Punchdrunk added a new dimension to their dark retelling of Macbeth. The audience participated in the play as masked onlookers, peering over the characters’ shoulders as they crept through the tragedy that unfolded. Macabre yet engaging, the audience felt as though they were part of the world by standing among the characters, silent and thoughtful.

 

Breaking the fourth wall’ is a common part of theatrical productions. Yet immersive experiences that hold out a hand and physically pull visitors into the world itself bring a new dimension to storytelling – and Punchdrunk’s production dazzled reviewers when it launched in 2003.

 

Related reading

For a look into the inner workings of audience participation within immersive theatre and how perceptions differ to those who watch from afar, have a look at these two books by Julia Ritter:

‘Tandem Dances: Choreographing Immersive Performance’ and ‘Beyond Immersive Theatre: Aesthetics, Politics and Productive Participation’

Launch of the Human Interface Technologies Team

The University of Birmingham launched the Human Interface Technologies Team
in 2003, led by Professor Bob Stone.

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