Welcome witches and warlocks,
I had the great pleasure of attending CreepLA: Lore this year and figured I would offer up my thoughts. A quick caveat or two, while I have attended CreepLA’s production The Willows, this is my first of their true Halloween productions. I also like the property they are adapting, the podcast Lore, but I am not someone who has listened to all of the episodes or were consider myself obsessed with the property. All of that being said, onto the review.
The first thing we encountered on our journey was the no talking rule. While this sounds like it might be some sort of scene within the production, it turns out it is just the idea that they do not want their audience members talking while within the confines of their space. There is a definite plus and minus to this rule as I liked knowing that no one else’s silly dialogues were going to intrude upon the performance, but at the same time when they asked me questions nodding yes or shaking my head no just felt odd after a bit.
Once we get past this idea, there is so much to unpack within this experience. The writers smartly did not try to adapt any single episode of the Lore podcast, but instead pulled vignettes from each episode and tied them together thematically. For instance, we might be watching a mother try to cure her daughter of a fairy curse in a household only to be ushered into a graveyard by another unrelated character who speaks to us of a plague. These thematic transitions were truly impressive as they added a sense of cohesion to so many different storylines.
As we journey through these tales, we are treated to some truly stunning sets. From the forest to the graveyard, there is a concerted effort to make the settings feel as real as possible within the confines of the space. In fact, the forest scene even has live trees so that the second we walk in we are engulfed in the smell of the woods. Of course, all this realism in the fully realized scenes made some of the moments where we are facing black walls a bit noticeable. I will grant that catching sight of the unthemed areas is not a common occurrence by any stretch; it just stuck out since so much of what was fully realized was absolutely impeccable.
Speaking of impeccable, the cast was on point throughout our entire experience. There were a few roles where the character either did not or barely spoke, but they still provided plenty of ambiance to back up the proceedings. Those with more vocal roles were excellent at making their monologues engaging to the audience. Even without being able to talk, I felt like a participant in some of the stories just based upon the strengths of the performances or how often they decided to refer to me.
I also was able to see this as a very repeatable production. Even after spending a little over an hour within the confines of the space, I know of a few scenes I never had a chance to see. While this is somewhat apparent during the main parts of the experience, it becomes especially noticeable at the end when we are sent in groups of two through one of four different Lore doors.
One final note on the finale, I liked how they pulled the various threads together, but wish that final hallway had been a little different. Since we start our experience with a writer and the finale deals with the nature of stories, it seems as if making the curtains we had to push through to get out look like pages from a book would have been an effective way to tie the beginning to the ending. I also realize that I might be the only person who felt that way as nobody else in my group made that comment, so maybe I am just looking for connections where there are not any.
All in all, it is incredibly easy for me to recommend this event to people as I had a wonderful time. In fact, I have already bought myself a ticket to return for another evening and it feels like money well spent. I appreciated that they were able to make so many disparate storylines feel like one thematic whole using clever transitions. The production values from both an acting and set design standpoint are absolutely top of the line which will please many fans of immersive theater.
For more information on CreepLA and to purchase tickets to LORE visit http://www.creepla.com/