The UK’s first ever ‘rage room’ allowing people to smash everyday items into tiny pieces has opened to the public.
Telephones, crockery and computer keyboards are just some of the inanimate objects on which paying customers can unleash their deepest emotions - with the help of a baseball bat.
From the exterior, the Grange Live Gaming building looks much like the old office Birmingham city centre office block that it is.
But inside, the country’s first ‘rage room’ has been leaving customers with ‘a smile on their face’ since opening its doors, according to managing director Jim Sephton.
Participants have included company team-building groups, stag dos, and - more unusually - dating couples in need of an eye-catching ice-breaker.
Would-be item-bashers are protected by heavy-duty overalls, gloves and full-face protective head gear before being allowed to do their worst in the darkened room.
The bat used to hit the items is solid plastic, while a sandbag platform provides a shock absorber to avoid participants jarring their wrists or risk the bat rebounding.
Mr Sephton, who is also a martial arts expert, said: ‘Rage room is a fantastic concept that’s come out of Canada, spread across the United States and we are the first to have one in the UK.
‘The idea is it gives you an environment where you can just let go, it’s about having fun.
‘The name gives an indication of stress-relief but it’s not just about that.
‘Yes, if you come in here stressed out you’re going to leave a lot calmer, but the core of it is about having fun
‘It’s a controlled safe environment to just really let go and it creates such a huge adrenalin and endorphin high - people leave here with a smile on their face.’
The 41-year-old, who runs a long-standing gaming venue in nearby Balsall Common, near Solihull, West Midlands, added the items were selected for ‘payback’ value.
However, participants cannot bring their own objects - such as an ex’s mobile phone, while everything that is destroyed is sourced from licensed scrap dealers before the resulting debris is returned for proper disposal.
Mr Sephton said the items ‘are all things that look really good when you hit them’.
He added: ‘You don’t want something you can hit all day and nothing happens, the visuals are part of it.
‘There’s always that telephone that won’t stop ringing, that computer that has crashed, that printer that died as you’re printing something for work.
‘It is about that small bit of payback.’
Mr Sephton said it was ‘a healthy way of expressing emotion’ in the hectic, modern world, adding ‘rage room offers you a new and fun way to do it’.