Shaker Productions, 2000

Review in Issue 7-3 | Autumn 1995

2000 was a promenade adaptation of Dostoevsky’s’ The Gambler by Shaker Productions, performed at the Union Chapel, Islington.

The production transformed the entire building of the Union Chapel into ‘The Hotel Rouletenberg’, where the audience were the guests and, together with the performers, set out on a night of gambling.

The performers led the audience through the many corridors and chambers of the chapel, delicately manipulating them to undergo their own gambling game whilst also allowing them to become increasingly involved in the performers’ own plot. The audience involvement was never uncomfortable, but cleverly balanced to create a tension between the fictional ‘Dostoevsky’ world and the reality of the audience. The audience, having been given the licence to ‘play along’, could push the interactive role as far as they wanted to. This careful balance was helped by the generous and convincing performances of the characters, who encouraged, adapted and accepted the audiences own immediate interpretation of the activities

Although the actual plot of 2000 became dissipated in this experiment, what was more fascinating was to piece together a personal narrative from the fragments of conversations and half witnessed exchanges that were met along the way. This meant that the characters’ personal and moral struggles were highlighted, which seemed an excellent way to experience an interactive version of Dostoevsky.

The fact that 2000 did not manage to negotiate the plot as effectively as they did the audience, in no way detracted from the performance. In fact, the broken plot and narrative was a bonus within the atmospheric corridors and chambers of the chapel. The meeting of an interactive promenade with the Dostoevsky adaptation was an interesting enough experiment in itself, without pandering to a rigid exposition of the plot.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jul 1995

This article in the magazine

Issue 7-3
p. 23