Birmingham Repertory Theatre has announced that Northern Ireland-based children’s theatre company Cahoots NI will present their ground-breaking immersive digital show for children, The University of Wonder and Imagination from 1-5 December 2020.
Taking place at the tail-end of a national lockdown, this immersive digital theatre experience will bring the magic and joy of theatre to young audiences aged 7+ at home with tickets on sale now at birmingham-rep.co.uk. Dedicated schools performances are also available for classrooms to join in with this exciting online experience.
The University of Wonder and Imagination is an hour-long interactive digital theatre production that allows audiences to effectively direct the performance, based on their interaction with the performers. In this ambitious and innovative undertaking, Cahoots NI will broadcast live over Zoom from an extensive, purpose-built set in Belfast, where magic and illusion have no boundaries.
Limited to pre-booked audience numbers per performance, guests will assemble with their fellow University students and, led by the mysterious Professor Bamberg, will embark on a journey where nothing is quite what it seems.
Audiences will interact with lively lecturers, experience themed rooms filled with illusion and encounter problems and puzzles in an attempt to unlock magical powers and graduate with flying colours.
Speaking about the new production, Paul Bosco Mc Eneaney, Creator/Director of The University of Wonder and Imagination, and Artistic Director of Cahoots NI, said: “We are thrilled to be opening the doors of the University of Wonder and Imagination for enrolment.
“Now, more than ever, we want to capture the sheer joy and wonder that theatre and live performance brings young audiences, something we so desperately miss being able to provide at this time. We have worked hard to create an experience that would act as a first step to bridge the gap between young people and live theatre that can be enjoyed at home.
“Developing this production has allowed us to explore a completely new channel through which to bring magic and illusion to children and their families via digital technology. The choices our audiences make live, during the event, will shape their unique theatre experience – and that’s hugely exciting for us.
“The technology we are using for the production is intricate, but it will be seamlessly blended with physical sets and magical illusions. Our audiences haven’t seen anything like this from Cahoots NI before, and we believe it will be a fun-filled, thrilling experience for children, for their families and for our cast and crew to be a part of.”
The REP’s Artistic Director, Sean Foley added: “Since closing our physical building in March due to COVID-19 restrictions, The REP has strived to continue its civic purpose within the city. From the Wardrobe team creating scrubs for the NHS, the Catering team providing thousands of meals for children in the city and our Learning team reaching hundreds of school pupils and young people – our talented staff have found new, innovative ways to connect with communities.
“We have also never forgotten our audiences and creatives during these unusual times, including online conversations with The REP’s Artistic Team titled REPurposed and becoming the first major venue in Birmingham to reopen for live performance with Birmingham Royal Ballet’s World Premiere, Lazuli Sky, this October.
“Now, as we continue with a second national lockdown, this inventive way of bringing theatre to children from the safety of their own home will provide families with a fun and exciting opportunity to come together and enjoy the magic of theatre. We look forward to welcoming families to The University of Wonder and Imagination.”
The University of Wonder and Imagination runs from 1-5 December 2020 – for more information and tickets visit birmingham-rep.co.uk.