Well, that was an exciting & eventful start to the Game Play project 2022-24!
We were over the moon to welcome Tom & Chloe from Upstart Theatre to Bedford over the end of last week.
With 4 workshops over 3 days, working with students from across all 3 years at University of Bedfordshire, local drama teachers, trainers & youth theatre leaders and even some of our young people from BRAVE we certainly kept them busy! It was a jam-packed schedule for everyone involved – but we heard amazing feedback from our participants in all of these workshops – if you got involved then please reach out to let us know what your highlight from the session was.
On top of that we also had a chance to show people Red Planet Revolution – a wonderful playable performance in which the audiences directly effected the outcome of each show – bringing lots of humour & participation to the space over the 2 events. It was great to see people getting so actively involved during both shows.
We’ve got literally hundreds of wonderful photos from our youth workshop & Saturday show which are available here:
Simâo and I have been meeting over the weekend to kick start all of the amazing next steps of the Game Play project – discussing our ideas & plans for the next Live Stream RPG weekender that we’ll be hosting at The Place in January 2023 – considering which new RPG games to introduce to players and audience of the stream. Our recording from the Summer Stream are now going live our YouTube channel so you can already see the games from this year. We’re super proud of our young games players who stepped up to play & run games during this session -we think they absolutely smashed it out of the park. WATCH VIDEOS HERE
We’re looking for a local Stage Manager to help us out running the event over the weekend – especially welcoming our players to the venue and ensuring everything runs to time on the days. If you’re a skilled & focused person who knows how to keep everyone to schedule then get in contact for some paid work!
We’ve also been making some plans for our next 3-day Game Play Festival. It’s been a few years since we’ve been able to do the full festival set up, and we’ve had lots of thoughts about how we could improve & upgrade the event over that time.
We think we’ve settled on a structure for the weekend that will encourage high levels of participation from people of all ages – as well as making time and space to celebrate a whole load of different types of games.
More information will be announced very soon as we get ready for The Place’s Spring Season Brochure & we hope to have tickets on sale before December so you can make an Xmas gift of the festival.
As part of that process we’re also commissioning a creative/theatrical Designer to help us make over all of our spaces for the festival – it’s a great chance for us to create an even more immersive experience for everyone visiting & to use our venue in an exciting new way that we’ve not tried before. If you know anyone with experience of immersive venue design – or who has experience designing for multiple spaces at a venue or festival then please let us know
Final update from this week (we did say it’s been an eventful start!) has been to start confirming our plans for PLAY Bedford 2023. Working with our funder Farnham Maltings we’ve been talking with the wonderful team at Third Angel about the call out for artists exploring playable performance activities for the Public Realm. You might remember them from The Desire Paths which popped up in Bedford Town Centre in Sept 2021 – well we’re really looking forward to working with them again on more exciting activities for Bedford Town Centre – encouraging surprise, joy & playfulness in locations across Bedford.
News of our commissioning plans for 2023 will be coming out very soon.
We’re going to do regular updates on all of the work we’re doing to deliver Game Play events over the next 2 years. Partly so you know what’s going on and how to get involved – and partly so at the end we can remember all the amazing, weird & wonderful things we did!
Alex & Simâo & The Place Theatre Team
Huge thanks to ACE National Lottery Project Grants for funding Game Play 2022-24 as well as Bedford Theatre Trust.