Yesterday I received a memo from Police Inspector CJ Tibor requesting my attendance at a press conference which was held this evening. It seems someone, they suspect it was Etienne Chabrol, stole The Black Diamond from Jacques Ferre just as he was about to give it to his true love, Cecile Fontaine. Needless to say, Jacques wasn’t very happy as he’d just spent 7 years hand carving it for Cecile, so he did what anyone else would do…he placed a curse on the diamond.
Whoever has that diamond will be shaken from their dreams by the hand of misery. They will be alone, they will be betrayed, they will be heartbroken until time, the only true god, restores it to me.
If you think that sounds like the opening scene of a movie you’d only be partly correct; what it is in fact is the start of something quite special that will immerse a few thousand lucky Londoners in a tale of intrigue over the Summer. What Inspector Tibor explained to those gathered at the press conference this evening was the story of The Black Diamond, or at least what the police know of it so far!
The Black Diamond is an immersive theatre experience so what it means in reality is you, if you’re lucky enough to get a ticket are thrust into a film noir movie which is set in 1960’s Paris and features 2 lovers, 1 diamond, a thief and that curse! That’s right, not only are you a spectator you’ll also be an actor. Only you will discover the secrets of The Black Diamond over 8 evenings at events spread across various locations in East London but fear not, the story will develop simultaneously online, giving a new depth to the production and offering an additional interactive perspective for the audience, whether you manage to get tickets to attend or not.
Now, if tonight’s press conference was anything to go by participants are in for a treat as Stella Artois Black, who commissioned The Black Diamond, have entrusted theatre producer Felix Barrett and the hugely talented Punch Drunk Theatre group to create this dramatic mix of on-line experiences and real life cinema complete with alluring characters and one-to-one interactions which puts the audience smack dab in the middle of a story of love, desire and deception. It certainly beats a night in watching Eastenders, I’m sure you’ll agree!
As events go this is certainly up there as one of the more unique and engaging I’ve been fortunate enough to attend. The conference was held at the Old Sessions House in Clerkenwell which was transformed into early 60’s Paris with actors not only in period attire but also mingling with the Press leaving you to wonder who was real and who was acting. The dossier handed out to we journalists was of exceptionally high quality; from the press pass to copies of criminal record reports, complete with glossy black and white photos and coffee stains right down to an edition of the broadsheet newspaper L’Histoire which contained English articles in amongst the French, each piece of paper and article adding a little more flesh to the bones of the story.
There are 2,000 free tickets available for over 18’s to take part in The Black Diamond which will run from 3rd to 21st July. So if you like a tale of mystery and intrigue you’ll want to secure yours, which is easy, just head to www.stellaartoisblack.com and get your name down now, you won’t regret it!
In case you’re dithering, watch the trailer, I’m sure it’ll convince you to take part.
Now, in case you’re wondering, Stella Artois Black is a blonde premium pils lager crafted exclusively in Leuven, Belgium and imported to the UK. It’s matured for longer giving it a rounded, full-bodied flavour and a refreshing aftertaste at 4.9% abv. If you, like me, are someone who doesn’t really like regular Stella Artois you’ll be pleasantly surprised, it has a very smooth finish and tastes continental. You’ll understand what I mean when you try it.