The future of theatre is about to be demonstrated in an inspired crossover between online gaming and the stage.
The National Theatre Wales is set to launch Bordergame, a fully interactive online and live production.
Bordergame, will be a fully interactive theatre game of two halves…
The Autonomous Republic of Cymru is an independent state operating a points-based migration system.
Its borders have come under increasing pressure recently – its health and education systems are still free, and there is plenty of work for skilled workers.
A recent outbreak of TB in the Royal United Kingdom of New Britain and Northern Ireland (or NewK) has forced the issue to breaking point.
Live Bordergame players will attempt, illegally, to cross the border from Bristol into Newport, without arousing the suspicions of the Border Agency of the Autonomous Republic of Cymru (BAARC).
Meanwhile, online players will register as Active Citizens of the Autonomous Republic, watch the live players’ journeys, manipulate their experiences and even determine their fate.
Are you game?
Bordergame, which is co-created by artists John Norton and Matthew Wright, is inspired partly by the UK Citizenship test, and has been developed in consultation with refugees and asylum seekers now living in south Wales.
John Norton, said: “I was first inspired to create a production on these themes in 1991, when my next-door neighbour in Manchester saved me from a particularly dangerous mugger by threatening him with a can of CS gas.
“My neighbour’s name was Vadim. He was an undocumented migrant from Belarus, and he worked in a kebab shop.
“His boss was forever trying to exploit his lack of documents to not pay him. We drank a lot of vodka together.
“Years later, I found myself in Cardiff and had a vision of Welsh Customs officers asking people coming from England for their papers.
“I had a conversation with National Theatre Wales, and then began to work on a pilot project with refugees and asylum seekers who found themselves in Cardiff. From those conversations came Bordergame.
“Asylum cases are judged the world over by the stories the travellers tell about themselves.
“It seems that it’s not as important that the story is true as it is important that the listener believes it is true – which is the same as in theatre.”
Earlier this year, Bordergame won the inaugural Space Prize – a new, biennial £20,000 digital theatre award presented by The Space and BBC Writersroom to encourage theatres across the United Kingdom to create a unique theatrical experience that will be shown on The Space website.
The full production is now co-commissioned by The Space, with additional investment.
Director and co-creator John Norton is founder and artistic director of Give It A Name Theatre: a Cardiff based company making located, immersive and critically engaged theatre.
Digital designer and co-creator Matthew Wright is a graphic designer and illustrator, with a background in animation and motion graphics.
Based in Bristol, but working on both sides of the border, Matt has designed and scribbled for the likes of the BBC, Shambala Festival, Give It A Name Theatre, Bombastic Dance and the band Kasabian.
The cast is to be announced.
Bordergame will run at NTW, Cardiff, from November 5-21 excluding Sundays).
Location: Covert locations between Bristol and Newport