As a completely personalised experience of storytelling from your own home, Ben Samuels and Gaël Le Cornec from the Limbik Theatre team have created a new online theatrical event named All the Water in the World, exploring the climate crisis in conversation with a character called Giselle.
Ben and Gaël kindly tell us more about this, so read on to find out the features that make it unlike anything else, and how the project will progress in the future.
What does the show entail, and how did the concept come about?
All the Water in the World is a warm, quirky, one-to-one performance on WhatsApp, which is experienced from the audience member's own home via a mobile phone.
It’s about a young woman from the Amazon who migrated to London after the nature reserve she lived in was struck by an environmental disaster. The exchange with the audience helps her to put the pieces of her memory together. The final result is a story co-created between her and the audience.
The show uses a combination of live calls, messaging, and 3D spatial audio, and invites you to listen and connect to a total stranger in a (perhaps) unusual way. In the end, as it’s one-to-one, it becomes a co-creation between the performer and the audience.
All the Water in the World will be performed at various dates and times-slots this Spring. It is hosted by The Lowry, Norwich Theatre, and Attenborough Arts Centre, but can be experienced anywhere in the world.
The idea emerged during lockdown. We were interested in using immersive sound to tell a story that placed the listener at the centre of the story.
How does it use technology to its full potential, particularly with people being able to take part from anywhere in the world?
The show uses WhatsApp. It’s a fairly ubiquitous messaging app used by people all around the world. We recognised one of the primary ways that people use WhatsApp - to stay in touch with friends and family - was useful device for exploring all the things that connect us around the world.
How does the event account for different responses from participants, when each session is unique?
The show very much follows a script, but that script has been written to accommodate the variety of responses each individual might bring to the show.
What challenges have you had to overcome to make this experience a success?
Making it accessible to those who don’t have WhatsApp. We take it for granted but it’s an app used mainly by 20 to 55 years old. We also have to quickly adapt to the participant’s needs and sometimes be ready to go off script and back again.
There was also a dramaturgical challenge, we’ve never written a piece for WhatsApp before! It’s not theatre nor film… we realised it should be interactive, responsive, and personal, and somehow place the audience inside the story.
How is the immersive and personal piece enticing, and with growing interest, how do you anticipate expanding the experience going forward?
We are planning to perhaps transform it into an immersive experience that people can experience in a venue, instead of at home. The idea is to recreate an intimate and comfy location that feels like “home” for the audience to experience All the Water in-person, using not just sound but immersive projection. We may even deconstruct parts of the piece and externalise them with some visual materials!
Who would enjoy taking part in this project and why?
Anyone with an interest in environmental issues, the Amazon region, digital technology, different forms of storytelling and…. And how to use everyday technology to make art!
This is a totally fascinating project- thanks so much to Ben and Gaël from Limbik Theatre for telling us more about it- best wishes, and I look forward to hearing about how its successes develop!
Get your ticket to the experience here: