Shunt was, for a brief period between 2009 and 2011, one of London’s hippest theatre/bar/clubs. Consisting of a tobacco warehouse with a massive, three-storey glass-floored fully-stage-lit monstrosity in the middle of it called (rather ominously) The Machine. We asked Shunt nicely if we could run a game of Zombie in their machine when they weren’t using it to put on immersive theatre productions.
They responded by asking us to do it on New Year’s Eve 2010.
Of course, we were excited to do it, and we had nothing else planned, so we agreed. Plus they were offering all “performers” free sangria, so who were we to argue?
We ran a sawn-off, cut-down version of Zombie specially modified for slightly drunk hipster types – players, in teams of three, had to navigate the three-room structure and rescue a magic book or a keycard. To be honest we didn’t really mind if they got the objective out; they were completely unprepared for the experience of hunting the undead, and the majority of them emerged from The Machine shaking, terrified, and elated whether they’d succeeded or not.
Our favourite moment came when two girls, have been bitten by the Zombie horde scant seconds after entering the game, chased their only surviving teammate through a curtain, up a flight of stairs, and entirely out of the play area into the viewing area above where they killed him in front of everyone.
Overjoyed, we handed our space over to some artists who wanted to make cardboard hats or something similarly daft and got wankered on free booze whilst dancing around in White Knight costumes. They closed soon after for entirely unconnected reasons.