This summer, audiences will be able to enjoy a digital season of plays exploring the grief of separation from loved ones, the relationship between capitalism and discrimination, and a randomly generated variety show about death.
Nottingham based theatre company Chronic Insanity had just launched a 12 shows in 12 months project and were getting ready for their first Edinburgh Festival Fringe when COVID-19 struck. Fortunately, their work has always thrived on experience technologies and investigating how they can play a role in storytelling; so they adapted and pushed forward. This summer they will release three productions, one a month, to be accessed online.
Launching at the end of June, Conduit is an interactive hyper technological performance focusing on a character that is trying desperately to be with a separated loved one.
Conduit casts the audience in the role of the character’s friend, feeding back on new innovations in presence technology to help them towards the person they miss so desperately. Mixing heart-warming anecdotes with video, 360 video, ASMR, and volumetric video capture to create an all-encompassing technical experience, the piece asks whether it’s right that grief should be used as a tool to drive innovation.
The second piece, Myles Away, will follow in July. In Myles Away the livestream of a tech company’s annual announcement gets subverted, and eventually hijacked by the estranged founder to reveal some murky secrets about the organisation.
Using multiple synchronised video feeds and interactive audience elements, this performance looks at the relationship between capitalism and discrimination in the tech industry. It asks what we as consumers are willing to turn a blind eye to, in order to have a slightly easier life and whether our benefits are worth someone else’s loss.
Finally, in August, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatrical variety show 52 Souls will still gets its run, albeit online. The show will use a deck of cards and over the course of an hour the audience will be able to draw, one by one, from the pack, telling their computer what cards they’ve picked. Each card will deliver a short performance exploring death and mortality.
This structure will place the means of continuing a performance into the audience’s hands and will examine how we react when faced with time running out when we still have more to do.
Theatre, poetry, magic, music, puppets, and other performance styles will combine in this self-driven, randomly generated variety show about a universal topic that we have both a morbid curiosity and instinctual repulsion for.
More info: chronicinsanity.wixsite.com/12in12/shows