Review: Living the ‘Dream,’ on Your Laptop or Phone

Do you know of a site where wild thyme flies? you do now.

“dream,” An interactive experience from the Royal Shakespeare Company, which lasts until Saturday and lasts long as a power nap, catches thousands of its audience to a Sylvan Grove, then rehearsals in Portsmouth, England for a live Q&A In space. Tickets are free, although those who prefer a lightweight interactive experience can purchase seats for 10 British pounds (about $ 14) and appear onscreen as a firelight.

Inspired by Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” – understandably, in the most wonderful way imaginable – “Dream” is a bounding leap forward for theater technology and a short jog at the theater’s location.

a Separate “Dream” Was in Stratford-upon-Avon to open about a year ago, as a showcase Future listener, A consortium of institutes and tech innovators Gathered in 2019 And worked out new ways to create and deliver theater remotely. (Theater on his phone. He had seen it before.) The 2020 “Dream” would have played for both a live audience and a remote one, integrating actors, projections and live motion-capture into one whole.

But in-person audiences are rare these days, and this remote “dream”, though gorgeous – and it’s gorgeous, very gorgeous – seems thin for it, a jungle of imagination low and truly lovingly presented by trees. A small bout of. It begins with Puck (E.M. Williams), a wanderer of the night who is imagined here as a pile of pebbles in the supposed figure of the human body. As a pile of rocks, it takes us the most time to load the dishwasher as to why the puck – agile, raft and gearing up? Dunno. looks cool.

While walking in the forest, Puck encounters other Shakespearean fairies, such as Moth (an accumulation of kites), Peaseblossom (sticks and flowers) and Cobweb (an eyeball inside a squirrel). Apparently, Puck also met the Mustards (more sticks?). I lost it And singer Nick Kew contributed some voice acting! Missed me too.

“Dream”, performed live, is classy, ​​maligned and almost completely contentless. It’s not quite a theater, and it’s not an okay movie, though it may pass for a highbrow “avatar” short. For Stretch, it looks like a noticeable video game, but it is not so either, as most of the interactive elements (clicking and dragging the firefly around the landscape) are completely incompatible.

Looking at this, I felt needlessly queasy like a prick who has been offered perfectly good snacks, but none of them want to. Because perhaps what the child really wants is to see an actual play in a real theater with an actual audience. And it is not available right now.

So I don’t really know what to say about “Dream”. Because it represents a clearly fruitful and joyful collaboration between their playing actors, directors, designers, musicians and technicians, many of whom took some physical risks in making it. (Among them is Robin McNicholas, who is credited with directing and narrative development; Pippa Hill, script creation and narrative development and credits, with production’s music director and co-composer Esa-Peck Salonen.) This is also a real progression of usage. Indicates that. Live Motion-Capture (Some Royal Shakespeare Company Already used) And provides a glimpse of how that technique can be used at the time of a person’s appropriate return to the theater.

But this is not proper theater. Or even improper theater. It is a sophisticated demonstration of an emerging technology. Shakespeare has excuses, not dots. Puncture, pushed into random virtual mouths, helps us better appreciate the software architecture – which is great if you like software and if you like the language by itself, or the plot or character of the original play or Curiosity is our big, dumb-hearted lover. This “dream” is beautiful. Wouldn’t it be great if we all could wake up now?

Through March 20;

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