions.
But, in addition, there are at least a dozen others. Among them is the opportunity to:
Rub shoulders with Del Boy’s character in Only Fools, the (Cushty) Dining Experience (above);
Be driven mad by Basil, Sybil and Manuel in Faulty (their spelling, maybe a copyright thing) Towers, the Dining Experience (below);
Both of the above are staged at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bloomsbury.
Indulge your love affair with James Bond in Secret Cinema Presents Casino Royale;
Tune in to Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds, the Immersive Experience at the Old Metal Exchange in Leadenhall Street; and
Have an outdoor experience in The Wind in the Willows at Abney Park in East London (hope the weather holds).
For a much fuller list visit here.
I confess to a slight apprehension about “going immersive”, fearing what I might be asked to do. I’m pretty good at watching others make fools of themselves, but not so good when the tables are turned on me.
The most immersive thing I ever did in a theatre was back in the early ’70s when Godspell was staged at the Wyndham’s. Members of the audience were invited on stage in the interval to have a glass of wine with cast members. Free booze? I was able handle that.
Name-dropping furiously, a quartet of the cast that night went on to do rather well as actors and recording stars – Jeremy Irons, David Essex, Julie Covington and Marti Webb. If you are too young to be familiar with their work, maybe take the time to look them up or listen to them.