Digital recreations mark Festival Theatre anniversary
Friday, 10 June 2022
visionary-stages-at-chichester-festival-theatre-sir-derek-jacobi--daniel-evansVisionary Stages will be streamed online from Sunday, 3 July
UK - Digital Stages, five dynamic digital events celebrating Chichester Festival Theatre (CFT) across the decades, will be released over CFT’s birthday week in July for audiences across the globe. The events range from VR tours and online performances to a new virtual game created by CFT’s community companies for adults with learning disabilities.
In Visionary Stages, actors Sir Derek Jacobi and John Simm, author and playwright Kate Mosse and designer Joanna Scotcher join CFT artistic director Daniel Evans and the artistic director of the Stratford Festival Theatre in Ontario Antoni Cimolino, for a virtual meet-up using modern technology to recreate Chichester’s 1962 stage.
During lockdown, the Festival Theatre auditorium was scanned by the specialist company Preevue with LiDAR technology, enabling them to recreate the 1962 stage using plans, photographs and archive records of the furniture and fittings. The event was filmed by technical solutions specialist White Light, using award-winning SmartStage.
For the first time, this technology enabled a historical design to be brought back to life - by placing real, precise scans of the physical theatre into an immersive video environment. The solution also allowed for Antoni Cimolino to be virtually ‘teleported’ from Ontario to join Daniel Evans on the SmartStage for the discussion. Visionary Stages will be streamed online from Sunday 3 July at 3pm and available on demand thereafter.
The Backstage Virtual Tour is available from 5 July. An immersive VR backstage tour, it allows audiences to encounter actors as they prepare to go on stage and see the inner workings of the Theatre in virtual reality.
Anyone who fancies themselves as the next Laurence Olivier has the chance to take part in a mammoth online performance of a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
A digital diorama sharing memories and anecdotes attached to 60 pieces from CFT’s archive will be on virtual display. Model boxes, props, costumes, set designs, footage, programmes, artwork, time-lapses, interviews and sound bites will tell the story of the Theatre through the last six decades, including Gerald Scarfe’s rhino costume for Born Again; Ralph Koltai’s model box for The Tempest; the Arctic sledge from Terra Nova; and the lamp post from Singin’ in the Rain.

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