None of us were quite sure what to expect from Drawing the Line, but whispers around the studio suggested that it would be heavy on audience participation – so I came prepared with a pair of comfortable shoes.
We arrived at Deptford Lounge to find ourselves in a large, clear space. The floor was empty and a row of chairs lined the walls forming a semi-circle. I straight away noticed there were no seats hidden towards the back – nowhere to hide!
Once we were seated, a group of people entered the room with a long white rope that they laid neatly on the floor. With that, the line was drawn. The room was divided into two rival nations and each side could determine how their nation grew.
The first half of the performance was largely interactive, combined with storytelling and group decision-making. As an audience, we were called upon to suggest a name for our newly founded country, illustrate our very own flag and even name our nation’s guardian spirit . We were encouraged to yell-out suggestions, cheer along and even step forward to play a larger role in the running of the county.
Our country was called ‘Tiddles’ (a great suggestion from our very own Emily) and our guardian spirit was named ‘Bob’. As a country we decided that he was to wear gold sequin flairs and cat ears.
Before too long the Cog team was busy scribbling maps across the empty floor and building cities from cardboard and various bits and pieces, all to win precious points for our country.
Eventually (and unsurprisingly) the script lead the neighbouring countries to war, when greed and ego grew as the “us and them’ rivalry deepened. All because of precious points on the scoreboard. I thought it was clever how they made us (at least for a a few seconds) despise a group of strangers sitting across from us.
Through all the fun, laughter and silly suggestions, the political narrative could not go unnoticed. These larger issues were tackled during the second part of the show, but still in a relatively lighthearted manner.
Overall, the team thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I think it’s fair to say that the narrative and play aspect suited a slightly younger audience but there was still fun to be had by all – and lessons to be learnt, no matter your age.