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Interviews with Robert Reid, Sayraphim Lothian and Ben McKenzie

During This Is A Door in 2012, film maker James Tresise interviewed Robert and Sayraphim about their work, what Pop Up Playground is doing and why it’s important.

Interview with Sayraphim Lothian from James Tresise on Vimeo.

Interview with Robert Reid from James Tresise on Vimeo.

Earlier in the year, James also interviewed Ben McKenzie about games and play

BenGameMechanic from James Tresise on Vimeo.

Playing in Public With Pop Up Playground (Wired interview)

Playing in Public With Pop Up Playground

By Daniel Donahoo

Playing with my kids is probably the finest thing I get to do with my life. From boardgames to roleplaying through to wrestling the youngest on the bed and wandering through Minecraft servers with the older boys. I love to play (what GeekDad doesn’t?). Importantly, GeekDads know that play need not be something that stops at childhood. In Melbourne, Australia, there is an organization interested in helping all adults re-engage with play.Read More

Drawing Room: Generational games (Radio National interview)

The podcast for our Artistic Director Robert Reid’s interview on Radio National is now online for your listening pleasure. It also features comedian Dave O’Neil talking about the playful (and slighty unsafe) things he used to do in the name of ‘play’ as a child…

This Is A Door (Beat interview)

“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

Eaglemont duo engage with audience (Heidelberg Leader interview)

AN EAGLEMONT performer will ask audience members to become part of the show during a unique three-day carnival this weekend.

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 (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

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

Lemon Jousting (Deep Fun interview)

Lemon Jousting

by Bernie DeKoven on July 16, 2012

“Lemon Jousting,” explains Sayraphim Lothian of Popup Playground, is a game that came to them courtesy of Tassos Stevens from the UK company Coney. “The rules,” she continues,

“are pretty simple, you have two wooden spoons and a lemon, the object of the game is to bat other people’s lemons off their spoons while keeping yours on. You can steady your lemon with your other spoon, but you can’t clamp down with both spoons and run about, if you are clamping you have to stand still. The players can have three lives, or it can be a round robin, but usually it’s just played til everyone is wrecked.Read More

Pop Up Playground (Time Out interview)

Pop Up Playground

Thu 19 Apr ,

Pop Up Playground launch their first adventure in pervasive game playing with a massive game of the parlour classic, Werewolf

First published on 25 Feb 2012. Updated on 20 Apr 2012.

According to Robert Reid, it started almost a year ago, last April, when Tassos Stevens from UK-based company Coney quietly slipped into Melbourne for a week of workshops, described at the time by Stevens as “challenges towards how to be a playful secret agent”.

“He basically introduced us to the kind of work Coney does – a form of pervasive games,” explains Reid.Read More