Tag Archives: Digital Theatre

Mutiny’s latest breakthrough project creating Digital Theatre / Gaming / Audience Engagement

24 Aug

With their Locus Solus project – Mutiny have created a real breakthrough in the development of interactive theatre, live performance with a specially designed and built environment in the Roblox game engine.

“Mutiny is a cross artform organisation that creates and develops new projects. Our work tells stories by combining performance, theatre and digital.”

Using live actors – Suzann McLean, Oliver Alvin Wilson and Simon Munnery the audience who were in the world as avatars were able to interact and move through this shifting landscapes and connect with the story as well as each other. 

Using the 1914 Raymond Roussel novel “Locus Solus’ (Solitary Place) as a guide new text and words were added including a new section by leading writer Roy Williams.

Check the video below that gives you a taster of what to expect in the new Locus Solus project.

You can see from the video – this gives an insight into the world and the interaction and engagement from the audience as players too.

For more information about this and our work with Mutiny  

Mutiny are Simon Poulter, Sophie Mellor and Marcus Romer

Making work during lockdown

17 Jul

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I have been working from home since March 16th. During that time I have been keeping myself pretty busy. The picture above is from our Mutiny project called Locus Solus – which means ‘Solitary Place’ – pretty apt for the lockdown period spent in my work shed.

March was spent pretty much ‘unprogramming’ all the work I had programmed for 2020 for Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. I had been working as interim Artistic Director and had just finished the programme until January 2021. It was a difficult time contacting all the artists an companies week by week and breaking the news that we were unable to bring their work to the theatre. Also realising the the two productions I was scheduled to direct – Big Skies, a new play written by James McDermott and Atiha Sen Gupta, and Animal Farm as the large scale summer production – were also not going to happen. My contract was tapering out as the new AD took up their post – so work had to be made out of thin air. Which is what ended up happening…

Zoom Theatre in Norway – War of The Worlds

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March was spent making a piece of Zoom Theatre with the Harstad FHS team who were now scattered all across Norway. This was a first and a really interesting project working with the actors and the Theatre Director Hege Fjeld to make a new version of War of the Worlds. This was an exciting discovery and we worked with green screens and backgrounds and really developed a set of strong performances from the young actors who had been dispersed from their training back to their home towns across Norway. There is a blogpost about this here

Covid 19 Threads – Telling the stories of the pandemic – one tweet at a time.

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April and May was spent making #Covid19Threads – this time with Mutiny – our new company with Simon Poulter and Sophie Mellor – Here we took tweets written by people who had been directly affected by the pandemic and we voiced these with a group of brilliant actors. Simon and Sophie put together the short animated films and we made a series of 6 episodes. On episode every week.

Here is  a story from a Doctor in Canada – and the rest are on the link above.

 

SHEDx – Bill Thompson

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Also in May I started the first of a series of talks with people who Zoomed into my Shed. The first guest was Bill Thompson, journalist and in his words a hacker nd a pundit – who also heads up digital development at The BBC.

 

Locus Solus – A solitary Place – our ACE R&D project with Mutiny 

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This was our project with Mutiny that we started in February at Watershed in Bristol. We  were invited to run our test at the Pervasive Media Studio there – and of course at the end of February it was clear that we would need to pivot to a digital platform – and here we created the world of Locus Solus in the game platform – Roblox. One of the key benefits of this time has been the ability to develop our new company – Mutiny with Simon Poulter and Sophie Mellor.

The project was based on the 1914 novel by Raymond Roussel and we created a series of worlds in the game platform which you can visit. We commissioned Roy Williams to write a new section of the script and we had three actors live in the world operating their avatars. Suzann McLean, Oliver Alvin-Wilson and Simon Munnery.

This is a real breakthrough in immersive digital platform. We managed to get sound and audio into the game world – so we created an online theatre space where anything can happen. There is a fuller description on the blogpost here.

Training and working with artists and companies.

As part of my work across digital and the arts I have also been able to work with key organisations and artists online doing this time. Here I have been working as a mentor for the Mercury Theatre, Colchester, The European Theatre Convention CEO and leadership team, as well as Artists and actors with help with their digital skills and performance pieces. Again some more info here if you are interested in contacting me

Website update of shows I have directed

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Another key project has been to draw my work archive together of shows that I have made– and all to move my website within this blog. Where you can find out about my work – as well as latest projects and previous work too.

Breakthrough in new #DigitalTheatre immersive concept with online participation for audiences – developed by @Mutinyprojects

9 Jul

On June 19th there was a theatrical world premiere. It included a newly commissioned piece written by Roy Williams. It was performed live by three actors – Suzann McLean, Oliver Alvin Wilson and Simon Munnery. It had an original sound score specially composed by Sandy Nuttgens – and it was performed live in a brand new theatre space that we had built on the game platform called Roblox.

Screen Shot 2020-06-19 at 21.41.10Suzann McLean performing on the stage in Roblox

Mutiny is a new Arts organisation founded by Simon Poulter, Sophie Mellor and Marcus Romer. It was set up in November 2019 and received Arts Council Funding to develop our new project – Locus Solus – which means Solitary Space. Our work started in February at the Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol with their support. This was pre-lockdown and we were developing the project and building the world for the narrative in the software development side of Roblox.

Roblox is is an online game platform and game creation system that allows users to program games and play games created by other users. At present there are over 100 million active monthly users.

IMG_3278The audience setting off to the start the story and to be part of the project

On the platform we built the entire world – over several locations and areas, including, rivers, frozen lakes and one of the spaces with a bespoke theatre.

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The Theatre space can house many audience members – as of course to be part of the show you will need to have developed an avatar to enter the world. As part of the process as a director we ran a full rehearsal schedule, including a technical and dress rehearsal prior to the premiere.

Screen Shot 2020-07-09 at 12.51.58The Theatre space with room for several hundred seats

The key area of development was the integration of live HD sound for the actors and live mixed soundtrack.We achieved this by laying another program into the Roblox world – so we were able to live mix and integrate the sound and actors’ voices as they moved their avatars around the environment. The real breakthrough was the ability to have active participation and engagement from the audience as we all moved through this immersive environment together – and they too were able to use their voices and talk back at key times too.

Screen Shot 2020-06-19 at 21.43.31Suzann McLean and Oliver Alvin Wilson’s avatars performing the new text by Roy Williams for the audience.

There are several locations in the Locus Solus world and we performed new text across them all. The worlds all interconnect and can allow for multiple immersive experiences at the same time for audiences. This is a truly interactive space and experience for both audience and performers. It lends itself to bespoke design and development of new performance pieces

Screen Shot 2020-07-09 at 13.17.47The ice plateau area of Locus Solus

As Mutiny we are keen to develop this concept and build partners who would like to join us in this project as we move forward. We are looking to build the next iteration and series of commissions as we continue with this project and we will be looking to fund this.

If you are interested and want to get involved then – drop us a message marcus@artsbeacon.uk or info@mutinyprojects.org.uk