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This is a Door
Reviewed by Cameron Woodhead
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Pop Up Playground
Theatreworks, season ended
AROUND the turn of the millennium, computer games killed a thriving scene of face-to-face social gaming. We used to have conventions that hosted everything from live role-playing to elaborate strategy; much of that has now migrated online.
Fashion is cyclical, though, and the international games carnival This is a Door at Theatreworks this past weekend was an opportunity for nostalgia as well as an innovative look at new possibilities for interactive play. It wasn’t theatre. It wasn’t even art. But it was spirited, anarchic fun. Read more →
“Games are just agreed sets of temporary behaviour out of which sequences of individual choices and lived experience emerge and become stories of tragic loss and heroic triumph,” says Robert Reid, co-founder of Pop Up Playground. Together with Theatre Works, Pop Up Playground is staging a “social, reactive and immersive” new production this coming weekend – one that harnesses the power of games to help the audience learn something about themselves. Read more →
Review: This is a Door
Written by Nick Spunde
Sunday, 29 July 2012 12:20
For the next two weeks, when someone mentions the word “games”, you know they’ll be talking about all the faster, higher, stronger stuff going on in London. The games that have been happening at Theatreworks this weekend however have been an altogether different affair. For starters, the audience have got to play too.
This Is A Door is the work of Pop Up Playground, a collaboration between comedian Ben McKenzie (Dungeon Crawl), fringe theatre maker Robert Reid (Theatre in Decay) and artist Sayraphim Lothian. It takes its inspiration from the New Games Movement, a 70s counter-culturalist drive to involve people in entertainment that was active and participatory, rather than placing them in the passive role of spectators. Read more →
Posted by Taryn Hunter
When was the last time you played freely, without limits, like a carefree youngster? For me it had been years, so the chance to tap into that inner child for a couple of hours was too good to refuse.
This is a Door
Pop up Playground, Theatre Works
27 July 2012
to 29 July
There are rumours that Cameron Woodhead and I tried to exchange a pash last night.
I’m not confirming or denying anything because what happens at Play Club, stays at Play Club.
But I know that it was the most fun I’ve had in a theatre and I want to go back and do it all again. Read more →
Robert Reid, who has joined forces with fellow Eaglemont resident Sayraphim Lothian, will run This is a Door at St Kilda’s Theatre Works from Friday to Sunday.
The 35-year-old said the concept swapped actors and scripts for social games and play, using them to engage people within a group. Read more →
The play’s the thing: let the adult games begin
July 23, 2012
Melbourne is set to host its first games carnival.
AN EMERGING art form comes into the spotlight next weekend when the public is invited to take part in Melbourne’s first games carnival, This is a Door, at St Kilda’s Theatre Works.
”It is difficult to describe because people immediately think of video games or perhaps board games if they can imagine adults playing games at all,” says comedian and actor Ben McKenzie, one of three people who created Pop Up Playground which is organising the three-day event (the others are Sayraphim Lothian and her fiancee, playwright Robert Reid). ”There really isn’t a proper term for it yet.”
The theatre’s large space will be turned into a festive arena with bunting, lighting and sound for people to join in playing a series of games that include trying to stop someone jumping off a building, putting out the great fire of London and inventing ways to disrupt a wedding ceremony.
McKenzie says in contrast to the anonymity of conventional theatre audiences, the aim is to get people to participate. Read more →
Everyone already knows how to play games. At This is a Door we’ll be playing a lot of new games; some we’ve made up, some that have been made up by our friends in England, America and Europe. One of us will explain the rules and we’ve got all kinds of props to make the games more interesting.
The following helpful guide should give you an idea of the games on offer.
You’re Making a Scene
At the wedding of Mark and Amanda the families can barely keep their dislike of each other in check. Trade places on the seating plan and don’t end up sitting next to some one from a family you’re feuding with.
Race to the Sky
In 1896 two of the local aristocrats climbed into their air balloons in an ill-conceived wager that each would go higher than the other. Be the one to send your balloon highest without losing your clothes peg aeronaut. Read more →