Step into the past and solve a mystery

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A unique brand of interactive live theatre is coming to the island this month with the goal of bringing history to life.

Live History, a Canadian theatre group that specialises in immersive experiences, have partnered with the Bermuda National Trust to put on a series of shows at the historic Verdmont

Jasmine Bowen, Live History founder and actor, describes the shows as a mix between live theatre and an “escape room” in which attendees are tasked with solving puzzles.

“Live History shows animate the museums and historical sites using both real historical figures and plausible historical figures from the past,” she said. “They draw on the site’s history and invite the audience to step into the past to solve a mystery that has been left behind.

“Once they step into a Live History show, they are part of that world. The audience will be expected to interact with the characters, and behave as if they are in the past, helping to solve a mystery while listening to the stories the characters present. They will have a chance to explore the site in a whole new way, even if they have been to the museum many times before.”

While this production will technically be the group’s first on the island, Ms Bowen said that the concept of the shows were actually inspired by Bermuda.

“Many years ago I was on a personal trip to the island and was fascinated by the history and the museums,” she said. “I knew that all around the world, historic house museums and exhibit based museums were struggling with attendance issues, and I also knew that the current generation wanted to interact with their education; and their environment, more than ever before.”

She said she began to develop the characters while in her hotel room while on the island, including the titular main character of Mary’s Odyssey.

“Since then, we have taken Mary’s Odyssey and our other shows around the world, playing hundreds of shows in Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, and the United States,” she said. “It was always my hope to bring the shows to Bermuda, coming full circle from the first idea.

“Working with the Bermuda National Trust to explore the history of Verdmont house, we customised our script to reflect stories that they felt needed to be focused on. We’ve made this events about the people who lived in Verdmont, telling their stories or filling in the gaps when history goes quiet.”

The group will are set to put on two separate shows at Verdmont, Mary’s Odyssey and Robin’s Redemption, which are set in the 19th and early 20th century respectively, with the Live History cast being joined by local actor Adam Gauntlett.

Bill Zuill, executive director for the National Trust, said: “Verdmont is the perfect backdrop for these period performances as the interior and grounds have been preserved as they would have been when the house was first built.

“As Verdmont has no electricity, the evening performances will be lit by candlelight which will make for a truly special experience.”

Performances are set to take place between March 24 and March 27. Tickets and showtimes can be found at www.bnt.bm/events. Bookings can also be made by phone on 236-6483 or by e-mail via palmetto@bnt.bm.

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Published Mar 17, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Mar 17, 2017 at 7:41 am)

Step into the past and solve a mystery

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