Courtesy of the fine innovative folks at Brave New Ventures (BNV) and Secret Cinema, THN were afforded the privilege of a jaunt into outer space on Thursday. Arriving at Euston station, we were met by the beautiful Haggersby; the containment officer who led us to our ship. On the way she informed us of our on-board jobs as Field Analysts, and of the other roles on the vessel, which included Matter Analysts, Ore Surveyors, Data Scientists, Investment Aides, Control Stabilisers, Control Operators and Guidelinks.

After being sprayed for any potential contaminants, we climbed aboard (entered the warehouse), and the surreal experience began. Actors were in character, trying to tell us what to do and where to go in the midst of our drinking and merriment, which slightly detracted from the concept at first. However, once we were inside, and at our designated work stations, the tangible atmosphere began to take hold. After familiarizing ourselves with our jobs, we were sent to explore the rest of the ship that would be our home for the next six to ten years (or four to five hours in Greenwich Mean Time).

Many sights and delights awaited us, including the remains of extraterrestrials, futuristic exercise classes, and the Captain of our ship, who greeted us and wished us success on our mission to retrieve a renewable energy source for humankind. After playing some pool, an evolved and futuristic game of Ping-Pong (ingeniously named Ping-Tron), as well as getting to know our colleagues in the mess hall, we were ordered via the tannoy system to return to our chambers and commence hypersleep.

Waking after six years (several minutes), we were frantically ushered to the flight deck, where our Captain was attempting to land our vessel on an unidentified planet. It was a torrid affair that took great concentration, but all seemed successful, until a chain of unforeseen events spelled catastrophe for us all.

Whilst testing an unidentified plant form, our attention was drawn to the wailing of an alarm. It was a code amber emergency, and we all knew something was terribly wrong, when one of our colleagues – a matter analyst – began to lose control. She fell to the ground and convulsed violently. Before we could deal with this problem, another fell foul to the same behaviour. They were contaminated. The likelihood of a severe outbreak immediately called for a code red alarm!

We were doomed. Hundreds of people started to panic, scream and run, with no control over themselves, or a safe destination in mind. Chaos pervaded the spacecraft, and people were dropping like flies. An emergency evacuation was called for by the captain, and those who were still physically capable, raced towards the escape pods with every ounce of energy they had. Soon there were bodies everywhere, both alive and dead, and no one knew what to do.

The lucky ones, including ourselves, made it to the escape pods after an arduous journey, where we were greeted by a very familiar face. He, who shall remain nameless at his behest, debriefed us on the mission, and congratulated us on surviving such a brutal epidemic. We had made it out alive! As for what took place after we escaped… that must remain confidential, for now…

We still have no idea what happened to Haggersby, and even to this day (the day after the event), we long to hear her lilting Italian accent once more. We can only hope and pray that she made it into one of the other escape pods, because the alternative does not bare thinking about.

We lost a lot of good men and women that day, and their efforts will not be forgotten.

This unique experience is only available until 1st July, so, if you’re intrigued, do book your ticket(s) as soon as possible: Bravenewventures