The Whale at Mintfest

The Whale had a great time at Mintfest in Kendal over the weekend. Our aluminium leviathan was programmed as part of the Garden of Delights – a park-full of marvellous sideshows, many of them on wheels. There was a wonderful atmosphere and it was really well curated. It was also very, very busy – even on the lake-district-drizzly Saturday night the place was heaving…

Accordingly, the queues for the Whale were so long we had to bite the bullet and turn our “submersive theatre experience for one adventurer at a time (or two if you’re shy)” into a family-load at a time to avoid turning too many people away – it’s an interesting conundrum with a show made for small audiences: with an enormous queue rapidly building up, do you cram in more people per show (assuming, of course, it is safe to do so) or do you turn people away? Having discussed this with others who make shows for small numbers, I don’t think I’ve actually come across anyone who is hardline enough to stick to the original audience number and turn people away (yet!)…so, yes, we caved in and almost 500 people saw the show over the two evenings. We’re now thinking it is worth creating another show for the Whale; tailored to more than one-adventurer-at-a-time and made especially with these busy festival settings in mind…watch this space.

September: FarGo Space Programme

“A light in the dark times, a beacon of inspiration and innovation, the incandescent light bulb is due to be phased out at the end of 2011 in the UK. The incandescent lightbulb has a very particular light and is a thing of beauty in its design. I wish to invite you to an exaltation of this wonderful object – a ceremony of sound and vision illuminated by the Swan/Edison lightbulb.” This month, Cormac Faulkner/Sonic Graffiti is in residence – looking forward to seeing his piece. Dates and times that the space will be open to the public tbc.

October: Capsule & The Difference Engine

In October last year, we ourselves were resident at FarGo and we made Capsule. This October, we’re re-working the show for the Helen Martin Studio at Warwick Arts Centre. It’s another piece for small audience numbers (six this time) so it’s worth booking in advance. (There’s also a clever bit of programming from our friends at Warwick, meaning you can see Capsule from Talking Birds & Frantic Assembly’s Lovesong on the same night…)

Anyway, here’s our blurb:

Take your seat inside the Capsule – a theatre auditorium which seats just 6 people – and experience, through sounds heard and actions glimpsed, the performance happening on the outside, all around you. It’s often dark, and you’ll need to rely on your senses as the Capsule takes you on a journey through air, space and sea. Oh, and halfway through there’s a twist, but we can’t say too much about that…

“Glowing from the most enjoyable theatre for years…the biggest theatrical surprise I’ve had…and that is only half way in!” Audience comment

During Capsule, we’ll also be testing the second version of our digital access tool, the Difference Engine, which delivers subtitles and audio description to smartphones and other mobile devices. If your device can connect via wi-fi and you would be interested in testing and fee
ding back on the Difference Engine, please bring your device with you (but keep it turned to silent). Stewards will show you how to use the system before the show, so please arrive early if you intend to participate (handsets are also available to borrow).

Development of Capsule has been supported by the FarGo Space Programme and Warwick Arts Centre.