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 Blast Theory

BLAST THEORY

  (1991 - )

Nationality:    British
email:    Click here to contact     Website:    Click here

Literary Agent:    n/a

Blast theory is renowned internationally as one of the most adventurous artists' groups using interactive media to ask questions about the ideologies present in the information that envelops us. Mixing audiences across the internet, live performance and digital broadcasting, Blast theory aims to create groundbreaking new forms of performance and interactive art.

Research:    in "British Theatre Companies: 1995-2014" Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, London (2015)>>>

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below is a list of Blast Theory's plays - click on a Play Title for more information

        10 Backwards         Can You See Me Now?         Chemical Wedding         Day Of the Figurines         Day of The Figurines         Desert Rain         Explicit Volume, An         Fixing Point         Flypad         Ghostwriter         Gilt Remake, The         Goody Bullet, The         Gunmen Kill Three         I Like Frank         I'd Hide You         Invisible Bullets         ivy4evr         Karen         Kidnap         Machine to See With, A         My Neck of the Woods         Potential Thief, The         Rider Spoke         Safehouse         Something American         Stampede         Thing Ill Be Doing For The Rest Of My Life         Too Much Information         Trucold         Ulrike and Eamon Compliant         Ultrapure         Uncle Roy All Around You         You Get Me



10 Backwards

Synopsis:
a woman travels ten years into the future. an hour later she is back in her own time - but with a condition that causes her constant deja-vu

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster    1999

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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piece

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Can You See Me Now?

Synopsis:
A game of chase played online and on the streets. Along with Botfighters, Can You See Me Now? is one of the first location based games. Online players compete against members of Blast Theory on the streets. Tracked by satellites, Blast Theory's runners appear online next to your player on a map of the city. On the streets, handheld computers showing the positions of online players guide the runners in tracking you down.

Notes:
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1st Produced:
b.tv festival, Sheffield    2001

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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piece

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Chemical Wedding

Synopsis:
A performance about viruses. he piece explores the conflict between viruses as a reality and virus as a metaphor in the age of HIV/AIDS. A fiercely physical piece in which performers struggle with one another, with piles of medical tomes and with the audience themselves. Throughout, two video screens regurgitate AIDS paranoia, body horror films and a hexagonal map of viral connections

Notes:
Commissioned by the ICA in London for the princely sum of 150 Chemical Wedding was devised by Matt Adams, Niki Jewett, Will Kittow and Ju Row Farr.

1st Produced:
Ferens Live Art Space, Hull    1992

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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piece

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Day Of the Figurines

Synopsis:
Day Of The Figurines is a massively multiplayer game for text messaging, set in a fictional town that is littered, dark and underpinned with steady decay. The game unfolds over a total of 24 days, each day representing an hour in the life of the town as it shifts from the mundane to the cataclysmic: the local vicar opens a summer fete, Scandinavian death metallists play a gig at the Locarno that goes horribly wrong while an Arabic speaking army appears on the High Street. How players respond to these events and to each other creates and sustains a community during the course of a single day in the town.

Notes:
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1st Produced:
National Museum of Singapore, Singapore    2006

Organisations:
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1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Day of The Figurines

Synopsis:
Day Of The Figurines is a massively multiplayer game for text messaging, set in a fictional town that is littered, dark and underpinned with steady decay. The game unfolds over a total of 24 days, each day representing an hour in the life of the town as it shifts from the mundane to the cataclysmic: the local vicar opens a summer fete, Scandinavian death metallists play a gig at the Locarno that goes horribly wrong while an Arabic speaking army appears on the High Street. How players respond to these events and to each other creates and sustains a community during the course of a single day in the town.

Notes:
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1st Produced:
National Museum of Singapore, Singapore    2006

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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piece

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Desert Rain

Synopsis:
George Michael might not agree, but I'm inclined to think that this is as much fun as you can have in a cubicle. This event, which eventually turns into a many-voiced discussion of the West's attack on Iraq, is both amusing in execution and serious in intent. Whether you can strictly define this as theatre is a moot point, but whatever this interactive virtual reality show is called, it's worth seeing. audiences at any showing are restricted to six. each person is given a character they must seek out (a 'target'), and is led into a small cubicle. there, surrounded by a puddle of water, you navigate your player from the desert to a mysterious tarmac area, and finally to the interior of a building full of maze-like tunnels and staircases. a footboard is used to move your character around, and a kind of communal spirit develops with other audience members, with whom you communicate occasionally through a headphone microphone set. all of this is done through the curtain of rain in front of you, which is a little irritating in obscuring the visual element of the show, but produces one truly eerie effect. It would, once again, be telling you too much to speak of the latter part of the show, which connects us with the reality of the Gulf war, after the media unreality of the game.
Steve Cramer, the List

