Following its successful launch in 2021, The Living Record Festival returns with a programme of original pieces of digital art. Bringing together independent companies and freelance artists from all over the world, the five-week long multidisciplinary arts festival will be available to stream globally.
Spurred on by the catastrophic effect Covid-19 has had on the theatre and live performance industry, The Living Record festival was launched in 2021 to build a virtual space for audiences to safely enjoy a range of digital culture and for artists to safely and cost effectively present their work. After the run-away success of the first festival the company also presented digital works in their own mini Living Record Roots festival in April and as part of the Brighton Fringe.
This year’s festival includes Tree Confessions, a site-specific audio play to download and listen to under your favourite tree; Chronic Insanity’s All The Kings Men, an interactive immersive online experience about political corruption where your choices influence the outcome; and Sandy by Periteia Theatre Company which explores an encounter between a woman and a “female” object.
Artistic director Ross Drury said “After such a positive response in 2021 we are delighted to be running the second ever The Living Record Festival this January and February. Regardless of pandemic and the rules surrounding it we believe passionately in the power of digital to bring great art to wide reaching audiences in the long term. This year we have built a whole new platform in house to better support our artists and audiences, think of it as a combination of streaming and social networking with the kind of fresh, out there and genre defying works you’d expect to find at any Fringe festival – plus at home you don’t have to drink your beer out of plastic cups!”
Living Record Productions is an award-winning production company established in 2015, creating relevant, dynamic new writing and binaural sound theatre experiences, committed to supporting artists from working class backgrounds. Alongside Playwright Neil Smith Living Record staged Sisters, Creditors by Neil Smith at the Brockley Jack Theatre, Reunion and Echoes at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival Jodi Gray’s THROWN a boundary pushing exploration into binaural sound and performance toured across the UK to venues including Vault Festival; The Mill Arts Centre, Banbury; The Place, Bedford, and was selected as part of the REACH showcase 2018 at ARC Stockton. Theatre critic Lyn Gardner said “Terrific performance…Looks great and sounds even better” and THROWN was awarded the Brighton Fringe Award for Excellence at Edinburgh Fringe 2018. Thrown was live streamed in 2017, beginning an in-depth exploration into how binaural sound enables theatre to be highly effective for audiences at home. In partnership with Age UK, they found binaural sound performances and workshops were very effective for older people’s groups, bringing a high-quality cultural experience to them in non-theatre spaces. Living Record Productions were invited to run workshops in Bedford prison and an international school in Kuala Lumpur. Most recently Living Record have created the an interactive platform for digital arts and produced the children binaural audio series Mr Cleverly’s Transcontinental Delivery Service. The Living Record Festival, a month long celebration of digital arts, was launched in January 2021, presenting over 40 pieces, followed by The Living Roots festival of seed commissions in March and the Living Record Brighton at the Brighton Fringe during the summer.
Living Record Festival 2022 runs 17 January – 22 February 2022, find out more at https://stream.thelivingrecord.com
by Anoushka Bonwick
Alice hasn’t been home for a while. Seven years in fact. But when her little sister, Lo’s mental health deteriorates, the journey from South London to Norfolk proves to be more than just a simple change of pace. At the same time, Lo and family friend Charlie must tackle their mixed feelings about Alice returning to them and to the land she once called home… and hoped to never see again. Together, the three try to rekindle a family broken… A digital piece weaving spoken word, storytelling and magic realism.
An exploration of musical spell-casting in film. Dark and unnervingly sexy. An art film that combines music and live performance, allowing audiences a glimpse into the world in which WCB’s music exists. A musical exploration that resonates with those who feel that they are living apart from the normal world, occupying a surreal and separate existence populated by the misplaced, the queer, and the non-conforming.
Danse Macabre Productions
Online tutor risks everything to help a student until something sinister rears its head. How well do you know the person on the other side of the screen? Fay has a new student. She’s charming, cheerful and chatty… but isn’t allowed to leave the house. Fearing the worst, Fay risks everything to help but is soon forced to ask whether she’s got too close. Written by Sam Essame (The Door, The Space) and directed by Lisa Millar (The Darklings, VAULT Festival), Danse Macabre Productions bring you Host, a pre-recorded Zoom horror about miscommunication, loneliness and sacrifice in the digital age.
