As the posters and billboards get torn down at the end of another Edinburgh Fringe, you might be thinking that most luvvies will be taking a well-earned break. But some of Scotland’s best-known theatre-makers are embarking on a journey into a new arena – digital theatre.
A few weeks ago, we reported on Other, the collaboration between National Theatre of Scotland and Quartic Llama. That was the first, but will certainly not be the last collaboration between the interactive sector and the wider creative world. In the near future, kids will be able to get a piece of the action as East Lothian-based developer Hippotrix creates a suite of apps inspired by Scottish children’s theatre.
Catherine Wheels Theatre Company has had worldwide success with their Early Years show White. The show takes centre stage at the South Bank Centre this Christmas before jetting off to Los Angeles in 2014. Hippotrix is working with the creative team at Catherine Wheels to make the first theatre-based digital toy, slated for release in December.
White the app will allow families to explore the world of the show together, putting children in control of the narrative.
Lewis Hetherington’s sell-out production for this year’s Edinburgh International Festival, Leaving Planet Earth, bussed the audience to Ratho to explore a huge alien world. Hetherington is also responsible, with puppet-maker Ailie Cohen, for the much loved Cloudman for younger theatregoers.
Their new production for 2014, The Secret Life of Suitcases, will be accompanied by a Hippotrix app, which will delve deeper into the mysteries of the show.
Hippotrix are collaborating with other artists and cultural organisations, employing new research into infant development, to create safe and fun introductions to the arts for the gamers of tomorrow.
Scotland is known around the world for producing superb theatre pieces for young audiences, but very few of these great shows go out on tour internationally. Our collaboration with groups like Catherine Wheels means that anyone can get access to these amazing visual, musical and dramatic experiences, wherever they live.
Given the reception Other received from a performing arts audience, stunned that games could offer far more than explosions, car chases and photo realistic bullet hole creation, this can only be good news.
Congratulations to Hippotrix. Not only are they pushing back the boundaries of interactivity, learning and theatre, but they’re now officially recognised in the mighty tome of authority, the Scottish Games Network Company Directory. Fame and glory are surely only a matter of time.
We shall of course keep you posted on progress.