In 2010 at her home in Bristol, writer/director Hazel Grian was brutally attacked by an intruder and left for dead while the house burned. She immediately began to tell her story, an instinct which she believes contributed greatly to her recovery. In 2017 she started work on We Sing In Fire And Blood, an ‘opera’ in VR.
Designed to be uplifting and positive and to be experienced in groups, the audience sit around a virtual campfire and encounter a cast of police officers, nurses, neighbours and friends who sing about their part in solving a horrific crime and caring for the survivor.
A long-time studio resident and former actor Hazel talks about her response as a storyteller, how she has returned to the actual people involved in her case, interviewing them and using their words as inspiration for her lyrics.
Hazel has been working with composers Duncan Speakman and Sarah Anderson, VR production company All Seeing Eye and creative producer Isla Badenoch as well as singers and actors. She talks about the learning process the team has experienced in attempting to create something beautiful from the horror of the event.
Having recently premiered the current version of the project, a highly-praised 25-minute 360 film, Hazel discusses her plans for the project’s future and questions whether VR is ultimately the right medium for this expansive musical narrative.