This is a review for the Spring extension of Delusion: The Blue Blade, focusing on the changes from its original run in the Fall which we reviewed here.
Just when you thought the journey was over and the blue blade was finally in safe hands, a certain abandoned theater has once again sprung to life, leading a team of prospective time travelers on the century-hopping pursuit of this legendary artifact. Yes, Spring has come early as Delusion begins the Spring extension of its most daring show to date, The Blue Blade.
Opening to widespread acclaim from the immersive theatre community, this new action-adventure take on a historically horror-themed production nonetheless proved divisive among horror fans concerned that Delusion had abandoned its roots. This retooling of the original production dubbed the “Director’s Cut”, offers a subtle evolution that retains its dedication to this new vision while fitting in responses to the issues people had where possible. Perhaps the most essential victory for a reimagining of an already successful concept, The Blue Blade Director’s Cut doesn’t take any steps back. During much of the show I was struggling to determine what was newly-added and what I had either forgotten or not done in the particular paths I ended up going down, but I never got the sense that something was missing that had been there previously, even though the age limit has been reduced to 13+.
In fact, while it might seem they’re going for more family-friendly appeal, the first major change that you’ll notice from its previous incarnation is the intimidation factor from the Keepers, the primary antagonists of the story. I always found these guys creepy with their patchwork of lights where their faces should be but now they have a tendency to get closer and they come outfitted with a screech that sounds like someone attached a dial-up modem to a cougar. They are thoroughly distasteful to multiple senses and I quickly made my way to the nearest exit as soon as I got a glimpse of one.
My main qualm with my initial foray into this world, however, had more to do with the pacing than with the scares. There’s a fair amount of information to absorb and I was initially thrown off by the fact that so much emphasis was placed on the action aspect, foregoing story building moments for lots of running and confrontation. This version didn’t feel lacking in action but it felt like there were more nuggets of exposition to help solidify the significance of each of the main characters. Certainly, my feeling less overwhelmed was at least partly due to my existing familiarity with the story and this does feel like an experience that requires multiple visits to fully appreciate but as with any good director’s cut, bits and pieces were strategically added and removed to tighten up the flow.
The most significant change is a fairly substantial addition to the show’s climax that I won’t get into too much other than to say that it creates a more satisfying resolution. The original tied up things well enough but felt sudden and condensed, whereas now we have a proper send-off that doesn’t feel premature. This is the definitive version of The Blue Blade that should satisfy newcomers and the Delusion faithful. If you missed it in the Fall, then it comes even more highly-recommended than before and if you’ve seen it before this is the ideal way to fully absorb the intricacies of the narrative you may have missed on your first visit.
Tickets available through March 17th at enterdelusion.com