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The play’s the thing: let the adult games begin (The Age interview)

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

What you can do at This Is A Door

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

This Is A Door – Game On! (Vulture interview)

This Is A Door – Game On!

July 17, 2012 by Jack in Latest News, Things To Do with 0 Comments

For three days and nights This Is A Door will take over St Kilda’s Theatre Works, transforming the performance space into a “public playground” – a carnival of interactive, large scale games to encourage the playfulness, creativity and curiosity that come to us so naturally when we’re young, but that we tend to lose as we get older.Read More

Pop Up Playground (Deep Fun interview)

Pop Up Playground

by Bernie DeKoven on July 17, 2012

Everything we know about Lemon Jousting was provided by Sayraphim Lothian and Robert Reid. Sayraphim and Robert are with an organization, in Australia, called Pop Up Playground, the most recent recipients of the coveted Defender of the Playful award.

Read More

This Is A Door tickets go on sale!

You can now purchase your This Is A Door tickets from the Theatreworks website. We are VERY excited about it!

We will be presenting games by
Pop Up Playground (Aus)
Shades of Play (Aus)
Coney (UK)
Fire Hazard (UK)
Obscure Games (USA)
Copenhagen Games Collective (DMK)
and many others

There will also be a number of playful engagement pieces from us as well as Nick Ilton’s Art Vending Machine and the whole event will be rounded off by a Playful Salon where interesting people will chat about play, games, their experiences and yours too. It’s going to be an awesome carnival, so book your tickets now!

Sayraphim interviewed in Inpress

17 May, 2012
Cultural Cringe


There’s a certain level of responsibility resting on the shoulders of artist Sayraphim Lothian and her Pop Up Playground co-conspirators – writer Robert Reid and comic Ben McKenzie. You see if they get this wrong, it might be the end for a whole new art form before it even really gets off the ground here. No pressure folks. Lothian & Co have just wrapped up four weeks of workshopping their latest pervasive or social games in preparation for a three-day game festival, This Is A Door, at Theatreworks in July. The concept of pervasive gaming is still relatively new in Australia having only arrived when Tassos Stevens, a UK artist and director of Agency Of Coney, took a trip to Melbourne about a year ago. Read More

Four workshops for This Is A Door

We’ve just finished a month of Saturday workshops trying out some of the games we’ve created for This Is A Door. We had a blast and the feedback we got from the playtesters was invaluable for developing the games. Click through to have a look at the photos of some of the games we played… Read More