Theatre News

Immersive 1984 production reveals plans for socially distanced performances

The company will integrate safety schemes into performances


With plans to open in early 2021, there might not be a better time for an immersive production of 1984.

And according to one of its producers, if social distancing measures have to be put in place then they'll feel very normal given the content of George Orwell's satirical novel.

The show will be the first for new production company Histrionic Productions, who aim to transform derelict spaces into immersive theatrical environments for audiences.

Producer Adam McKenzie Wylie told WhatsOnStage: "We announced the launch of Histrionic Productions, together with our plans for the title in March, never expecting ‘dystopian' to so forcibly re-enter the vernacular, nor life to now so closely approximate art."

For McKenzie Wylie, the measures that will be implemented to keep audiences safe will fit seamlessly within the production: "1984 provides us both the narrative currency and the opportunity to incorporate high levels of social distancing, PPE, screening and protocols seamlessly into the narrative to allow our show to play to full houses in an intra-Corona world."

Things like temperature screening, according to McKenzie Wylie, would be entirely expected in the Ministry of Truth. The company will be able to run multiple shows an hour (a common practice for immersive productions), with a number of scenes also taking place outdoors.

McKenzie Wyle added: "From our large flexible site that facilitates social distancing to the deployment of technology via our app and cashless food and beverages we can provide security and comfort to our audiences."

The company are hoping to set a precedent for other shows: "At Histrionic Productions, we wholeheartedly support the now long overdue need for government support. But immersive theatrical experiences, with its youthful appeal and in-built flexibility, can and should lead the industry back to work."

Dates and ticket details for the production are to be revealed later this summer.