Sybaritic Single fell in love with Raffles Singapore decades ago. Many of his memories are linked to the luxury hotel, from family holidays to romantic getaways and some really crazy days and nights at the 134-year-old colonial grand dame of the Far East.
And while the Singaporean government goes from one extreme to another in trying to weather the health crisis, the hotel artfully blended the latest technology, talent of seven actors, illustrious history and creative spirit as it played backdrop to a superb immersive experience titled ‘The Curious Case of the Missing Peranakan Treasure’. The detective whodunnit epic tale and the first-of-its-kind virtual interactive play was written by award-winning playwright Jean Tay and directed by Hossan Leong. The National Arts Council gave S$20,000 grant to make the idea come true. The play offers a unique virtual experience, through immersive 360-degree views and surround sound, rich interactive features and a plot full of twists and turns, with stories of the suspects told through flashback scenes set circa 1970. The immersion goes far beyond just watching a play on a computer screen though. Like the point-and-click games of old, the Sybaritic Single had to navigate an interactive map of the hotel (thankfully, he remembers the hotel layout by heart) and could click on the different locations – from the iconic Long Bar to the various suites – to watch scenes unfolding in each one, with storytelling techniques that echo Agatha Christie mystery novels.
He spent a couple of delightful hours trying to solve the mystery while sipping Singapore Slings thousands of miles away, at Raffles Dubai. Sadly, he did fail to identify the culprit and, therefore, missed his chance of winning a stay in the Presidential Suite of his favourite hotel. Nevertheless, he adored new ways of looking at things and the idea of seeing a live theatre experience in one of his favourite places. Many more luxury hotels around the world should take a closer look at such engaging digital immersions.
“I’ll see you again, Raffles.”
AND RAFFLES WOULD SURELY REPLY, SEE YOU AGAIN, SYBARITIC SINGLE