Cages where emotions are locked

I love theatre but I have never experienced anything like Cages before. Cages is a dark, gothic, heart felt musical which uses cinematic technology along with synchronised acting all which focuses on control by the government, as within Anhedonia emotions and love is forbidden.

Emotions are what makes us though and an important part of our life but within Anhedonia emotions is not allowed in particular love, but Woolf a boy born with a red heart changes all this when he gets the attention of a young female and unlocks her heart but sadly not all ends well for Woolf and his love Madeline.

I was invited along to watch Cages, experience their VIP bar area and also taste their themed Cages menu within the Riverside Studios restaurant.

Cages at Riverside Studio

Created by CJ Baran and Ben Romans, Cages has enjoyed a successful and acclaimed run in Los Angeles since 2019 and now is premiering at UKs Riverside Studio.

This play is an intimate and mysterious gothic romance which focuses on emotions, control, humanity and rebellions. It is masterfully weaved together using a state-of-the-art video and animation with live performance and original songs by Woolfe and the Wondershow which pulses out to the audience giving an eerie addictive pop energy, and rock opera with a modern gothic twist.

Cages is set on a fantastical world called Anhedonia where emotions are forbidden, and hearts are locked in Cages (mentally not physically). Woolf is a lone soul who lived in the shadows until one day he meets a young lady Madeline and unlocks her heart.

Question is though can their love survive the dystopian world of control they inhabit of Anhedonia?

Eats and theatre within Riverside Studios

Riverside Stuidos presently is showing Cages which is a very modern musical with a very dark gothic twist to it brining romance to the stage in such an extraordinary way. Dark, gothic and intense you’ll get to follow the journey of Woolf as he falls in love, and starts a rebellion.

Before heading on into watch Cages I ate within the Riverside Studios restaurant in which I enjoyed food from their themed menu for Cages.

I love how there is a open kitchen where you can watch the chefs.

To start we started off with a Negroni which was very refreshing and colourful.

Followed shortly by starters which was a bowl of Roasted Squash and Beetroot Soup. Was a stunning red, ever so creamy and had a real sweetness to it.

For mains I had a Burger which came within a Charcoal Bun. The burger was thick and large and the Charcoal Bun gave it a real earthiness. Whilst the filling of the bun gave a sharp tanginess to every bite.

For dessert it a Chocolate Caged Black Forest Gateaux which looked great. The sponge was chocolately and light and the sorbet was a fruity raspberry hit, and the chocolate cage had a great snap to it, but the chocolate itself was unfortunately a little bland in flavour.

Afterwards I enjoyed the premium bar area which is for those who have VIP premium tickets. Here I encountered some of the mysterious characters from Anhedonia who have no emotions. Dressed in grey and silent it felt quite eerie but at the same time I was intrigued by their mysterious behaviour.

So I just had to sit with one and soon his lack of emotions started to rub of on me.

Plus whilst in the bar you can enjoy two different cocktails, an alcoholic and non alcoholic drink which are free of charge. They both are very refreshing.

Here I come Anhedonia with my heart full of love

The whole play is phenomenal, a techno wonder which is all set in black & white with hints of colour here and there with synchronised moments, heart pumping music along with darkness and lots of flashing lights giving you that intense feeling of what will happen to Woolfe next.

This twisted modern love story plunged it’s audience into a monochrome world called Anhedonia where emotions are banned, hearts are to be kept in metaphorical cages and the government decides who marries who.

Woolf (known as The Boy With The Red Heart) hides away whilst he creates and pumps out steampunk-type music from the cave he lives in. The music lures in a red-headed gothic lady called Madeline and the pair instantly fall deeply in love with each other which is not allowed.

However there love is short lived when she is called up for her arranged nuptials. Woolf is then ran out of town as he is chased into the forest by government agents. There, he is rescued by the Chemist, an avuncular father figure who tells him he has to help stop Anhedonia and make people love again. Drinking a potion from the Chemist, Woolf then goes on a trippy journey to process his emotions and shortly after he is then ready to take on the government and get Madeline back, but will he succeed?

The moments that really hooked my heart was when Woolf first encountered Madeline as there love was true. It was a magical moment.

Question is can Woolf’s love for Madeline survive the dystopian world of control they inhabit of Anhedonia and can he take down the government?


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

For me personally the play how I can describe it is think Handmaids Tale, Nightmare Before Christmas, Black & White movies, and Romeo and Juliet as it a dark, black and white stage show full of forbidden love.

I’m in love with Cages, which Anhedonia will frown on as emotions are not allowed!

The play was a spectacle from start to finish. I loved how it was mostly all black and white giving it that intense feeling. The sychronisatioon was superbly done as Woolf played against the backdrop of the projected imagery and imagery from in front of him. Plus the story and music worked really well together really making my heart beat for Woolf as I just wanted him to be happy in love.

If you love horror, black & white movies, musicals, romance, and heart pumping music then you’ll love Cages. Only thing is though I will warn you there are moments when you are in pitch black, flashing lights and imagery of skulls.

So if like me you love this kind of theatrical experience then book grab your friends or family and book now.

Book now head to Riverside Studios and experience Cages for yourself

Riverside Studios
101 Queen Caroline Street
W6 9BN

General seating £49.50
Premium seats £89.50

Showing upto 1 January 2023

Run time 1 hr & 45 mins + interval

For over 16+
Contains strobe lighting effects & flashing lights, plus the use of smoke and haze.

Book Cages now click here.

Thanks to Cages marketing team for the invite. All views are my own honest opinion.

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