Notes:
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1st Produced:
NOW 99 Festival, Nottingham    1999

Organisations:
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1st Published:
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Music:
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Genre:
Devised Piece

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Explicit Volume, An

Synopsis:
In this interactive installation, pornographic images from the Internet have made the transition back into book form. Blast Theory has made nine books and mounted them in mechanical page turners, controlled by a touch screen. Upon entering the loft in which An Explicit Volume is sited, each visitor can control how much these images are censored. What are your tastes? Where are your limits? Do these change in public?

Notes:
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1st Produced:

Organisations:
OctoberFest

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
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Fixing Point

Synopsis:
Take a walk in the woods and look for Seamus. Pick up a smartphone, put on your headphones and start to explore. As you walk you hear a stunning electronic score by Chris Clark. Find one of the metal fixing points and hear a fragment of an interview with Anne as she talks about her missing brother. Fixing Point traces the legacy of the conflict in Northern Ireland. What lies hidden and where are we silent?

Notes:
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1st Produced:
Faster Than Sound, Aldeburgh Music , Snape    28 May 2011

Organisations:
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1st Published:
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Music:
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Flypad

Synopsis:
Flypad is a site specific work for The Public Gallery in West Bromwich, using augmented reality to create a thrilling, collaborative experience that combines game play with interaction, joyful goofing about with a visceral sense of the blur between real and virtual space.

Notes:
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1st Produced:
The Public Gallery in West Bromwich    2009

Organisations:
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1st Published:
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Music:
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If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Ghostwriter

Synopsis:
Ring the number on the wall and take a personal tour through the renovated Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter. The woman who speaks to you recently broke her ankle. At least it seems to be recent. This quiet, intimate interactive journey hovers between late night radio and eavesdropping on someone else's phone call. As you wander the rooms you slide through time and space. Sometimes she describes objects you can see. At others you're in barn or on a lawn. Her final invitation brings you smartly back to the here and now: make a recording that will become part of the Museum's collection.

Notes:
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1st Produced:
Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter    2011

Organisations:
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1st Published:
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Music:
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To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
piece

Parts:
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Gilt Remake, The

Synopsis:
A theatre project made in collaboration with students at De Montfort University in 1995. The piece is based on The Big Combo, a classic film noir starring Cornel Wilde. It reworks, reorientates and regurgitates the tropes of the gangster movie, sending them up at one moment and honouring them the next. The finale is a fiercely physical piece of choreography built from fragments of gangster threat.

Notes:
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1st Produced:
Phoenix Arts, Leicester    1995

Organisations:
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1st Published:
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Music:
-

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Goody Bullet, The

Synopsis:
An SMS game for up to 400 players that lasts three hours. A group of tourists are visiting an underground government bunker in the Welsh mountains. As the climax of the tour, you get to eat dinner in the huge ballroom hewn out of the rock. Disaster strikes when the massive metal doors of the room are locked from the outside and everyone is trapped. Unrest turns to panic when a tourist falls dead at their table. Then another, and another. Work out who is doing the killing and, for god's sake, save yourself.

Notes:
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1st Produced:
V&A Late, Victoria & Albert Museum, London    2010

Organisations:
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1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
piece

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Gunmen Kill Three

Synopsis:
A promenade performance that invites an audience member to shoot at two performers. Our first work staged our obsession with killing. An event that is familiar but not known; a staple of casual drama, crime reconstructions and political horror. Gunmen Kill Three is threaded with stagings, presentations and simulations. It is arch and theatrical as it grasps for a moment of reality. Can the audience become witnesses?

Notes:
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1st Produced:
Bournemouth Polytechnic, Bournemouth    1991

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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I Like Frank

Synopsis:
Search for Frank in the world's first 3G mixed reality game. I Like Frank took place online and on the streets using 3G phones. Players in the real city chat with players in the virtual city as they search for the elusive Frank. Whether playing on the streets or logging from around the world, players build relationships, swap information and test the possibilities of a hybrid space.

Notes:
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1st Produced:
Adelaide Fringe, Adelaide    2004

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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I'd Hide You

Synopsis:
An online game of stealth, cunning and adventure. Jump onboard with a team of illuminated runners live from the streets as they roam the city trying to film each other. In I'd Hide You, see the world through the runners eyes as they stream video: ducking and diving, chatting to passersby, taking you down the back alleys to their secret hiding places. And play against your friends online at the same time. Use your wits to choose which runner to ride with. Get a snap of another runner onscreen without getting snapped and you score a point. Get snapped by someone else and you lose a life.

