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For King & Country: An immersive theatre experience based on Operation Sea Lion

Meadow

Denmark Minus
Administrator
Sea Lion Press staff
Published by SLP
Location
Balham
#1
Alternate history theatre is a rare find, and even rarer is the chance to immerse yourself in a piece of immersive theatre set in an AH world - yes, this is not a conventional play, but one where you, the audience, are treated as characters in the show and invited to make important decisions that will genuinely affect the outcome of the evening. It's already a great fun way to spend a few hours, but what makes this particularly exciting for us here on the SLP Forum is that the decisions the audience are making in this show relate to the invasion and liberation of Britain in the Second World War.

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Yes, For King & Country is a show all about Operation Sea Lion. The original show premiered last year and ended this summer. Thanks to huge success, the company is about to launch a sequel, all about Operation Emperor (the fictional liberation of Britain in 1944, still nicknamed D-Day for ease of memory). I should state for the record that I am part of this company, and have been intimately involved with writing the AH backstory for the 1944 show (with a lot of help from the excellent @Mumby).

The show is set in a bunker that used to be used by the British government as a back-up for the Cabinet War Rooms, but got taken over by the OKW and SS after the fall of London. Now, on the eve of D-Day, Resistance leaders from around the country must congregate in this recently abandoned bunker and use it to co-ordinate the liberation of Britain. American, British and Empire forces are boarding ships from Ireland (which fell to a bloodless American 'invasion' in 1943) but the Atlantic Wall awaits them. Heydrich is Reichskommisar Grossbritannien, David Lloyd George leads a hated government of collaborators in Buxton, and the feared Dreizack missile system threatens to annihilate the invasion fleet before it even makes landfall. There is much to be done.

Actors play resistance leaders (the same characters who assisted the government in the Operation Sea Lion version of the show 'four years ago' have gone underground or hidden in plain sight) and guide you through a series of objectives where the audience genuinely has control over the priority and method assigned to each one. Upstairs, the show's director answers phones and radios, making decisions for how the Allies, Germans, and anyone else you wish to talk to reacts. You're playing against a real person, not a pre-set simulation.

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I know what you're thinking: we all know Sea Lion is impossible. And, to its credit, the show acknowledges it's something of a stretch. I won't give away what exactly the show does to make Sea Lion just about feasible if you squint, but it's a credit to the original team behind it that it's not completely ridiculous, and it certainly isn't a Wehrmachtwank. The new show, which is all about D-Day, is simultaneously less and more of a stretch, with a lot more AH in it, for obvious reasons. It's been really fun finding the balance between hard AH that people like us would respect, and something non-AH fans will understand and, crucially, enjoy.

I'll be doing a full article on this for the site shortly, but I know some SLPers are already booked to attend this week, so if people would like to find out more, discuss their experiences, or arrange a visit, here's a thread for it.

The show officially starts on Wednesday 21st November and runs until 9th December. The plan is for the D-Day show to run in tandem with the Sea Lion one in the new year, with the timeline remaining consistent - if you attend the Sea Lion show and then the D-Day show back to back, things you and the actors did in Sea Lion will impact D-Day.

Oh, and to assuage any fears you may have that it's a nice idea but a bit crap: reviews for the original have been universally positive, most of them extremely so. We're just getting going with the second but the feedback so far is very good again.

Tickets are available here.

You can see the trailer for the original Sea Lion-based show here. I'll upload more pics and videos when I can.

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USSManhattan

Teacher and Writer of Things
Location
Prague
#3
I'd be curious as to the POD and ATL getting us to a Nazi-occupied Britain, especially considering the reputation Sea Lion has. Even if you can't really share.

Also noticed who's leading Britain... a surviving Heydrich is butterflies in itself, but I would assume that he was sent to pacify British resistance at some point instead of going to the Protectorate?
 