Songs of the Chambermaids
Music for drum ensemble and a chorus of chambermaids in this fantastical Freudian mash-up. An astonishing music video sequence in which three chambermaids – airing their private grievances – chart the narrative arc of Sigmund Freud’s 1930 essay, Civilization and its Discontents. Chanting or speaking lines, separately or in chorus, over the shifting rhythmic pattens of contemporary music for drum ensemble and lead instruments, this is a digital theatre sequence that becomes both universal and epic. Taken from the play, Civilization and its Discontents: 11 Movements for Theatre, by writer/theatremaker Mark C. Hewitt, with music by renowned Norwegian sampling percussionist Thomas Strønen, it is a work that is at once sexy, sophisticated and disturbing. Performed by actresses Marta Carvalho (Portugal), Leann O’Kasi (Ireland/Nigeria/UK) and Melissa Sirol (France) – with videographic interventions by film artist Matt Parsons. £8
All The Kings Men
Chronic Insanity Theatre Company
An immersive story about political corruption, the allure of fame, and personal accountability. You find yourself looking up the tour dates for your favourite up-and-coming pop star, when you stumble across a disturbing conspiracy theory about their sudden fame and success. You can’t shake the feeling that this theory has some truth in it and, while digging deeper, you fall into a rabbit hole of lies and deceit that you discover spread out across a variety of different websites and digital spaces. Submerged into this alternate reality, you’ll have to put the pieces together, and make the right decisions, in order to try and make the world a better place on the other side of it all. All The King’s Men is an interactive immersive online experience about political corruption, the allure of fame, and personal accountability where the audience’s decisions make all the difference. Will you seize the opportunity to make the world a better place, no matter the cost?
Disenchanted: A Cabaret of Twisted Fairy Tales
A raunchy, operatic cabaret about fairy tales, set in a Parisian salon in 1699. Why was the Wolf in Grandma’s bed? Did Sleeping Beauty have an opinion on consent? Were the ugly sisters’ feet really that big? And what does a goose have to do with the French revolution? Find out in this award winning, sexy, subversive cabaret, where you join vivacious Madame d’Aulnoy in her 17th century salon, to hear the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the twisted truth about fairy tales. WINNER: Best SHOW, Newcastle Fringe 2021 WINNER: Best SHOW, Dubbo Fringe 2021 WINNER: Best 18+ SHOW, Young-Howze Awards 2021. This show, originally live, was especially created for digital audiences, using a green screen, digital art and a lot of clever editing. ‘Highly entertaining’
by This is not a theatre company
In a landmark study, a scientist learned everything about how trees communicate. Or did she? Tree Confessions is a site-specific audio play: download the audio play, sit under your favourite tree, and let her tell you what happened when a scientist came to visit. Presenting the world’s first play told entirely from the point of view of a tree. To experience this site-specific audio play, find a tree near you, sit under it (or nearby), press play, and listen to the tree’s confessions. Tree Confessions premiered in the “Beuys for Future” exhibit in Berlin, and went on to the Brighton, Philadelphia, Melbourne, and Camden Fringe festivals, where it has received rave reviews: “Moving and powerful.” But don’t pay attention to what humans say – listen to the tree.
A Little Drape Of Heaven
by This is not a theatre company
Building on a history of ground-breaking immersive theatre, This Is Not A Theatre Company brings the site-specific audio play A Little Drape of Heaven to a closet near you.
A precious and unique sari awaits the presence of a boy to pull them out of the closet and drape them on his slender shoulders. In the meantime, the sari shares secrets with anyone who cares to hold a fabric close to their heart.
Part of our Play(s) At Home series.
Planet of the Grapes – Live on Demand
Peter Michael Marino
Grapes rule the earth in this acclaimed mashup of the classic ’68 sci-fi film and toy theatre. In this digital, live performance capture, a group of astronauts crash land on a strange planet where grapes speak and humans are their slaves. This critically acclaimed production mashes up the ground-breaking ’68 sci-fi film with the Victorian era’s toy theatre movement.
Lifeline 99 99
A one-on-one, interactive show over a phone call, that reveals something about the times we live in. In the age of growing indifference and shrinking empathy, can one still create a genuine human connection? Dial in to Lifeline 99 99, a unique theatre performance that takes place over a phone call. Choose from seven different experiences and have a one-on-one conversation with a conflicted sex chat operator, an aggrieved idealist, a dude alien, a morbid insurance agent, a memory alteration researcher, an ethical scammer or art itself, personified… all telling you something about the times we live in. One on one. Interactive. Live. On your phone, at your home. No two shows are alike as each conversation is unique and personalised to you and how your answers drive the story. Lifeline 99 99 is presented by Kaivalya Plays in partnership with Exotel. It premiered in February 2021, has seen over 200 one-on-one audience experiences across 5 different countries.
