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RSC unveils live-stream motion capture experience Dream for online audiences

Cutting edge technology mixed with physical theatre!

Dream: Audience of the Future
© RSC, photo by Stuart Martin

The RSC has unveiled a new digital experience that fuses live performance and gaming technology.

Running from 12 to 20 March via the RSC's website (with tickets available from midday today), the piece is set up in collaboration with Manchester International Festival (MIF), Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF) and Philharmonia Orchestra. It was originally meant to premiere last year but had its run halted by the pandemic.

Utilising motion capture, the production, titled Dream, will explore ways in which remote audiences can witness live performance. Inspired by Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, the show will allow audiences to explore an enchanted forest, full of sprites and fairies including Puck. Audiences can choose to buy a ticket to take part at key points in the play, or view the performance for free.

Gregory Doran, RSC's artistic director said: "What's brilliant about Dream is the innovation at play. An audience member sitting at home influencing the live performance from wherever they are – that's exciting. It's not a replacement to being in the space with the performers but it opens up new opportunities. By bringing together specialists in on-stage live performance with that of gaming and music you see how much they have in common. For instance, the RSC's deep understanding of scripted drama combined with Marshmallow Laser Feast's innovation in creative tech brings thrilling results.

"The story is king, whether you are a gamer, or an audience member. Stories haven't changed, but the way we engage audiences with them has. Shakespeare was our greatest storyteller and it's brilliant that we get the opportunity to use one of his plays to discover what could be possible for live performance."

The piece is directed by Robin McNicholas with script creation by Pippa Hill (the pair also provide the narrative). The show has music direction and composition by Esa-Pekka Salonen, composition, interactivity design and creative advice from Jesper Nordin and movement direction from Sarah Perry.

The cast includes Maggie Bain (Cobweb), Phoebe Hyder (Understudy Puck and Mustardseed), Durassie Kiangangu (Moth), Jamie Morgan (Peaseblossom), Loren O'Dair (Mustardseed), EM Williams (Puck), Edmund Wood (rehearsal assistant, Understudy Moth, Cobweb and Peaseblossom).

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