The Grift – Review


Think you have the CON-fidence to pull off the Long Con?

Set in Bethnal Green, The East End of London previously occupied by Legendary Krays we were to play out the final wishes of the late ‘Ben’ and one last con at the Bethnal Green Town Hall Hotel & Apartments. The experience purpose built for the location.

Tom Salaman is the artistic director and president of Diabolical Muse Productions, a company that develops new concepts and produces work in forms of immersive entertainment. He is the co-creator, writer, and director of Accomplice Productions in New York City, Hollywood, London and San Diego. Here he manages to bring a fantastic mix of suspense and engagement with the audience in this show.

Limited to just 50 spaces this immersive experience sets you into groups of 10 all on the same mission. Being Immersive theatre fully expect to get involved in the action and prepared to take part. The Grift is a cross between theatre and mystery room games. There is more emphasis on solving puzzles and clues to get to your next location helped along with the acting that carries the story line.

To start we hear the story of Ben a child of the hotel we stand in, told by a suited gentleman Mark Oosterveen and the story of ‘Ben’ aided by a projector screen with pictures and video from ‘Ben’ who tells us how he learned the art of the con and how he had one last con to pull off with the help of us and the grandchildren of those people who worked in the hotel looking after and bringing him up.

Undergoing a set of clue solving and puzzles at which i may add some of our group were really good at. Touched with a little acting from the group and a great sense of direction we set upon and completed the con and navigated the hotel within the two hours it was planned to take ending the the big finale! Each set of activities were timed, which did put us under pressure however having passed each within the time set we never quite knew the consequence of not passing.

Meeting each of the grandchildren from our Proper East End sounding Laura Kirman as Wendy, Rachel Harper playing out the posh chelsea sounding Eloise, Daniel Millar as ‘Danny’ the barmans grandson, Alastair Kirton as ‘Jack’, Dylan Allcock playing  ‘Grady’ they all helped to build the story and emotion of their individual links to Ben and the Hotel. Obviously too they were there to ensure we were on track to progress and provide help if needed.

Roaming the halls of this grand hotel and ex town hall we also saw a very serious and intense looking Ged Forrest who played his role as The Mark of the con –  Eddie ‘The Hammer’ Hammersmith excellently. Being in his presence also is intense and actually a little scary.

This immersive show is fantastic fun and really gets you involved. By the end you would have taken part in actual con tricks that (although we do not condone the use of ) could try out in real life!

The cast again are fun, the storyline a reason to carry out the games and the venue a 5 star hotel which we get to roam around and admire is as a beautiful setting as could be.

General admission from £35 (includes a free cocktail – expect this through the show and not at start)

Meal deal packages from £57 (includes a free cocktail and a 2 course meal)

Premium meal deal packages from £77 (includes a free cocktail, a 2 course meal with a glass of champagne and a signed programme)