YOU: are in a small, dimly lit room in the Battersea Arts Centre. Around you are three strangers and the man who is guiding you through this choose-your-own adventure exploration of the building. His words are powerful, conjuring rooms without you even leaving your seat. You can LEAVE or JOIN IN.
Of course you join in, and join in wholeheartedly, because that's the best way to enjoy The Unbuilt Room. Creator Seth Kriebel has constructed this virtual tour of the building's past and present in a way that allows you to pick your own path (go UP, DOWN or NORTH) but it quickly becomes clear even before the 20 minutes is up that there's more to do than just wander around. Our small group, who'd never met before 9.15pm last night, banded together to work out ways through hidden doors and at one point unlocked a local woman's wartime diary. One discovery prompted a gasp of "no way!" and we were just about to try out a theory, tension mounting, when the timer went and our cries of disappointment were spontaneous and real.
There may be no trolls to kill (or at least, not that we found), but this game is absorbing, enlightening and often funny. Throw yourself in and definitely don't be afraid to PICK UP and explore the imaginary world more closely.
The Unbuilt Room runs Thursday-Saturday only until 23 November at Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill SW11. There are several performances each night, tickets £5. For more information and to book see the Battersea Arts Centre website.