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Soho: Give Me Back My Broken Night
Duncan Speakman, Uninvited Guests and audience members talk about the outcomes of their performance walk through Soho, London with a networked projected map that draws before your eyes in response to your ideas for the future of Soho. Film by Geoff Taylor - www.wideeyed.co.uk.
Most people are familiar with the concept of a historic walk – a guide will usually accompany a group of people on a tour of significant historic landmarks, and also provide information about how the landscape has changed. Our imagination is piqued by curiosity about lost buildings, structures and landmarks, and we try to formulate a picture of things that no longer exist. Many of us will have been on this type of walk, but not many of us will have taken a guided tour of the future…
In 2010 Duncan Speakman and Uninvited Guests were commissioned by Theatre Sandbox 2010 to develop Give Me Back My Broken Night; a guided tour of the possible futures of Soho. Each audience member was given a lightweight digital projector and a piece of paper. The device would project a map onto pieces of paper as the audience were taken on a tour of Soho, guided by performers known as ‘ghosts of the future’. Members of the audience would describe what they imagined Soho to look like in years to come, and right before their eyes their visions would appear on the map. As the audience followed the performers, the map would re-draw itself in real-time. At the end of the tour, audience members would meet and view each other’s maps, which were then assembled to present a big picture of the collectively determined future.
Uninvited Guests are a theatre company that formed in Bristol in 1998. The combine performance with installation and digital media. Uninvited Guests’ work has toured nationally and internationally, showing in the UK, China, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Slovenia, Austria and Australia. Some of their projects include; Society of Friends (Tate Britain 2010), Love Letters Straight From Your Heart (toured nationally) and It Is Like It Ought To Be: A Pastoral (2006-8). 28 UK dates, 1-week run at BAC & 8 days at The Pleasance, Edinburgh Fringe.
Duncan Speakman is an artist based in Bristol, UK. Currently in residence at the Pervasive Media Studio, also associate artist at the Arnolfini and part-time senior lecturer in media practice at University of West of England. Duncan often works with mobile and audio technology to physically and emotionally engage audiences in public spaces. Some of his previous work includes; Parallel Hammersmith (2010), a mass participation soundwalk created with Lyric Young company, As if it were the last time (2009), a mass participation soundwalk (subtlemob) which toured internationally, and What we have done, a soundwalk for two people commissioned by Soho Theatre.
Soho Theatre is a theatre London, which presents new works of theatre together with stand-up comedy, cabaret, and performance programmes. The theatre provides support to new writers in their Writers' Centre, which is aimed at developing writers to work in theatre as well as film, TV and radio.