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Fringe review: Escape from Wonderland

Adelaide Fringe

Stop sitting back and watching the Fringe festival happen around you – it’s time to step up and get interactive with ‘Escape from Wonderland’, writes Ali Moylan. ★★★★

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Fire Hazard Games, which presented last year’s brilliant Undercover Adelaide experience, is back with a couple of immersive Fringe events which will have you become part of the performance instead of a mere spectator.

Escape from Wonderland is a frantic game, themed around Alice in Wonderland, that will see you running around the Southern Parklands following clues, finding keys, dodging the Queen’s guards and trying to outwit other teams.

The Queen of Hearts has ordered executions all round – “Off with their heads!” – and the only way to keep yours will be to find the hidden keys which open the doorway out of Wonderland.

With 90 minutes under our belts, map in hand, and smartphones logged into the secure Fire Hazard website which feeds us clues and into which we are to enter codes, we set off on a scavenger hunt. Characters wander the area among participants: some are to be avoided for fear of being photographed and penalised, others are to be approached for extra clues and codes.

To make the most of this experience, pack light and dress in clothes suitable for a mad dash around the Parklands; my teammate and I clocked up a good few kilometres on a humid day. Having said that, Escape from Wonderland is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. You can choose your level of strategy and competitiveness, and we aimed high.

The initial briefing lacked a bit of organisation: a couple of teams missed out on the map (a disadvantage, given that clues came with grid-references) and the start needs to be more defined and guided when people are participating in something unfamiliar. However, this will likely be ironed out over the duration of the Fringe.

I highly recommend exploring the interactive section of the Fringe guide and adding Escape from Wonderland to your “must do” list. In a program with many “safe bets”, it’s important to keep the essence of the Fringe alive and throw yourself into something potentially outside your comfort zone!

Escape from Wonderland is playing on Sundays in Veale Gardens until March 18. Read more InDaily Fringe reviews and stories here.

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