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World Factory

Published 20 May 2015

What’s it all about?

This is a difficult question to answer. Part theatre production, part board game, World Factory is about creating your own storyline, a storyline that will differ depending on the paths you decide to take throughout the course of the show.

Why? Because you may not have realised it on entering the Young Vic’s Maria Studio but you’re actually the owner of a Chinese clothing factory. Presented with a red box containing 100,000 of local currency, details of your workforce, a barcode reader and instructions on how to play, you must make decisions based on options found on the back of a series of cards given to you by your designated ‘dealer’.

Would you sack half of your employees or implement a company-wide salary cut to minimise your costs?

This is just the beginning. The well-being of your employees, the scale of your profits and the quality of your products are all in your hands.

Who’s in it?

You. You make the decisions. You move the show along. And you contribute to the production’s conclusion. You and the five others on your team, that is.

The other dozen or so teams strewn across the studio will no doubt be charting a totally different story.

Oh, yes, there are also four performers – ‘the dealers’ – who help you fulfil your mission as factory owners. Our team was looked after by a particularly ruthless Lucy Ellinson.

What should I look out for?

Dodgy dealers who don’t always give you what you’re owed and occasionally take what they haven’t earned.

In a nutshell?

Primark or Prada? Your retail choices are thrown into question in this immersive theatrical experience that turns the Young Vic’s Maria Studio into a Chinese factory and puts you at its centre.

What’s being said on Twitter?

@Niharikartspeak Go experience #WorldFactory @youngvictheatre challenging stuff which reminds you how tough any choice is #fashion #consumer

Will I like it?

Haters of audience participation do not be afraid. This is not panto-style involvement that could lead you down the path of humiliation. Not by a long shot. This is like rocking up to the Young Vic to play a more thought-provoking and entertaining version of Monopoly. You could go with a group of five friends and commandeer your own table or meet your fellow factory owners when you get there. Either way, you will spend an hour and 45 minutes deep in thought about the decisions you’re making not only in the game but when you’re out shopping.

World Factory is playing at the Young Vic until 6 June. Tickets are limited so call the venue’s box office on the day of the performance for availability.

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