Alice | A Virtual Theme Park was an immersive theatre adaptation that was performed online during lockdown throughout August 2020.
It was a ground-breaking collaboration between Big Telly Theatre, Creation Theatre and the team at Charisma.ai.
The goal was to bring audiences into the story of Alice in Wonderland - not just by giving shout outs to their Zoom profiles, but by weaving them into the visual and narrative experience using a crafted blend of advanced technology, live theatrical performance and interactive storytelling.
Each performance, the audience’s videos would spin down the rabbit hole in 3D, flipping end over end as everyone descended into Wonderland with Alice.
Once in Wonderland, you could choose which characters to meet, and when you did there would be a live action performance waiting for you. This was no linear storyline!
In the final scenes, we blended in a live 3D multiplayer game of mobile phone croquet that everyone played, with the winner judged by the Red Queen, and to top off the performance, we wove in live magic to determine whether Alice would be spared from the Queen’s dreaded ‘Off with your head!” verdict.
Alice was a great success with rave reviews in the UK and even on the US’s NBC Today show.
But just as importantly, it demonstrated that a highly imaginative, energetic and positive new production could be brought to life from the depths of a pandemic lockdown.
It is important to us that we share how we did it, and how we felt about it so we created this unique handbook as a chronicle, a guide, and a conversation starter. The handbook is downloadable for free, and we are more than happy for it to be shared and forwarded for free also.
For anyone interested in producing digital theatre online, the handbook is intended to show what worked, what didn’t and where we felt we achieved success.
The theatre industry is facing immense challenges as a result of the pandemic, and the impacts of the pandemic will be felt for years to come. It is vital to think in new ways, using the virtual production and distribution strengths of digital media.
We hope this handbook will help inspire new productions, collaborations and creative thoughts.
We’d also very much like to thank everyone associated with Alice, and especially Big Telly and Creation as co-producers, Innovate UK who financially supported the production, and specifically Daniel Perks who wrote this handbook.