Love to Larp? 10 Fan Experiences to Put on Your Bucket List
So you've watched every episode of your favorite show, added a photo of it to your lockscreen, and got the t-shirt. Now what?
Experience it in the flesh, that's what. So-called "larps" (live action role-play) and other imaginative fan experiences are becoming more and more popular, encouraging viewers to get up off the sofa and experience beloved films and TV shows first-hand. Below are 10 unmissable larps that will help you get the most out of your favorite movies and series.
10. Pride and Prejudice
[caption id="attachment_406651" align="alignnone" width="640"] (Image: BBC)[/caption]
What: Fortune & Felicity proves larps aren't all about elves and medieval warriors. This one is inspired by Jane Austen's novels, meaning participants can play either an unmarried young person, or an older parent. The stage is then set for romance. Let battle commence.
Where: Medevi Brunn spa, Sweden
When: This larp originally took place in 2017, but there are whispers it might happen again.
9. The Hobbit
[caption id="attachment_423197" align="alignnone" width="2000"] (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)[/caption]
What: Live like a hobbit in this cabin in northwest Montana inspired by houses in the Shire. Martin Freeman and pals may not have had access to such creature comforts as a flat screen TV and Blu-Ray player, but the illusion is restored by a surrounding elven "village," complete with fairy lights, magical mushrooms, and a clothes line of fairy outfits hanging out to dry.
Where: Trout Creek, MT
When: Available year round.
8. Penny Dreadful
[caption id="attachment_283631" align="alignnone" width="640"] (Photo: Showtime)[/caption]
What: "Immerse yourself into a 19th century world of magic, mystery and intrigue" says the blurb for Armistice Arcane, a larp inspired by the sensationalist, often bloodthirsty, stories sold in weekly installments for one penny during the Victorian era, a.k.a. "Penny Dreadfuls."
Where: New Orleans, LA
When: 4-6 January, 2019.
7. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
[caption id="attachment_423196" align="alignnone" width="2000"] (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)[/caption]
What: The Millennium Tour is an atmospheric walkthrough of locations — from Mikael Blomkvist's home and local cafe to Lisbeth Salander's favorite tattoo parlour — found in Stieg Larsson's Millennium series of books and the 2011 film starring Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig. Don't expect to spot Claire Foy as they film follow-up The Girl in the Spider's Web, however; that's currently being shot in Berlin.
Where: Stockholm, Sweden
When: Every Saturday at 11.30am, plus Thursdays at 6pm from July to September.
6. Battlestar Galactica
[caption id="attachment_366632" align="alignnone" width="640"] The 'Battlestar Galactica' cast in 2004. (Photo: Syfy)[/caption]
What: Starship Selket: Wave One is inspired by Monitor Celestra, a legendary larp that hired a retired navy destroyer to hold a game based on Battlestar Galactica in 2013.
Where: SS Lane Victory, San Pedro, CA
When: 18-29 September 2018.
5. Game of Thrones
[caption id="attachment_277949" align="alignnone" width="460"] The 'Game of Thrones' Throne (Photo: HBO)[/caption]
What: The Iron Throne Experience lets you take your seat in Aegon I Targaryen's famous iron throne, as commissioned by HBO and now in situ in Northern Ireland, where most of its fantasy epic is filmed. A few other bona fide props are on display, but only when they're not needed by production, that is.
Where: Lisburn, Northern Ireland
When: 10-11 and 17-18 March 2018
[caption id="attachment_423198" align="alignnone" width="2000"] (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)[/caption]
What: If there's one thing we learned from Westworld, it's that populating a theme park with androids has its problems. That hasn't stopped the organizers behind Conscience, however, a larp that explores the ethical dilemma posed by artificial consciousness. And it all takes place on a real spaghetti western set, natch.
Where: Fort Bravo theme park in Almería, Spain
When: 27-30 January and 3-6 February 2018
What: The Broadchurch Experience Day Tour is a must for any DI Hardy and DS Miller superfans visiting England this summer. It involves a day-long hike around the bay where the show was filmed, stopping at key locations along the way. Private and shorter tours also available.
Where: West Bay in Dorset, England
When: Tours can be booked on an ad hoc basis through the summer.
2. Harry Potter
What: You can act out your dreams of being a student witch or wizard at the College of Wizardry, a four-day larp held every year in a fairytale castle in Poland.
Where: Czocha Castle in Poland (though check out Magischola for a similar event somewhat closer to home)
When: 5-8 April and 12-15 April 2018
1. Downton Abbey
[caption id="attachment_413984" align="alignnone" width="640"] The 'Downton Abbey' cast on-set. (Photo: PBS)[/caption]
What: Ever wondered whether you'd be up to snuff for dinner with the Dowager Countess? Or how you'd cope as a servant below stairs at Downton Abbey? Well, Fairweather Manor lets you find out. It's an international "larp" set at a wedding in England around the First World War. It's very unofficial, but full of very familiar touches.
Where: Mozna Castle, Poland
When: 1-4, and 22-25 November, 2018
Which ones are you tempted to sign up for?