And now, for the next act..
Like The Tempest, lockdown came like a storm. After the phenomenal success of Shakespeare online, it was straight into Operation Elsewhere https://youtu.be/Dg4GT6MK1Cg From Elsewhere, we went underground into the Victorian isolation of EM Forster’s ‘The Machine Stops’ https://youtu.be/Gh7w8FrBOPA. Some journey! All incredible experiences, enjoyed in total by some 6000 audience members, in 13 countries worldwide – making dens in their living rooms, doing the Haka and waving at each other. It’s been a total, utter joy.
Well, we haven’t stopped. In June we delivered our first Zoom theatre masterclass to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland https://www.rcs.ac.uk. We loved it, the students loved it – and we hope much more innovative theatre making to come from it. We hope to do more. Sign up here to keep up to date.
Alice, Macbeth and the Imponderable Bloom!
It’s now full throttle into an extraordinary production of Alice in Wonderland with Creation Theatre https://www.creationtheatre.co.uk and https://charisma.ai It is what we can best describe as a virtual theme park for pure wildly weird family entertainment. You can visit through August and September. But be warned, once you’ve fallen down that rabbit hole, you’ll be in for some weird, wonderful and beautiful surprises! We had the most amazing casting day for Alice, and we now have an extraordinary cast poised and ready to begin rehearsals. And not to forget our very own Zoom Wizard’s, Miss Sinead Owens and Mr Giles Stokeley – who will be guiding the tech and production.
With the added bonus of Charisma AI’s tech genius – this project is as fresh and new as it comes.
Tradition requires that a ‘ghost-light’ be left on while the theatre is dark, to ward off restless ghosts and protect its magic from harm.
The lights are off, but the magic is not gone.
A closed theatre is a perfect playground for mischievous spirits intent on wreaking havoc. Three witches usher, stage manage and execute the tragedy of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, two innocents trapped in a Truman-esque reality which is both virtual and brutal.
This is an imaginative reboot of Shakespeare’s timeless, blood-soaked tale of murder, lust and power in a world where reality and illusion are hard to tell apart; a hinterland of hype where fate is twisted, control is remote and comfort is in entirely another zone.
A true theatrical experience performed live on Zoom – with the audience privy to every dilemma and dark corner of this classic text, watching from their own devices, part of the world, silent witnesses.
Shakespeare doesn’t get more up close and personal than this.
Fully immersive, and loaded with technology, this show has great appeal for a wide audience – ages 14+ and is specifically designed for this socially distanced world. Its interactive nature requires it to be experienced through individual laptops/computers.
Macbeth will open at the Belfast International Arts Festival 2020 in the week beginning 12thOctober and will be a theatrical digital highlight of the programme before being virtually transferred to Oxford as a co-production with Creation Theatre Company for a further two week run until 31stOctober.
Making Meaning During a Pandemic.
When the world stopped making sense, maybe all creatives everywhere had the instinctive need to make sense of something we’d never experienced before. That’s certainly what we were driven to do. And something amazing happened – all sorts of creatives connected with us and we found ourselves reaching out to creatives we might never have otherwise met. The Deutsches Museum being one https://digital.deutsches-museum.de/blog/we-invite-you-to-take-part-in-season-1-of-an-interactive-digital-storytelling-course-hosted-by-deutsches-museum-meaning-making-during-a-pandemic/
We are a lead partner and contributor to their cultural exploration of ‘meaning’ in a pandemic. They have some amazing content being produced right now. And the blog is well worth a look.
The Imponderable Bloom
And, finally. Alongside the interest our zoom theatre productions have drawn from reviewers and press, academic interest has been keen. To be leading on new formats and innovations in the sector has been a rollercoaster and a privilege. Like everyone, we do not know where this will end up. But we do know that the academic explorations will filter down to emerging theatre makers and students, and hopefully enable them to grab hold of new opportunities and a navigate a changing industry with the confidence and knowledge they need to keep the sector alive and kicking. We wanted to share this feature with you. It’s about ‘The Machine Stops’ and, frankly, it has a wicked title! https://think.iafor.org/the-machine-stops-isolation-social-distancing-and-online-lecturing/
Keep up to date.
There’s a lot going on with us. We are looking at the coming year with so many innovative projects on our slate. If you are curious about Big Telly’s work, keep up with us and sign up for a (fairly) regular news update. As always, we promise no junk – just good stuff, new stuff and our wildest imaginings!
Stay Safe X