Since Issue #4, The Secret World has introduced a feature that I have never seen in a MMORPG before: A theatre.

The Albion Ballroom Theatre is a grand old façade on Mayqueen Market in London, across the street from Ealdwic Park. As of Issue 4, you’ll be able to go inside, and put on whatever kind of show your heart desires! Our goal is to empower players. Open mic night? Sketch comedy shows? Extensive Shakespearean productions? Cabaret? Music video? It’s really an open toolbox – you and your friends can use the Albion to do whatever you want.

You can rent the theatre and put on performances and productions with your friends and faction members. There are stage control options for lighting, backdrops, deco, weather etc.

So how does it work? One group at a time can reserve the stage for an hour for a small fee. Anyone who joins that group at any time has free access to get on stage and do almost anything you can think of! Raise and lower the curtain, place out sets willy-nilly, change the backdrop, add visual effects (weather, filth, confetti, etc), adjust the lights, trigger sounds and music… and tadaaaa you can host whatever show comes to mind. We’ve also added the “stagesay” and “act” chat commands, which broadcast your screenplay across a broader radius than the usual “say” and “emote” commands.

I don’t play TSW in RPG mode but I guess the community can get really creative with this. Here are some impressions: