The Shield & Torch

A show combining the best of interactive theatre and freeform role-playing where, for an evening, you can become one of the adventurers, rogues and wanderers at a magical tavern.

The Shield & Torch isn’t the kind of tavern where immortal armoured sorcerers save the world in a blaze of glory. Or the kind overrun by ruthless criminal who orchestrate bloody revenge in shadowy corners.

It’s the kind of tavern where people come for help, whether they’re willing to admit it or not. Be it hiring a spell caster to contact the dead, getting a bard to put their memories to music, or seeking neutral ground to reconcile a long-standing grudge – The Shield & Torch is a place of personal victories and defeats that ripple through lives rather than whole realms.

Don’t just be surrounded by another world: be a living part of it, and find a way to make – or unmake – a name for yourself.

Okay, but what will I actually doEveryone begins the evening creating their own unique character (with the help of our performers), plus discovering a little about each other’s characters and the tavern. Then everyone spends a couple of hours playing out their evening at the tavern as their character. Want to turn your life around by joining a new guild? Or try to decipher a prophecy with the help of someone who can see the future? Or simply tell the bartender your fantastical worries? Well here, you can…

The Shield & Torch isn’t for everyone – after all, what is? We know it’s probably not the best fit for those who like their taverns to look every inch as fantastical as they feel, or with quest-givers ready and waiting every table, or with dramatic, pre-made scenes playing out with the whole tavern as audience. The Shield & Torch isn’t simply an intriguing backdrop to an evening’s drinking, or a lone adventurer’s solo heroics. It’s always been a tavern enjoyed by those who like both getting stuck in and sharing the spotlight.

I like the sound of this, but I’m nervous. That’s totally understandable – it’ll be a new kind of experience to most people who come. But that means it’s designed precisely with new people in mind. That’s why:

  • you don’t have to do or prepare anything before coming to the show (everything necessary to participate will be provided on the night)
  • the setting is simple and easy to understand – no fantasy animals or creatures, and no overly complex magic
  • you’ll be supported in making a personalised character that works for you and the kind of play you’re comfortable with
  • there’ll be performers present especially to help if you’re feeling stuck or unsure
  • there’ll be some content to give you story prompts and inspiration as well as the space to forge your own stories
  • there’ll be designated areas where you can have a breather out-of-world

Being up for getting involved and contributing to others’ stories as well as developing your own is all you really need to have a good time at The Shield & Torch.

Okay, sign me up! Tickets will be on sale around late September/early October – but if you want to make sure that you don’t miss out on the announcement and can buy a ticket the moment they’re available, sign up to the Alongame mailing list here.

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