Meadow

Denmark Minus
Administrator
Sea Lion Press staff
Published by SLP
Location
Balham
#5
I'd be curious as to the POD and ATL getting us to a Nazi-occupied Britain, especially considering the reputation Sea Lion has. Even if you can't really share.
I can PM you it if you like, but as I say, if you accept that Sea Lion is impossible, then you accept the reasons why. What they've done is have PODs that at least acknowledge and try to do something about those reasons - YMMV on how successful the things suggested by the show would actually be.

Also noticed who's leading Britain... a surviving Heydrich is butterflies in itself, but I would assume that he was sent to pacify British resistance at some point instead of going to the Protectorate?
That's pretty much it. Von Ribbentrop was much more laissez faire but was sacked after the assassination of Dr Six in 1943.
 

USSManhattan

Teacher and Writer of Things
Location
Prague
#6
I can PM you it if you like, but as I say, if you accept that Sea Lion is impossible, then you accept the reasons why. What they've done is have PODs that at least acknowledge and try to do something about those reasons - YMMV on how successful the things suggested by the show would actually be.
Sure, let's hear it and I promise to keep it mum. I'm fine with "it succeeds" scenarios as long as it's well-written and tries to make it somehow doable.

That's pretty much it. Von Ribbentrop was much more laissez faire but was sacked after the assassination of Dr Six in 1943.
Well, now we know why the occupation is so hated.
 

Uhura's Mazda

(misspelled as "cluck")
Published by SLP
Location
Tamaki Makaurau
#11
Can confirm, a good night out for any but the totally inebriated. I was 50/50 on whether my semi-Normie brother (as in, knows his shit but I had to explain that the BUF flags were a legit thing) would love it or cringe inside-out, but he turned out to be super enthusiastic about the setup and is going to take his best friend at a later date.

Go in a group of 2-6 people, have a drink beforehand to loosen the inhibitions, and prepare yourself for a sufficient density of Lord Haw Haw in-jokes.
 

Meadow

Denmark Minus
Administrator
Sea Lion Press staff
Published by SLP
Location
Balham
#14
Can confirm, a good night out for any but the totally inebriated. I was 50/50 on whether my semi-Normie brother (as in, knows his shit but I had to explain that the BUF flags were a legit thing) would love it or cringe inside-out, but he turned out to be super enthusiastic about the setup and is going to take his best friend at a later date.

Go in a group of 2-6 people, have a drink beforehand to loosen the inhibitions, and prepare yourself for a sufficient density of Lord Haw Haw in-jokes.
I turned some stuff up for you. As I’m sure you noticed. Very very glad you enjoyed it.
 

Skinny87

The Sealion Six and the Fatal Wanking Accident
Patreon supporter
#18
This is one of those experiences I'm doomed never to be able to attend due to real-life, but desperate to do so anyway because it's incredible.

I'd love to hear behind-the-scenes anecdotes and breakdowns of how plays went. Do the Allies win the majority of the time, for example? Or what's the most devastated the UK has been by the end? Oh, and has anyone really managed to throw a wrench in the process - asked for the Mongolian ambassador, or pulled off something truly spectacular or unseen?
 

Thande

Chemical Christian Chaos Chelator
Published by SLP
#19
Oh, and has anyone really managed to throw a wrench in the process - asked for the Mongolian ambassador, or pulled off something truly spectacular or unseen?
I was going to make a Kobayashi Maru comparison, but given it's Sealion that'd be more what a German commander roleplay would have to pull off.
 

Skinny87

The Sealion Six and the Fatal Wanking Accident
Patreon supporter
#20
I was going to make a Kobayashi Maru comparison, but given it's Sealion that'd be more what a German commander roleplay would have to pull off.
"Well, you managed to successfully liberate the UK and drive the Germans back, and although the Dreizack missiles were launched, the resistance managed to reprogram them to land in this mysteriously calm and surely empty triangular patch of ocean near Bermuda.

We have been hearing reports of mysterious underwater noises and rumblings after their detonation, but I doubt it's anything to worry about. Anyway, congratulations again and go have a R'lyeh good evening"