An innovative new theatre show that incorporates virtual reality has been created in collaboration with Hull communities that are susceptible to flooding. Written by playwright Maureen Lennon and directed by Jack Chamberlain, Virtual Horizons explores what the future may look like if climate change is left unchecked.
The show blends cutting-edge virtual reality technology and theatre to create an immersive experience that is equal parts educational, thought-provoking and exciting. Through ideas and stories shared by people living in Hull’s HU4, HU7 and HU9 communities, combined with stunning landscapes and engaging storytelling, Virtual Horizons delivers a unique tale of climate hope and resilience.
Jack Chamberlain, creator and director, said: “I’d been planning on making a show about climate for a few years but had never quite found the right moment, as it’s such a huge topic. Having worked on the University of Hull’s Risky Cities project, I felt now was the right time to discuss this crucial subject matter in a fun and eye-opening way.”
Thirteen performances of Virtual Horizons will take place at Hull Truck Theatre between Wednesday 1 and Saturday 4 November. A fusion of storytelling, technology and community collaboration, the show aims to ignite the imagination and inspire a brighter future by starting fresh conversations about climate change.
The show’s writer, Maureen Lennon, said: “We’ve taken ideas, thoughts and experiences from people in our local communities, honouring the opinions and interests of the group. It’s hard to really imagine a world that’s so different from what we know today, so using VR is an opportunity to take audiences to familiar places that have changed dramatically.”
Virtual Horizons is strictly for people aged 13+ and its team is passionate about making the show accessible to audiences. To achieve this, the virtual reality component takes place whilst the audience is seated and team members will be there to help at all times.
Jack said: “We’ve had the joy of watching our community co-creators use virtual reality for the first time and this immersive tech elicits such a response. We want to create a safe and inviting space where people are transported through VR and theatre and join a conversation. Our aim is for audiences to leave the show feeling positive, build resilience around the climate and their role in it, and gain more of an understanding of what they can do to protect the future.”
Virtual Horizons has been created with the help of people from HU4 Community Hub, Bransholme Chat and TimeBank on Preston Road. The show is funded by Arts Council England, Hull City Arts and the Sir James Reckitt Charity, and supported by the University of York.
Tickets are £13 each and available from the Hull Truck Theatre website.