Other Mothers Launches on 18 November.
Splash & Ripple and WeRebel have announced the launch of an innovative new podcast that offers audiences an opportunity to take part in immersive theatre, in their own home. This Experiential Podcast entitled ‘Play Inside’, is a series of ‘experience at home’ performances where audiences physically move around their home, mimicking the journey of the character they are listening to.
Arts Council England Funded, Play Inside’s first piece of work, which launches on the 18th November, will be ‘Other Mothers’ which comprises of four stories, written by performance artist, writer and director, and World Slam Poetry Champion Kat Francois, alongside international poet, performer, and facilitator Deanna Rodger, Michelle Roche of WeRebel – a mixed POC artist and Rosie Poebright of Splash & Ripple. Play Inside : Other Mothers’ entire crew (actors/writers/sound design/directors) is made up of a diverse team of POC and/or Queer women and minority gendered people and has been developed to foreground transgender, nonbinary, ethnic minority, LGBTQI+, disabled, and other marginalized groups. The ‘Experiential Podcast’ is devised to give voice to, and deepen compassion for underrepresented communities, Play Inside explores ‘experimental audio theatre’ as a tool for social change.
‘Other Mothers’ invites audiences into the storyteller’s world, through a 45-minute podcast. It looks at multiple, complex perspectives on motherhood, informed by the writers personal and community experiences. Audiences are invited to inhabit the world of four women and minority genders, each with a different perspective; from, pregnancy, to choice, to IVF and caring for a sick parent at the end of their life.
Created during lockdown, Play Inside’s format is a powerful response to the current limitations faced by theatre-makers in that it takes a Covid-necessitated fresh approach to realise new ways of experiencing immersive performance.
This non-screen audio drama is created so that it can unfold inside its audience’s minds, their homes becoming the stage. From lying in bed to standing by the sink, turning on the tap to feel water on their hands, these seemingly innocuous actions, become a vital part of getting a glimpse into the world voiced by the storyteller. Through careful direction, delicately woven with powerful heartfelt, and deeply personal stories, audiences are guided through the experiential process of reimagining their home through different lenses and sensory embodiment. By allowing audiences to move around their home with the characters, and to see what they see and do what they do, this deceptively powerful technique creates a potent and unusual way to experience performance – which allows audiences to connect with the narrative and become part of the story in a way that is currently not possible in a traditional setting.
By adapting the storytelling process, Play Inside invites audiences to step beyond the threshold of a radio play, and to immerse themselves in the world of the storyteller, powered in tandem by the storyteller and the audience member’s imagination.
Collaborators, Splash & Ripple and WeRebel have developed this simple yet powerful form of ‘play-story’ borne of a combined 20 years making interactive theatre and digital installations for arts and heritage audiences
“We wanted to break away from the normal types of story we all consume quite passively, which tend to be commissioned, written and directed by cis straight white men, and develop a form that invites the audience to develop compassion for the character through directing their own movement throughout the story.” Rosie Poebright – Splash and Ripple
“These stories are created by women and gender minorities telling their own stories from POC and Queer perspectives – coming from our own and community experiences. The story content is personal and in the telling of it, it becomes visceral” Michelle Roche – WeRebel
Play Inside will stream over a wide range of mediums, delivered via various social media and other streaming channels including Soundcloud, Instagram TV, Facebook and TikTok to reach as wide an audience as possible. The podcasts will be free to download but will ask for a donation for those who can afford to do so. Audiences can go to www.splashandripple.com/play-inside now and sign up for the newsletter for details of how to listen after the release (18th November).
Play Inside – ‘Other Mothers’ Is the first project of many. Future plans will include creating a sustainable model of storytelling that can be placed into a variety of post-Covid settings – serving more of the community in the transition of ‘returning to normal’ allowing for these creative projects, designed to have clear community and cultural impact to continue beyond this crisis.