When the pandemic closed British performance venues in March 2020, Coffey stepped up plans to turn “All Kinds of Limbo” into an at-home experience. Could be a remastered version Viewed via AR on a mobile device, via a VR headset, or on a regular computer. Brandon’s performance remains the same, but the experience feels a little different depending on the device used.
To invoke some of the communal privacy of the theatre, the show, although recorded, is ticketed and broadcast live. Other people who participate virtually are represented by blades of moving white light and, By playing with the settings, you can move around the space and see the action from different angles.
It’s a short piece, but “All Kinds of Limbo” feels like the glimmer of a new art form: somewhere between a music video, a video game, and a live cabaret show.
In the last few years, Britain’s theater scene has become a testing ground for similar experiments. Last spring, he co-produced the Royal Shakespeare Company. An immersive digital track called “Dream” It featured players using motion capture technology and could be watched via smartphone or computer. Other projects such as performances at the Almeida theater in London and company Dreamthinkspeak In Brighton, UK, it requires attendees to come in person and be equipped with VR headsets.
Francesca Panetta, a VR producer and artist recently appointed as alternative reality curator at the Sheffield DocFest film festival, said in a video interview that practitioners from sound, gaming, theater, TV and other arts are collaborating like never before. “A lot of different people are trying to explore this space and find out what it really is,” he said. “No one is completely sure.”
Somebody most eagerly awaited partnerships among the immersive theater troupe Punchdrunk, which spearheads live site-specific shows such as “Sleep More” Niantic, the tech firm best known for the “The Mask of the Red Death” in the mid-2000s and the hugely successful AR game Pokémon Go.