Dragons of Drummohr is full of spectacle
- David Pollock
- 12 October 2017
Augmented theatre experience with dragons and hobgoblins is a hit for young people
We're on our way, says our ranger guide as we take the 'Dragon Bus' from Prestongrange Museum up to Drummohr House in the dark, to the base of the Dragon Protection League (DPL). We're about to explore the arrival of a Class 7 Red Dragon in the eerily-lit grounds of the house, and a number of accompanying strange happenings, including the disappearance of two of their colleagues. To help us, she says, we must all download the Dragon Matrix app to our phones, which will allow us to 'see' some of the hidden creatures around the grounds.
Ambitious and well-executed, Dragons of Drummohr is the latest project from the promenade 'theatre of spaces and places' company Vision Mechanics, whose new studio base the Big Shed is the starting point of our adventure. It's a trip for all ages, although if you're exploring in the dark it might be a little too scary for very small children, while adults won't quite get the full experience without hearing gasps of youthful delight alongside them.
On press night, even with the downpour which occurred during an earlier trip and with a couple of the areas not fully operational because of it, the group of Brownies who left the bus before we got on seemed very loudly thrilled by what they'd just seen. The show is a spectacle, all right, and while the narrative is more suggested than elaborated upon – a helpful Pathfinder offers clues, a Troll Hunter in an abandoned shack wants to chat – the design elements of the show are stunning.
The app itself is essentially a simple, gameified element which allows us to photograph trolls and hobgoblins standing alongside our friends, a rudimentary version of Pokemon Go. Around it, the light effects on the giant spider's webs and the interactive singing flowers are gorgeous and atmospheric, and there are a bunch of great Easter eggs to find; the well which talks back, a giant projected dancefloor, and – best of all – the stunning red dragon itself. It's recommended, although take a torch and dress for the weather, and make sure your phone is charged.
Dragons of Drummohr is at Drummohr House, near Musselburgh, until Sun 29 Oct (not Mon).