Adapted and directed by Zoe Seaton, featuring award-winning writer Charlotte Keatley
1– 30 Aug 2020
“You’re Late! You’re Late! For A Very Important Date!” CREATION THEATRE, BIG TELLY THEATRE COMPANY and CHARISMA.AI present.
ALICE | A Virtual Theme Park
Site-responsive and immersive theatre-makers Creation Theatre and Big Telly TheatreCompanypresent an innovative and fresh take on Lewis Carrolls’ Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Teaming up with Charisma.ai, ground-breakers in interactive and immersive storytelling technology, this digitally advanced production, blends live acting and the latest in AI and online video techniques.
Audiences will be invited to dive down the rabbit hole to experience a magical theatrical experience, meeting their favourite characters from this much-loved classic along the way.While venues remain in lockdown in the UK, the show bridges the worlds of theatre, art and technologyand reunites the successful creative team behind The Tempest Live. Alicewill be performed live each time across four weeks.
Director Zoe Seaton comments: “We wanted to be wildly ambitious and imaginative with this showand Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is really freeing as a story. It’s so playful and already so surreal, mixing reality with illusion, a perfect combination for digital. The idea of setting the play in a theme park is also an ingenious, unconventional way to unlocking Alice’s adventures withthe audience,and plays upon the skill of the actors, storytelling and drama.”
The creative team also includes playwright Charlotte Keatley, best known for her award-winning play My Mother Said I Never Should, described as one of the significant plays of the 20th century. Keatley has been part of the devising process and has guest written a scene from the Mad Hatter’s tea party. The set and costumes have been designed by Ryan Dawson Laight(CHICHESTERTHEATRE FESTIVAL, GARY CLARKE COMPANY, DENADA DANCE THEATRE, V&A).
The production featuresa seven strong cast and includes Leda Douglas as Alice (SOHO THEATRE); Vera Chok as the Queen of Hearts (NATIONAL THEATRE, ALMEIDA, REGENTS PARK OPEN AIR THEATRE); Dharmesh Patel as The Mad Hatter (RSC, SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE); Colm Gormley as the March Hare (RSC, SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE, ROYAL COURT, ROYAL & DERNGATE); Tom Richardson as Tweedle Dee/Dum (NEW VIC THEATRE, WATFORD PALACE THEATRE), Annabelle Terry as the Doormouse/Cook(CREATION THEATRE’sThe Tempest Live) and Nicky Harley as the White Rabbit (GAME OF THRONES, HBO).
Charisma.ai, whose work on ground-breaking creative technology includes creating narrative gaming experiences for Sky, BBC and other networks, are incorporating their artificial intelligence platform and trailblazingonline video techniques to bring a new level of immersion to the Zoom platform.
Founder Guy Gadney said: “The past few months have seen digital platforms emerge as storytelling media in their own right. This production of Alice interweaves real-life and virtual environments to make a brilliantly immersive and playful version of Carroll’s magical story. This combination of theatre and technology presents a new and exciting opportunity for Charisma.ai, building off our previous experience in television and publishing to help bring to life a new form of theatre.”
Background– Theatre in Lockdown
When lockdown happened,site-responsive and immersive theatre specialists Creation Theatre teamed up with Zoe Seaton’s Big Telly TheatreCompany,and quickly moved its thinking to how live theatre could operate online. The Tempest Live, Interactive and In Your Living Room, was one of the first productions made for the digital stage utilising Zoom at the beginning of April2020. The 20 live performances were watched by audiences in over 15 countries. Alice, reunites thesuccessful creative team behind the critically-acclaimed and global hitproduction.
Praise for The Tempest Live
4 Stars “Magical…The stuff dreams are made on.” The Guardian
“Magical and awakens our imagination” Front Row, BBC Radio 4
Best Theatre to Watch ListTime Out New York
“Messy butin a good way”Lyn Gardner
“You genuinely feel part of a shared experience” Rev Stan
“Leaving us heart-warmed and smiling” A Younger Theatre
Directorand adaptor: Zoe Seaton
Co-producer: Guy Gadney: Charisma.ai
Set and Costume Designer: Ryan Dawson Laight
Charlotte Keatley, guest writer – The Mad Hatter scene
Paul McEneaney- Illusionist
Stage Manager:Sinead Owens
Leda Douglas – Alice
Vera Chok – Queen of Hearts
Colm Gormley – March Hare
Dharmesh Patel – The Mad Hatter
Nicky Harley – The White Rabbit
Tom Richardson – Tweedle Dee/Dum
Annabelle Terry – Doormouse/Cook
Dates: 1 – 30August
Ticket price: £20per device
Times: 4pm and 7pm
Running Time: Approx 90 mins
Box Office 01865 766266 or online at www.creationtheatre.co.uk
About Creation Theatre
Creation Theatre Company is Oxfordshire’s largest producing theatre company. Specialising in classic texts and unusual locations, Creation brings to life the stories you know even if you’ve never read them. Creation has been producing Shakespeare’s greatest texts in Oxford for 20 years, delighting audiences in venues from MINI Plant Oxford to Headington Hill Park. Creation’s education programme reaches 2,000 children every year through live performances, weekly Drama Clubs, Holiday Workshops and courses in schools. Previous notable productions include A Midsummer Night’s Dream(Omnibus Theatre 2017) The Pit And The Pendulum(Bodleian Library 2018), Dracula(The London Library 2019), Don Quixote(The Covered Market, Oxford 2019) The Tempest(2019) The Snow Queen(North Wall Arts Centre 2019), The Tempest Live (Digital 2020).
Charisma.ai is a technology for creating the next generation of immersive, interactive stories. It enables audiences to talk directly to characters from screen, theatre and literature, affecting their moods and changing the story. This level of creative immersion is only possible through Charisma’s uniquely creative use of Artificial Intelligence technology, and Natural Language Processing. Charisma’s most recent projects include the interactive drama for Sky’s international hit show, Bulletproof, and the immersive VR experience AI-Spyco-produced with the team at StoryFutures. Charisma recently launched its own digital publishing arm, adapting and commissioning original interactive comic books titles.
About Zoe Seaton and Big Telly Theatre Company
Big Telly was established in 1986 by Zoe Seaton. She is one of Northern Ireland’s most respected theatre directors and has worked extensively in the UK. In 2018, Zoe was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Ulster for her commitment to the dramatic arts in NI. Her company has grown to be one of Northern Ireland’s longest established and respected theatre companies. The company has a long tradition of touring theatre work and has become an expert in site responsive and participation theatre. With the depth and range of our output, we inevitably are involved in partnership working with many organisations and our diverse work reaches into areas of tourism, heritage, community safety and mental health.
About Charlotte Keatley
Playwright Charlotte Keatley is best known for her award-winning play My Mother Said I Never Should (Contact Theatre, Royal Court),the most performed play ever written by a woman, and produced or translated in 31 countries and studied in schools.Charlotte has written for radio, television and film and won the George Devine Award, Manchester Evening News Best New Play Award, a Time Out Award and was nominated for an Olivier Award as Most Promising Newcomer. Theatre credits include: Waiting for Martin(English Shakespeare Company), Fears And Miseriesin the Third Term(Young Vic); All The Daughters of War(National Theatre Studio); Our Father (Watford Palace Theatre); I AmJanet(The Gap) Cuts(Comedy Store) Ask Verity(Paines Plough).
See more from Big Belly Theatre Company and Creation: HERE