Pop Up Playground: This Is A Door
Words by Myron My.
Pop Up Playground had its first public gig in September 2011. Since then, the company has continued to grow with the new and creative games they have been making and bringing out the inner child in people and they are back this month with their event This Is A Door.
“This Is A Door is where we play a variety of 2 minute to 20 minute games for two hours. It is a festival of new games that we have created,” Artistic Director Robert Reid tells me. “The whole festival this year has been about trying to get other companies exposure so people know that this sort of stuff is happening.”
This Is A Door opened up with The Curse and was performed at Luna Park on Halloween night. Players scoured the park to find three fortune tellers to help break the curse put upon them whilst being cautious of three clowns lurking nearby. It was the first event I had participated in and I loved the excitement of being a child again and running around in a panic as the time counted down to when I would be cursed forever.
“I like that when we do games like The Curse, we create an environment where there is a story told but you determine the type of story you experience. The decisions that people make in the moment tell these great stories and you get people sacrificing themselves for each other or stabbing each other in the back.” Robert says.
If a day of games doesn’t tickle your fancy, there are lots of other things planned by the team at Pop Up Playground. “We’ve got a couple of playful street art projects going on with Guerrilla Poets Opening Doors and I See Magical Creatures where we take old children’s toys, bundle them up and then paint them with bright colours and glitter and then hide them throughout the city. There is also MechCombat, which is an experimental live gaming experience involving robots.” Robert tells me.
It’s no secret that the older we get, the more we forget about this sense of play and fun. We get concerned with “adult” life and problems that simply enjoying things can be difficult. “Play is good for us and it is useful to us. There are social benefits and learning how to be a person”, Robert explains. “There is a physical aspect to games but they also keep your brain active and force you to be innovative and think strategically.”
This immersive theatre/play experience is rapidly growing in Melbourne. More and more people don’t want to just “sit and watch” anymore so if you haven’t experiences this yet, then make sure to check out This Is A Door during the month of November.
Original review here: http://www.dailymelbourne.com/2013/11/pop-up-playground-this-is-a-door/