Do you remember the TV show Knightmare?
In the live version of the show the stage dressing falls down, goblins have to hold up signs in lieu of any hooks on the wall and all of the characters look very familiar. It’s hilarious.
I think it helps to have fond memories of the kid’s TV show in which three friends try and guide another through a CGI dungeon filled with terrible monsters and dangerously bad special effects.
The dungeoneer cannot see where they are going; blinded by the Helm of Justice which covers their eyes. The teammates must direct and guide; shouting “Left! Forward! Faster! Duck!” as appropriate.
In the live action version swap plucky children for comedians (or, in our case, special guest Doctor Who guest stars in the form of Dan Starky (Strax) and Nieve Macintosh (Madam Vastra)) and dungeoneer James.
What happens when you put a volunteer, blinded by a large element, into a makeshift dungeon that’s barely standing up? Comedy chaos and utter brilliance.
It’s worth knowing in advance, I think, that the success of the adventuring party is not a given conclusion. You might see the dungeon beaten by the “heroes” or you might see them die. As Lord Fear chuckles; a good ending is when they all die.
There’s safe audience participation too. If you’ve ever shouted at the TV while watching the old (about 20 years old, now) Knightmare to “Pick up the key!” or “Go more quickly!” then Knightmare Live is perfect for you. You get to shout out and this time you might actually help.
This isn’t just a comedy sketch. This is a real attempt to recreate a Knightmare Live Action game. A Knightmare LARP, if you want. There are “rooms” in which the dungeoneer just needs to be guided to the table, in order to find the food and place it in his knapsack.
The comedy comes from the real life, real time, real people attempt to complete the missions. Whether it’s the guest helpers confusing left and right in the heat of the moment, a cheeky but quick witted quip from the blind dungeoneer or the back-and-forth between Treguard the Dungeon Master and Lord Fear there are plenty of comedy encounters.
Hard to imagine? Thankfully they have a website to showcase their glowing reviews and videos too. Okay, the videos aren’t of the show but they’re a good taster of the style.