RSC Launches Virtual Reality Production

Virtual Reality

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is collaborating with video game designers to allow audiences to experience Shakespeare’s plays in virtual reality. 

Their new production, titled Dream, is inspired by the Shakespeare classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The audience will be able to directly influence aspects of the performance such as the narrative and music through their computers or phones. 

They will be led by the fairy Mischievous Puck, who will be played by E.M. Williams.

Six actors will star alongside Williams. Their movements will be recorded and reproduced using motion capture and facial rigging. 

The project is developed by the Philharmonia Orchestra, virtual reality creators Marshmallow Laser Feast, and developers of the Unreal Engine video games software Epic Games.  

It will be filmed in The Guildhall in Portsmouth, where a motion capture space has been created. 

Gregory Doran, the RSC’s artistic director, hopes that the inclusion of virtual reality will help to inspire young people to be interested in Shakespeare and the theatre.  

“What I love about this potential for an interactive experience is it’s not the play of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but it’s the world of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. If that makes you want to read or watch this play, then that’s great,” he said to The Observer

Dream will be performed between 12 and 20 March. Audiences can buy a £10 ticket online if they wish to participate directly, or can watch the performance for free. 

Words by Ellen Leslie.

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Image: Stuart Martin // © RSC


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