Notes:
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1st Produced:
FutureEverything , Manchester    2012

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Invisible Bullets

Synopsis:
A painstaking recreation of a murder lasting up to 12 hours. Invisible Bullets is an installation/performance that was first performed in Hoxton, London in July 1994 as part of the Fete Worse Than Death. Commissioned by Joshua Compston of Factual Nonsense (but never paid for) the work was performed for two days alongside Leigh Bowery's Minty and The Raincoats.

Notes:
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1st Produced:
A Fete Worse Than Death, London    1994

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
piece

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ivy4evr

Synopsis:
Ivy has left home because Lilsis has done the dirty on her and she's no longer sure who her friends are. For a week she'll tell you **everything** but can she trust you and what will you tell her?

Notes:
An interactive SMS drama commissioned by Channel 4 Education

1st Produced:
-    2010

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
SMS Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
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Karen

Synopsis:
Karen is a life coach and she s happy to help you work through a few things in your life. You interact with Karen through an app. When you begin, she asks you some questions about your outlook on the world to get an understanding of you. In fact, her questions are drawn from psychological profiling questionnaires. She and the software are profiling you and she gives you advice based on your answers. Over the next week you have calls with Karen once or twice a day. Working from home as a freelancer, it soon becomes clear that Karen is slightly chaotic with few boundaries between her personal and professional lives. She contacts you late at night from her bedroom. She overshares and in return is very nosy about you. Before long she is becoming very friendly and wants to speak often. She gets hurt if you don t call her. She s fun and funny, always cheekily pushing her friendliness into new areas. You can decide how open to be and how to handle her inquisitive nature. She s recently come out of a long term and moribund relationship. She s got the rush of adrenaline and excitement of the newly liberated. She s an explorer, voraciously consuming new experiences, new knowledge and new people during a key transition in her life. As the experience unfolds, she gets more and more curious. She seems to know things about you that she shouldn t. Is she spying on you? You experience her laser focus on you amidst the disconcerting thrill of boundaries being crossed. And, inevitably, you draw lines that she cannot cross. She becomes hurt and begins to unravel. It s your moment to act as her life coach.

Notes:
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1st Produced:
-    2015

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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piece

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Kidnap

Synopsis:
A lottery in which the winners get kidnapped. Ten finalists were chosen at random and put under surveillance. Two winners - Debra Burgess, a 27 year old Australian working as a temp and Russell Ward, a 19 year old from Southend working in a 24 hour convenience store - were snatched in broad daylight and taken to a secret location for 48 hours. The process was broadcast live onto the internet. Online visitors were able to control the video camera inside the safehouse and communicate live with the kidnappers. During the run up to Kidnap, a 45 second video Blipvert was shown at cinemas around the UK.

Notes:
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1st Produced:
Architecture Foundation , London    1998

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
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Machine to See With, A

Synopsis:
Step into a bank heist as you walk through the city. Just listen to the voice on the phone. The voice tells you what to do. The voice says you're playing the lead in a movie. Hide in the toilets, find the getaway car, stake out the bank and take a deep breath. You're going in.

Notes:
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1st Produced:
01SJ Biennial, San Jose    2010

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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My Neck of the Woods

Synopsis:
Manchester teenagers are set to tell their own real-life stories through live transmissions from the streets of the city. Part documentary, part performance, part live-stream online video experience,

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Potential Thief, The

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    -

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Rider Spoke

Synopsis:
theatre game and play exploring the emotional and intelectual resonances of the city

Notes:
New interactive piece devised by Matt Adams, Ju Row Farr And Nick Tandavanit J (Blast theory)

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
interactive piece Piece

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  1            Other:  -

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Safehouse

Synopsis:
A four room installation at Kunstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin centred on an interview with each visitor about kidnapping. Safehouse was created as part of a residency at Kunstlerhaus Bethanien and forms part of the research for Kidnap in 1998. The work uses an interview format to explore the presence that kidnapping has in the life of each visitor, whether as a concept, a political tool, a media construct or in their own experience.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin    1997

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
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Something American

Synopsis:
An American cop stands on a panoramic stage. He begins to tell of the thrill of the force and his sexual fantasies. He shows us his five favourite explosions from his five favourite movies. Blast Theory attempt to find out what it is that fascinates us about America and the Americans.

