Swamp Motel is an immersive entertainment company formed in 2017 by Creative Associates of Punchdrunk, Clem Garritty and Ollie Jones. It creates experiences for live audiences, blurring boundaries between theatre, film and gaming and giving audiences a pivotal role within story-worlds. Their second creation for the internet is The Mermaid’s Tongue and relies on audiences solving problems and unearthing clues hidden across the worldwide web. Inspired by the phenomenon of true-crime, this is audience participation, but not as we know it.
Part theatre, part crime mystery thriller, part night out, The Mermaid’s Tongue can be experienced from the comfort of your own home with friends and family in theirs. The experience does not require the audience to leave the house, change any passwords, or use any of their own money in an auction.
Swamp Motel founders Garritty and Jones commented “We’re excited to unleash Mermaid’s Tongue to the world. With the mad, sad and strange events of 2020 we got to thinking – what we really love, ultimately, is expressing new narratives to audiences and subverting their expectations along the way. People weren’t able to leave their houses, they were using video-call constantly, so our challenge became: how do we make that exciting and can we use the internet as a new platform for us – as experience makers – to engage audiences? As we quickly discovered – there were endless ways to get theatrical – and we’re now so very excited to welcome audiences to our latest Swamp Motel creation.”
The first show in the series, produced earlier in 2020, was Plymouth Point that provided a rare shared live-entertainment experience in lockdown, blurring fiction and reality to create an hour of entertainment for socially distant friendship groups and theatre-goers. The company’s follow-up, The Mermaid’s Tongue, steps deeper into those blurred lines, turning audience members into live protagonists of the experience. As audiences and theatre makers continue into a disrupted and unknown time for live events, Swamp Motel invite audiences to another piece of innovative entertainment that has been two months in the making.
Audiences do not have to have played Plymouth Point to enjoy The Mermaid’s Tongue but it may help! The first show in the series will continue to be available to book for teams through the rest of 2020 when team size can be 2 – 6 people for both shows.
The Mermaid’s Tongue begins with audiences and their teammates taking part in the True Colours online life-drawing class. It quickly becomes clear that there will be no time for sketching, as a spilled secret quickly plunges you into a murky underworld. Each group of detectives has to hack into an art gallery CCTV, outbid a high-end art dealer in a live auction, and decipher messages from beyond the grave. Every click, log-in, call or code immerses players deeper in the mystery to discover the artefact before it falls into the wrong hands.
Shows open on Friday 25 September and tickets can be bought on the Mermaid’s Tongue website where you can either buy for your group or individual tickets and send the show link to friends and family to buy their own.
Performance Times: (Mon-Fri): 7pm and 9pm (Sat-Sun): 5pm, 7pm and 9pm
Prices: £15 per person