Interactive Walking Exploration Theatre #studio5

first task for Studio 5. Bit of research concerning the”mechanism of the ‘tour’ to engage and provoke an audience with past, present, future, fictional and real sites.”


First up is One Step at a Time Like This’s presentation “En Route”

en route  is a pedestrian-based live art event on the streets of your city. A love song to your city, in which the private and the public, imaginal and concrete, intersect and overlap.

Using audio, mobile phone communication, urban streetscapes, walking, passers-by, and cafes, en route invites participants on a journey, inward and outward, through the thoroughfares and back-alleys of both the city and what they make of it. Directions, instructions and audio – snatches of narrative, musings, sound, song, dialogue, philosophy – intertwine with the wanderings, observations and (found) experiences of the participant, opening up a field for multiple ways of seeing the city, themselves, and others. The spontaneous choreography of passers-by, streets, alleys, buildings, detritus, becomes the site onto which the participant projects their own narratives and meanings.

Part traveler, witness, voyeur, the participants are able to view a world in the process of making itself – en route – emerging, dissolving, as perceptions, insights, senses, make and remake the city they inhabit.

See the city like the first time.

EN ROUTE has been created for and performed in :

Melbourne – Melbourne Fringe Festival 2009
Adelaide – Adelaide Fringe Festival 2010
Brisbane – Laneways Fiesta 2010
Darwin – Darwin Festival 2010
Edinburgh – Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2010
Chicago – Chicago Shakespeare Theater 2011
London East – Cultural Olympiad, London Festival, 2012
Launceston – Junction Arts Festival 2012

en route is a love song to our city. Outfitted with MP3 players and mobile phones, audiences are invited on a walking journey along the thoroughfares and back alleys of Stratford. The winner of the 2010 award for Best Theatre Production at the Adelaide Fringe, en route combines local music and snatches of narrative, musings, sound, dialogue and philosophy with the wanderings, observations and experiences of each participant. This unique participatory experience opens up multiple ways of seeing the city, ourselves and others.

En Route is a journey-as-art guided walk through Edinburgh – guides/interventions include an iPod soundtrack, hidden maps, photo flickerbooks, chalk writings on the wall, text messages by mobile phone, and a number of ‘guardian angels’ who watch over the participant, intervening if they get lost or confused (this last a little spooky, I must say).

It is a kind of amalgam of the Wrights & Sites Mis-Guides to Anywhere/Mythogeography strand of practice (encouraging the participant to abandon themselves to awe and wonder; framing and re-viewing the city they are occupying with a fresh perspective) and the MP3-based form of game-playing or guided theatrical experience that has become de rigeur over the past couple of years (examples include Blast Theory, Rotozaza, non zero one, Back to Back, and David Leddy).

A day or two before your scheduled expedition en route, you receive a text message telling you where it will start. Arriving there with your fully charged cell phone, so you can continue receiving texts and the occasional call to guide you on your unknown route, you’re given an MP3 player, headphones and a mysterious key, and sent on your way.

Pretty cool, right? Some other stuff from the same lot

Taking place within Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station, Southern Crossings is an evolving audio library of commuter contemplations on comings and goings, arrivals and departures, hopes and disappointments and other stuff.

Phase 1 – Installation : Placing a small building covered with luggage, suitcases, hand-bags in the main concourse of Southern Cross Station. The interior of the building reveals an old-fashioned tea parlour, replete with high-backed twin-seaters and fine china. It also doubles as our recording studio.

Phase 2 – Archive : Working out of our station booth, commuters and other station users are invited to share and record their stories, recollections, reflections. Join us for a cup of tea, browse our collection of travel and railway literature, and share a story or two – about characters, moments, what you have left behind and what you have found. And anything else.

Phase 3 – Audio Journey : The stories form the basis for an audio work/walk. Book a journey through these collected memories, music and Southern Cross station, equiped with an ipod and map.

contemplating gold is an outdoor site-responsive audio-video event which provokes a dialogue between contemporary relationships to money and images of heritage gold-digging sites.

contemplating gold incorporates the following:
the site: a footpath and the wall of a bank
the video: footage of heritage gold-mining sites (addits, vertical mining shafts, slag heaps, etc.)
the audio: voices of people from all financial strata of life reflecting on their current financial predicament.

contemplating gold presents a focus not upon the gold mining that was, but rather upon the present environment, the earth emptied of gold. Rather than an archival work, the juxtaposition of footage which shows the consequences of a past relationship to gold and money, with audio of contemporary reflections on our present financial concerns, acts as a provocation, setting up echoes, oscillations, reverberations in the midst of our present financial downturn and concerns; in this context, the work may perform a role somewhere between an oracle and an elderly neighbour who has seen a lot of change, a lot of repetition.

I know that PunchDrunk do some other quite interesting thing with theatre in real spaces (even a rather cool Dr. Who one), might be worth a look.


Warning: this play may contain headphones

Experimenting with audio can yield amazing theatrical results – but is it in danger of becoming a cliché?

also it was this event which put me on to this trail, think I saw it on the culture show 2/3 years back.

BY rights, I should be red with embarrassment. Sitting in a busy coffee shop in Brooklyn, wearing a fedora hat and reading dialogue out loud in an American accent isn’t the way I usually spend a Sunday. But then that’s the effect Gyda Arber has on people.

and others

Running on Air
Join quirky and charming comedian Laura Mugridge in her vintage campervan and be one of five travellers on a poignant journey through life, love and domesticity. There’s also a spot of fell running and a performance in front of a giant kestrel.
Site: Pleasance Courtyard

The grammatically-obtuse 19;29 company make work in ‘undiscovered or under-explored spaces, interrogating the atmosphere and heritage of these spaces and creating performances in response to them.’ To that end, they’ll take you lot on a journey to a castle and a cave, grasping the key to a door. Price includes bus ticket.
Site: Zoo Roxy

The Tempest
Shakespeare’s classic tale of escaping reality is brought to life on a boat in the heart of Leith. Will Prospero’s dodgy dealings help him regain his empire? Can Ariel escape his clutches and does Miranda get her man? All aboard!
Site: Mary of Guise Barge

Suspicious Package
Following a sold-out run in New York, this interactive, iPod-laden show unfolds as audience members are guided through their roles via video flashbacks and narrative voiceovers while maps and dialogue are displayed on screen. It’s part theatre, part live video game, part walking tour, and another part film noir.
Site: C too

Imagine being lost in a foreign country with bright light and fog distorting your view. Created in collaboration with neuroscientist Hugo Spiers, this is an immersive, multi-sensory promenade installation and playful performance about love and fate.
Site: Bongo Club


About csparrott

architecture student, museum/exhibition/theme park designer, art department guy. All sorts View all posts by csparrott

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