Golden Age Theatre Company
Eight monologues about love, hate, revenge, death and other serious matters. A series of 8 video monologues which explore in narrative form some of the big issues of our time including toxic masculinity, the me too movement, gender identity, the culture wars, police corruption, racism, loneliness, alienation, conspiracy theory, fake news and life extension
by Jo MacDonald (Anishinaabe) OkIndigenousTheatre Company
A chance encounter finds Spencer and her three Neechies catching the man who almost ruined her life. Adapted from the play and filmed using digital media & sound EFX Neechie-Itas is part of the trend of Digi-theare. Jilted bride Spencer marks each year of the would-be wedding date shut in her apartment, eating junk food, and binge-watching period piece movies wearing her $5000 Vera Wang wedding dress. Her Neechies Carm, Linda and Maggie life-long friends convince Spencer to join them for a weekend of nightlife and dancing to mend her broken heart. Instead, chaos ensues when Spencer’s ex-fiance appears at the dance club. The Neechies land in jail for questioning for attempted murder. But, they have credible intel on who Lewis Longclaws really is and bamboozle police weaving hilarious stories. In the end, Louis gets whats coming to him. Jo MacDonald writes Indigenous comedy gold to challenge the stereotypes of Indigenous women and explores the power of Indigenous sisterhood.
by Stephanie Rummell
Chansons stands for ‘Soul touching’ stories about life and passionate songs from ‘Ne me quitte pas’ (Brel) to ‘Milord’ (Piaf). All sung and performed in ‘Brilliant showmanship’ by Stefanie Rummel and accompanied by Vignir Þór Stefánsson (piano). Become part of the French way of living for one night without travelling and having a jetlag. It does not matter if you speak French or not. It’s explained in English. This ‘Heart connecting performance’ can inspire our own lives by looking at other cultures. Online and offline shows are performed in theaters and cabarets in Germany, Iceland, Finland, US. Stefanie Rummel has won several prizes in singing competitions and with her chansons project she just won 5 prices. She can also be seen at festivals: Reykjavik Fringe Festival, Lathi Fringe Festival (Finland), Edinburgh Fringe Festival. https://stefanierummel.com/
Becky Fury: C*nt!
By Becky Fury
PowerPoint, politics and profanity collide in this love letter to the C-word. Powerpoint and profanity collide in this love letter to the c- letter. An irreverent exploration of the history of this most maligned and loved of words, and an opportunity to indulge in the simple pleasure of calling people c*nts. “Funny, uncompromising, took my breath away with her ingenuity” Lancs Evening Post “C*nt’ seduces, slowly but surely.” Three weeks “Finest sticks of comedy dynamite to be found for love or a suggested donation “C*nt! what’s missing? It’s You! C*nt! C*nt! show by a brown, nb bird and Edinburgh /Morecambe festival Award winner.
by Anthony Noack
A digital theatre performance of the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes framed as a stand up comedy show. Performing online with no live audience before him, David ‘Dave’ Davidson struggles to maintain the momentum in his act. However with effort, and a liberal dose of wine, he takes the audience along on his journey to question a seemingly absurd and unfair world. ‘The Preacher’ explores modern performance and ancient preaching and examines how many of our concerns and worries are constant over time. Dave’s attempts at stand-up comedy frame the biblical text of Ecclesiastes, of which the main body of the performance consists. So if you’re keen to see something different, put your hands together, but not necessarily in prayer, and welcome Dave onto your screen. “This show is highly recommended for people who like dry comedy marinated in philosophy” ★★★★½ The Adelaide Show
Sandy is a play that explores the unique place between reality and fantasy in which two similar and yet very different ‘women’ were able to meet, think, talk and be themselves. ‘Sandy’ is a two hander play about femininity and womanhood which, by exploring an encounter between a woman and a “female” object, reveals their relationship to the world and the role they cover in society. Both characters long for freedom, but the expectations and definitions imposed on them make their goal almost – or fully – impossible to reach.
Nod At The Fox Theatre Company
PEA is an adventurous family show filled with enchanting puppetry and intricate soundscapes. Tiffany can’t sleep, join her on a quest to answer why… Tiffany is twisting and turning and her mind won’t stop whirring. She knows there must be a PEA hidden underneath her bed! As Tiffany adventures down through worlds of mattresses and mysteries, she meets the restless bed folk: the bumbling Shepherd and his herd of ‘counting’ sheep, the thieving Bed-Bugs, and of course, the wise old Memory Foam… None of them dare to venture to the bottom of the bed, but that won’t stop Tiffany. The roaring doesn’t scare her. Join Tiffany on her quest to find the PEA and get a good night’s sleep. But what is really keeping her awake? All the stories tell us that stepmothers are evil. Maybe the fairy tales are wrong…