One of the advantages of a portfolio career is that occasionally it is possible to plan time around exploring the edges of that portfolio. From my long term hobby interest in festival scale Live Role Play, and extensive professional interest in audience development, it is perhaps no wonder that Immersive Theatre is an area of practice that intrigues me.
I spent a large amount of 2014 visiting Punchdrunk’s The Drowned Man, exploring what makes it effective as an immersive experience; how the intersection between immersion and narrative functions and seeking to understand the particular psychological appeal of this emerging style of theatre. For those interested, you can find some exceedingly long form blogging about it here.
It intrigues me first as artform, but second in relation to corporate work – companies chasing a zeitgeist will often turn to immersive theatre makers or interactive street game companies to help them design experiences designed to sell product. Currently, I’m wondering whether it will result in effective campaigns, or disappointing experiences – and what tricks will be needed to avoid the latter.