From interactive iPads to magical encounters on the mean streets of Perth, it’s comfortable shoes time at the Festival.

If you thought audience participation in a piece of world-class contemporary dance was daunting enough (see my review of Batsheva’s Deca Dance), the two shows I saw on consecutive sunny afternoons this week in Perth might sound like the last straw. I come not to bury them, however – I’m here to evangelise: Interactive theatre is Shakespeare for the 21st century!

Where once an Elizabethan groundling got to heckle and be laughed at back by Richard Babbage and his ilk, in the brilliantly technical yet dark Situation Rooms and the intriguing and uplifting You Once Said Yesyou get to be a real part of the action. And if the manipulation wasn’t so skilfully managed, you could almost determine how these contrasting pieces might actually turn out.

The first of the two, Situation Roomsby the extraordinary German company Rimini Protokol, is a tech-nerds theatrical heaven. As one of 20 people at a time you get to don headphones and follow a series of instructions as you travel around a maze of rooms and corridors with only a...