Notes:
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1st Produced:
Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster    1996

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
piece

Parts:
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Stampede

Synopsis:
A promenade piece looking at crowds and rioting. At what point are you prepared to declare yourself publicly? What would make you take to the streets? Performed in theatres and nightclubs Stampede includes excerpts from a secret police manual about riot control, Terminator and interviews with the six performers about loss of control. A system of pressure pads allow the audience to trigger recordings of different mind control techniques. A live video projection link provides surveillance of different areas of the space which, at times, is the only way to see the performance.

Notes:
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1st Produced:
The Junction, Cambridge    1993

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Thing Ill Be Doing For The Rest Of My Life

Synopsis:
In 2012 Matt Adams travelled to Sendai to interview fishermen who were involved in the Tsunami in 2011. This was a research trip for The Thing Ill Be Doing For The Rest Of My Life, a commission by the Aichi Triennale in Nagoya, Japan in 2013. We were interested in what if felt like at the moment of no return, when all that we know including the ground that we stand on and can see for miles in all directions, moves beyond control and recognition. In 2013 Ju Row Farr from Blast Theory travelled to Nagoya to make this work over three weeks. With the help of an incredible team of people and volunteers this work was made. A crowd of volunteers dragged a trawler out of the water and onto the land, dragged by ropes in the fierce heat of a Nagoya summer. The effort was enormous and the work was hard. A fisherman donated the trawler to the project from Toyohama, it used to belong to his dad and he was totally behind the whole process. He later told Ju that he is an ambassador for fishing as a way of life and goes into schools talking about his profession and how good fish is for you in your diet.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Aichi Triennale in Nagoya, Japan    2013

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Too Much Information

Synopsis:
Take a walk through the streets of Manchester and reveal secrets of young and older people. Using a smart phone, discover frank and funny conversations between two groups of people at very different stages of their lives: young adults and over 60s. Too Much Information explores our expectations of young and old people. It looks at what we can enjoy and learn from each other from different points in our lives. These shared revelations are set to specially commissioned score by Martyn Ware of The Human League and Heaven 17 fame.

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Trucold

Synopsis:
A video work shot at night on the streets of London and - during a heavy fog - in Karlsruhe in Germany. Lengthy shots with a fixed camera unveil the passage of time on the landscape. The work comes out of our interest in physical displacement, amnesia and time travel. It ties directly into other projects 10 Backwards and Can You See Me Now?, focusing in on the city at night and the gaps between what is real and what is fictional. The group are interested in the power of the viewer or participant to fictionalise their surroundings and to experience things which are not really there.

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1st Produced:
Palestine International Video Festival, Anadiel Gallery and Birzeit University, Jerusalem    2002

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Ulrike and Eamon Compliant

Synopsis:
Adopt the role of a terrorist as you walk through the city en route to an interrogation in a hidden room. Commissioned by the De La Warr Pavilion for the Venice Biennale Ulrike And Eamon Compliant places each participant at the centre of a world of bank robbings, assassinations and betrayals. Assume the role of Ulrike or Eamon and make a walk through the city while receiving phone calls. The project is based on real world events and is an explicit engagement with political questions. What are our obligations to act on our political beliefs? And what are the consequences of taking those actions?

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1st Produced:
53rd Venice Biennale , De La Warr Pavilion , Palazzo Zenobio, Venice    2009

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Ultrapure

Synopsis:
Young people chew up America and spit it out. Performed at The Royal Court in 1996 as a part of Barclays New Stages, Ultrapure is a collaboration between Blast Theory, the Royal Court Young Peoples Theatre, Youth Cable TV and the North Kensington Video and Drama Project. The young people from these groups ask : what is it about America and the Americans that we are so in love with? Is it a yearning for their enthusiasm and ambition, or are we merely hypnotised by a vacuous image machine?

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Uncle Roy All Around You

Synopsis:
A game in which online and street players collaborate to find Uncle Roy before being invited to make a commitment to a stranger. Players explore a mixed reality city and collaborate to find Uncle Roy's office before being invited to make a year long commitment to a total stranger.

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1st Produced:
ICA, London >>>    2003

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You Get Me

Synopsis:
You Get Me is a documentary game about understanding, mediation and place. It connects two sites that although they are only five miles apart geographically are separated by a much larger cultural gulf. Following in the tradition of previous game projects such as Uncle Roy All Around You and Day Of The Figurines, You Get Me uses a game structure and then stretches it and extends it. It explores whether a game can be a conversation and whether technology bridges or reinforces social divides. Online players  all using terminals at the Royal Opera House  choose one of eight young people in Mile End Park and develop a conversation with them.

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1st Produced:
Deloitte Ignite Festival, Royal Opera House, London    2008

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