Airy Botter & The Sorcery School Headmaster’s Office Escape Room is a Harry Potter-themed ‘escape room’: a kind of room puzzle that requires teamwork and communication to solve difficult riddles in order to escape.
It’s the first I’ve ever been in. They usher your group into a big room full of clue-looking furniture and props, and you’re given a big story about Hogwarts being under attack by Dementors, and the only way to stop them is through critical thinking! Then, you’re encouraged to explore the room and solve all the riddles as a team, before the timer runs out. It’s fun, but you gotta be switched on.
Venue: The Girl’s School (3 Wellington St, East Perth)
Company: Escape Room Treasure Hunt Pty Ltd
Price: 39 big ones
Time: quarter past ten at night
Rating: read below 🙂
Various sound effects weren’t installed at the venue yet, so the guy running the show, “The Host” is my nickname for him (I think it’s a better name than Almost Fumbledoor, his real character name – the puns he used to avoid copyright strikes wore thin very quickly) improvised by giving us verbal prompts whenever a sound was meant to go off. It created a laid-back atmosphere, which worked for me.
PROPS AND MAGIC
A lot of love and care were put into the props. Funny little notes scribbled by Hogwarts teachers combined with nice lighting effects that created a real sense of magic in the room. It created a strong story, which was too complicated for me to follow, but still a strong, enjoyable story to get behind.
‘ALMOST FUMBLEDOOR’: THE HOST
The Host was called ‘Almost Fumbledoor’, a goofy, jovial and funny headmaster-type character, but he was shy at first, and seemed nervous and tired. I learned later on that the bloke playing Fumbledoor had a tough night.
Talking with him while other people were doing all the work solving the riddles, I learnt that he’d created most of the room and ideas himself, which makes Airy Botter an impressive feat. Based in Houston, Texas, turns out this guy’s been performing comedy-type acts for a long time, and is fairly new to Perth FRINGE WORLD Festival.
The whole situation had me thinking about the American Dream, and the act of trying to get by, by doing what you love.
Too rich for my blood. $39 is a ridiculous price for anything, and given the technical difficulties mentioned earlier, I would’ve felt pretty ripped off. Maybe it’s hyperinflation.
VENUE: DEAD AS HELL
It was hard to believe this was the first night of Fringe. I caught the cat bus in from the city and arrived at the venue, a big building housing multiple Fringe shows this festival, to find it locked up like Alcatraz, crawling with airhead security guards (who made it very hard for me to enter, checking your bags like you’re at the fucken airport) who outnumbered actual visitors. Place was quieter than third floor Reid. Organisers could be seen running around helping people. A lady was really nice in showing me where to go for Airy Botter, another lady told me it’s been a frantic opening night. The whole thing seemed like the organisers weren’t really ready.
DRUNK PEOPLE MISCHIEF
I heard numerous accounts of drunk bandits who came earlier in the night; larrikins who caused a ruckus and nearly ruined the session before mine. The Host broke character numerous times and levelled with us, told us the people before were too drunk, breaking important props and not going along with the spirit of the game. It broke my heart because The Host, who seems a nice bloke, looked a little tired and shaken up. My question is, why did the seccy guards let the drunks in in the first place? (I understand now why they gave me a hard time trying to get in, I was buzzing).
PERTH TRAINO BEATDOWN
After the show I walked to Perth Train Station and saw a man sprinting, trying to enter the station, and a big train cop shoulder charged him and laid him out on the floor. A bunch of other train cops gathered around and watched the arrest take place.
‘What’s garn on?’ I say to them.
‘None of your business,’ says one of them, smugly, and tells me to move on.
We have a bit of an argument. I call the train cop a fascist pig, among other things, while buying a ticket. He tells me to leave the station for being abusive. Fairo. Must be a tough job, patrolling the mean rails of Perth.
MY NIGHT OUT
On the surface level, this has all the makers of a shit night out. On closer reflection, it’s a night out I will never forget. I saw a show full of potential, hampered by technical difficulties and drunk dickheads and a shit venue, but full of potential nonetheless.
Airy Botter is a good show that will only get better once the technical stuff starts working. The show runs, multiple sessions a day, every day, ’til mid-February. You can get your tickets here.
Rating: 3 big unit train cops out of 5
Words by Mikey Isitt
Mikey Isitt is just getting started.
Image Courtesy of FRINGE WORLD Festival.
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Other Festivals have demonstrated that ethical sources of funding are possible – you can read more, and sign the petition, here: https://www.change.org/p/fringeworld-side-with-the-climate-and-drop-woodside-petroleum // #fossilfreefringe #fossilfreearts // Arts and Cultural Workers for Climate Action