The necropolis bus (a converted Routemaster) looked magnificent, twinkling under Edwardian street lights, evoking memories of every London based, fog filled film, the Hammer Horrors of my youth and the Knight bus of Harry Potter’s.
The whole experience was beautifully crafted, scripted and choreographed. Our conductor/guide worked from a microphone and video mixer at the bottom of the stairs. He spoke to us via video screens, through a wide-angle lens and mixed in live feeds and recorded footage to enhance the sense of unease.
Essentially, this was a tourist trip round London, but instead of the tales of Kings and Queens we were treated to tales of beheadings and hauntings.
Essentially, this was a tourist trip round London, but instead of the tales of Kings and Queens we were treated to tales of beheadings and hauntings. The twist was a narrative about the bus and its history. I won’t spoil the story or try to explain the presence of a giant of a man who picked at our hair and very nearly created his own legend by jumping from our bus, inches from another, speeding past.
It was one of those interactive experiences where our British reserve got in the way. We weren’t sure how much to interact so we reverted to knowing glances and giggling to each other.
There was only one dead fly, floating in the ointment – the London traffic. Our trip began whilst London was commuting. It took us 15 minutes to move the first 50 yards; that wasn’t a problem for us but it obviously was for our conductor. He quickly ran out of script and as thepotential of not making it back in time for the next trip began to dawn on him, he quickly slipped from character.
A good fun experience for Halloween that would have been even better if we’d taken the later trip (and we’d been a little better at playing along).