Handle with Care by Dante or Die
Handle With Care is a new immersive play staged in self storage buildings about the things we hold onto, their emotional and sentimental value and how they tell life stories.
Last week a few of us ventured into London to see an immersive play in a self storage unit, it wasn’t in one of our own units but one at Urban Locker; a smaller independent one near Old Street in London. We really weren’t sure what to expect but were pleasantly surprised. It’s a very intimate fly on the wall performance, you can handle the props and at times the actors have to clamber over you whilst professionally pretending you don’t exist.
Theatre company Dante or Die doesn’t do spectacle or elaborate sets; its work is made in real spaces: hotels, boats, leisure centres.
The play swiftly moves through the storage facility visiting several different storage units of varying sizes. Each room is filled with belongings that are representative of the different life stages for Zoe, the main character, starting in 1988 when she waves her brother off on his travels and puts his belongings in a small unit. We then followed her over the next 30 years through turbulent relationships, childbirth, kids, divorce, grieving and travel.
For those on our team who were a similar age to Zoe in the 90s, the music notably Firestarter by The Prodigy was very reminiscent and we all felt rather psychedelic whilst raving with giant Donnie Darko style rabbits and teddy bears. It was all rather surreal.
We all thoroughly enjoyed the play, it’s no longer running but we would definitely consider going to other productions by Dante or Die