Escape from Fort Lagoon R&D
Escape from Fort Lagoon is an immersive theatre game. Submersion Productions and Wake The Beast did some Research & Development with us, aiming to bring the production to Fenland and Forest Heath.
Mildenhall, Chatteris, Brandon, March & Whittlesey
Escape from Fort Lagoon is an immersive ‘theatre game’ created by Wake the Beast (Adam McGuigan) and Submersion Productions (Jude Jagger). We have been an active partner in their Research & Development work since 2019. We’ve been lucky to have a group of local community members who have formed a ‘Creative Collective’ that has provided a springboard for feedback on ideas and the concept of the theatre production.
Escape from Fort Lagoon is set in the future where water is a precious commodity and is controlled by an oppressive government who restrict access to the water to the elite (a theme that surely resonates with many right now in the rollout of the pandemic).
Once the Covid19 conditions allowed, Adam and Jude invited the Collective to do some location scouting in their home towns and further afield. Towns with a nearby body of water being the main practical consideration for this piece.
The Collective members came up with different locations and devised their own maps, highlighting interesting features of their area. With local knowledge they fed ideas into many of the creative elements that will end up in the final show.
These included news reports, set design, crowd interactions and environmental issues that are highlighted within the theatre piece.
The Fort Lagoon team visited the region to gain an understanding of our area and the challenges that exist in putting on a large scale theatre event. During the few days spent in Chatteris, March, Brandon and Mildenhall, the team got to test out the mobile phone app that will act as a device for audience members to navigate the game.
They also went for a spot of wild swimming and tested the new choral parts with the Cant Sing Choir in March. Having that time to test out elements of the show was extremely valuable and having the time to explore the spaces meant that the piece can be influenced by the landscape and the people in those areas.
The team got a lot of inspiration from the décor at Johnsons of Old Hurst Tropical House near Chatteris, (marred only slightly by Jude dropping her phone into the crocodile enclosure). Residents of Mildenhall were calling out supportive comments as the gang tested swimming in their local river and Brandon’s Market Square was buzzing with activity. Many people chatting in the square wanted to know more about the project and how they could get involved.
Submersion Productions now plan to secure funding to present the piece in summer 2023 in the area and all our fingers are crossed and watch this space!
Take a look at the Flickr gallery of the location visits here.
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