CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Distress signals taught to thrillseekers taking on zombie challenge in disused nightclub

Camden Council receives licensing application for Variant 31 experience

14 March, 2019

HAVE you ever walked through the West End in the early hours and thought everybody looks like the living dead? The answer is surely yes if you count spaced-out clubbers trying to read a night bus schedule or those dazed guys queuing for a burger.

Thrillseekers heading to a former nightspot in Holborn next month, however, will have an altogether more unsettling experience on their hands: a zombie invasion.

Camden’s licensers have been asked to approve safety, operation and drinks plans for Variant 31, a live horror experience show in which the audience takes a chilling walk through a labyrinth and meets what is described as “an array of terrifying creatures”.

Although the venue is detailed in paperwork made public by the council as part of the licensing application, the show is billed as being in a “secret location”, which will be revealed closer to its first night on April 13. It will open until 5am on Fridays and Saturdays.

The buildings are a former nightclub and disused shops not far from Oasis leisure centre.

“The layout of the show deliberately disorientates audience members and the challenging nature of some of the scenes means that they can lose track of their position within the building,” the application says. “To mitigate this confusion, we have a well-drilled stage management team who work in scenes and zones and can step into the scene at any time if audience members make the distress signal they are taught on entering the show – illuminating a white glow stick or arms cross above the head.”

The show’s producers said they were looking at “dedicated discounts to Camden residents” and acting work for locals. They have pledged to limit disturbance to people living nearby with crowd control and stewards.

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