A man in a tan trench coat hunches over the bar, drink in hand. We enter the dusty night club and settle into seats across the lounge, keeping our eyes on him, tracking his movements. We cannot let him get away; he possibly knows where to find Dr. Evelyn Lowell, but more importantly, the Blue Blade. The man anxiously glances over his shoulder, eyes darting here and there; he has made us for who we truly are – initiates of the Safeguard Society here to question him. The man jumps from his seat and heads for the door. Without a moment’s hesitation, we leave the club and take chase.
After taking a year off from their fall productions to focus on their Lies Within virtual-reality series and the quick Horror Rewind pop-up, Delusion makes a triumphant return to the immersive space with The Blue Blade. An adventure with hints of Indiana Jones and Doctor Who, The Blue Blade is cinematic and engaging. Guests follow and interact with characters, gather clues and objects, and travel through time and space to escape sinister forces and restore the fabric of humanity’s very existence. Traveling through the jungles surrounding a Mayan civilization to a Nazi-occupied 1942, audiences find themselves in pursuit of (or running away from) Dr. Evelyn Lowell and the infamous Blue Blade which wields extraordinary powers.
In a season that is awash in spooky and haunted attractions, it is refreshing to be taken on a different kind of adventure, one whose underlying message is to take pleasure in the journey of life. Even with a narrative hinging on time travel, The Blue Blade is elegantly grounded. Through Dr. Lowell, we witness the destructive results of living in the past or future, yet we can relate to her desire for a bigger, more consequential life – even if it means a solitary existence. However, no matter where Dr. Lowell runs, time is at her heels, and death comes for everyone. Ultimately, we learn, along with Dr. Lowell, that it is in our relationships and the connections we make that true life and remembrance flourish.
The Blue Blade boasts terrific performances of nuanced characters that drive home the melancholy and whimsical morals. Truly a personal story of Dr. Lowell’s trajectory from overly ambitious to the point of selfishness to wiser and accepting of the journey and not just the destination, The Blue Blade’s success hinges upon the acting of Jane Edwina Seymour (Dr. Lowell), Nerea Duhart (Eve) and Alex Demers (Carrick). It is through these three characters and the shifting dynamics between Eve and her paramour Carrick, as well as Dr. Lowell and Eve, that we see the toll Dr. Lowell’s avarice has taken on the three of them. One also cannot discount the overt Nazi antagonists – Oliva Treece (Uta) and Aaron Veach (Fritz) – or the expository characters – Juliana Soldacci (Josette) and The Witnessing‘s Galen Howard (Stanfeld) – as they skillfully set the tone.
The production, as always, is absolutely stellar and on a completely different level than most immersives. The stunning sets range from an expansive jungle, complete with a small river, to lived-in, cluttered offices full of details and hidden clues to Dr. Lowell’s whereabouts. The minutiae and tangible objects of The Blue Blade create a fully-realized world for guests to explore. Mixed in with the physical setting and props, the technological feats also aide in fleshing out the supernatural and sci-fi elements in the narrative. The lights and sounds are used to stunning effect: stirring up dread and palpable fear as the physical manifestations of Dr. Lowell’s demons rise from the darkness; dazzling and crackling when a new portal opens; unsettling as bombs explode outside or a tribal call from the foliage appears to be getting closer. Like Delusion’s previous His Crimson Queen, The Blue Blade also features some exciting stunt work that is not to be missed – and will not be spoiled here.
While The Blue Blade is a magnificent return to immersive productions for Delusion, a few minor adjustments could make the experience even better. Occasionally, the score and sound effects drown out the actors causing vital exposition to get lost – exposition of which there was a lot up front. Even before we get to meet the central characters, we are inundated with backstory and lore; the relationships between the characters seem to be secondary to the world that has been built. I still don’t entirely know the relationship between Uta and Dr. Lowell, for example, or Dr. Lowell and Stanfeld. Cutting back on the exposition-heavy first scenes and getting more into the relationships between characters can only help Dr. Lowell’s storyline resonate more with guests. Also, in a group of around 10 people, it is sometimes difficult to see everything that transpires. Narrative urgency can be stifled when guests are told to hurry, but end up bottle-necking around an exit, especially where some tricky obstacles might be missed.
Overall, The Blue Blade is exceptionally fun and beautifully crafted. The fantastical elements are expertly woven into the plot so as to keep the characters and story relatable and resonating with present day concerns. It is never too late to start over and make changes for the better – to not repeat the mistakes of our past – but also to cherish the personal connections we make. Time, as Dr. Evelyn Lowell says, “you must always remain present in yours.”
The fall run of The Blue Blade is currently sold out, but you can find out about possible waitlist tickets on their website, or check out their Facebook page or our Events Guide for updates. Also, be sure to watch our interview with Delusion’s Jon Braver from Midsummer Scream 2018.
UPDATE: The Blue Blade has now been extended for a spring season beginning February 14, 2019 through June 30th. General admission tickets and VIP packages now available. VIP package includes a behind-the-scenes tour, two complimentary drinks, a signed poster, discount codes for merchandise and more!