Journey to the Underworld – An immersive experience

by Sophie Ross

It was a cold, eerie night as we walked down the alley to Pedley Street station.

Upon arrival the conductor was in the smokey, dimly lit ticket hall to give us our tickets and his assistant took our bags and coats. Names please he shouted. We replied. “Ah” he said. “We have been expecting you”

The self-rolling pram
Gordy & I

Now what sounds like some people’s nightmares is what thrills me the most. Ryan and I were at our first immersive experience and it was at an old train station under a tunnel in Bethnal Green, with a single large and beautifully decorated luxury carriage inside. It was called ‘Journey to the Underworld’ and I couldn’t wait to get right involved.

We walked through to the bar area where the train carriage awaited us and there were props and theatrical items all around. Complete with a fake street lamp and a self rolling pram I was in my element as I awaited my cocktail at the bar.

All the cocktails were themed on the seven deadly sins. Mine was aptly named LUST and was a delicious tasting blueberry margarita. Whilst sipping I heard my name called, it was Gordy (the conductor) he gave me a large gold key on a red ribbon and told me to keep it safe. “You will know when to use it” he added.

Soon enough the story commenced and we were ushered into the carriage. Part of the experience was a four course meal created by BBC Masterchef finalist Louisa Ellis, which would be served on board, but we will get to the food after.

The story was about a shackled man called Claude who is on a quest to find his love who had her soul sold to the devil! You travel with him to the dark depths of hell to fight evil and save his one true love. Soon enough my moment came and the gold key I had been handed earlier was now needed to unshackle Claude. I set him free and our journey began…

Our first course was an amuse bouche – a butternut squash volute with toasted black pumpkin seeds and chive oil, this was followed by wild mushroom and truffle gnocchi. For main I had the roasted guinea fowl breast which was absolutely delicious and served with a potato cake. Dessert blew my mind – chocolate and honeycomb ganache served with ice cream! DIVINE.

Amuse Bouche

As we entered hell, we were set with a challenge to grab the key off the ultra seductive gate keeper. At one point we were also blindfolded as the the damnable Dark One entered the carriage and terrorised us on board. The train carriage was pure luxury and the windows were actually LCD screens that had animation on them so it felt like you were moving.

As the story drew to a close and I had way more cocktails than I had planned, Claude found his love and rescued her from evil although she did not come round easy. 

I cannot express enough how much I enjoyed this experience and will definitely be on the hunt for others. If you fancy doing something a little different and wacky then this is an experience for you – if you are brave enough that is!

Look out for other Funicular productions here

Love Sophie


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