Immersive brainteaser reaches thrilling conclusion in The Kindling Hour

Ivy (Bathsheba Piepe) is a recurring figure in Swamp Motel's trilogy to bring down the powerful London Stone Consortium 

Ivy (Bathsheba Piepe) is a recurring figure in Swamp Motel's trilogy - Credit: Matt Hass

Hackney-based immersive theatre specialists Swamp Motel pivoted their usual live offer to keep us performance junkies entertained in lockdown with their twisty interactive internet mysteries.

The sub-plot to their trilogy Plymouth Point, The Mermaid's Tongue and now The Kindling Hour revolves around the shady London Stone Consortium, a cabal of the rich and powerful who use supernatural objects, menace and violence to secure their position.

The Kindling Hour

The Kindling Hour - Credit: Swamp Motel

Co-founders Ollie Jones and Clem Garrity have created a genius experience blending fake websites,  Facebook entries, and phone numbers, with real world online tools like Google Streetview, YouTube and Gumtree. Armed with a laptop, phone, pen and paper participants scour auction lots, CCTV footage, holiday snaps, and song lyrics to crack passwords and cyphers, only to be plunged into the next puzzle - like a virtual breadcrumb trail of brainteasers.

Every so often you land on a filmed segment, a residents' association chair, an academic searching for a powerful object, a missing girl, who jog the story along. And for those whose lockdown-addled brains can't figure out the clues, there's a live chat with an invigilator who drops hints to get you on the right track. Race-against-time countdown clocks keep you energised, and the beauty is you can play with friends stuck in different locations - although in our house it was a great group activity on those same-old same-old Covid nights.

The Kindling Hour

The Kindling Hour - Credit: Matt Hass

The Kindling Hour brings the good versus evil tale to its fiery Arthurian conclusion. Involving an undercover operative and a national landmark, it's the same concoction of technology, mythology, crime thriller and escape room problem solving that has hooked in 40,000 players during lockdown. Hopefully Swamp Motel's live experiences will soon resume, but until then you can play the whole season from £55 at https://www.thekindlinghour.com/


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