Creative partnership explores the future of live entertainment through Motion Capture

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The New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth has joined forces with The Old Market in Brighton and the University of Portsmouth to explore the future of live entertainment.

A first of its kind, this partnership will allow artists to combine new and old entertainment to tell stories using multimedia technologies and discover how the digital age will change the way we consume stories.

James Turnbull from The Old Market said: “As technology advances at an ever-increasing rate, we are keen to explore what the future of live entertainment will be in the coming years. Our partnership with New Theatre Royal and the excellent team at the University of Portsmouth enables us to bring some of the UK’s leading artists to play and explore.”

This unique new venture will see two dynamic theatre companies take part in a weeklong residency from 11-15 September to explore the creative implications of real-time Motion Capture technology.

Laura Doye, Artistic Director at New Theatre Royal, said: “This project marks the start of our Creative Technology Gateway, an exciting artistic vision that will bring artists and technologists together to find a common language for future theatre makers. We are so pleased to working in partnership to realise this vision and to open opportunities for artists to learn and develop skills.”

Following an open artist call, Limbik Theatre and Spymonkey were chosen to participate in the residency. The successful theatre companies’ innovative approach to performing arts reflects the project’s aspiring vision to challenge the future of theatre.

The residency will allow the professional artists to undertake five days of research and development in the Motion Capture Suite at the University of Portsmouth as well as a space to rehearse at New Theatre Royal.

Known as the home of groundbreaking technological progression, the School of Creative Technologies at the University of Portsmouth will provide a team of technologists and digital artists to help the performers realize their ideas. Alex Counsell, Mo-Cap expert and Lecturer at University of Portsmouth, said that he was excited to be merging the technical capabilities of motion-capture and virtual reality with the creativity of the theatre.

“This work is totally experimental and will open up a whole new level of immersion. We’re doing real-time motion capture so we are creating things and seeing them happen immediately. We’re starting something new and unique and I can’t wait to see where we are by the end of the week.”

The aim of this creative project is to engage with the technology without the stress of production cycles, this work could involve anything from animating non-humanoid characters to exploring the relationship between a live actor and one performing through an avatar.