THANK YOU TO ALL MY VOYEURS
17/02/2023 - 12/03/2023
Tempest Theatre Co
Thank You To All My Voyeurs is a digital immersive work, available from hadaroughnight.com on Friday 17 February until the end of Fringe. Audience is encouraged to interact with the show if they choose.
This show is an exploration. It’s a game, it’s a guided tour. It’s someone else’s life.
Follow characters on their social media pages. Talk to them, make friends with them, stalk their feeds, learn about their worlds.
On the 3rd of March, a party will happen that will change their lives.
Will you be there?
Nominated for Best Digital Show – Brighton Fringe 2022
Content forecast: 16+, Heavy Coarse Language, Alcohol Use, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assult, Sexual Abuse, Mental Illness, Misogyny, Homophic Language
AVAILABLE TO VIEW ON DEMAND
Digital presentation , Theatre ,
With the level of interplay between the characters in real time, it vaguely resembles a hyper realistic video game
Review by Lox Dixon 16th Mar 2023
Theatre? Radio show? TV Drama? Digital experience? Yes.
What is a story? Where is the line between the internet and the real world? What is the difference between a performance and being performative?
All these questions are posed in Emma Maguire’s Thank You To All My Voyeurs, an experimental piece of digital theatre that invites the audience into the worlds of its characters via a series of interacting Twitter and Tumblr profiles.
The experience begins on a website that acts as a portal. The site offers content disclaimers, briefly describes the concept, then presents you with links to characters profiles and encourages you to interact with them via social media.
I start my experience with Declan’s Twitter account. Declan (Hamish Boyle) is a self-loathing 28-year-old public servant who wishes he wasn’t. His real love is film. He’s burnt out and cynical. Throughout the month of February he tweets about: the weather, hating his job and films. On February 28th he tweets a mysterious voice message with a friend hinting at some drama with Saz via a mysterious app called Noiscrete, so I head over to her profile to find out what’s going on.
Saz (Emma Maguire) blogs her deep dark secrets for all the world to see on tumblr. She has body image issues, a slightly repressed background, and is naïve in the young adult world of sex and parties she lives in. Throughout the month of February Saz posts a few trivial things and then towards the end of the month something big has happened. We get a traumatic story told through a series of voicemails between friends, and a therapy service Saz has called.
I decide to stick with Saz and it is when these voicemails hit that I begin to feel like the voyeur that the title has suggested. Hearing the voices of the characters brings a realness to the story and when reading through tweets and blog posts I feel like I am reading a quirkily laid out novel. I now feel uncomfortably intrusive. I am hearing things from people’s lives that feel personal and like they should never have been broadcast to the world.
The rest of the characters I explore play out in much the same way: different perspectives centred around an event told through a series of voice messages I feel like I shouldn’t have access to; blog posts and tweets that feel like they should never have been published.
The ‘show’ does a good job of presenting the characters as real people and turning its ‘viewers’ into the titular voyeurs. The voice performances are strong and the script is emotional without becoming trite or overengineered.
The concept of this piece is strong and unlike anything I’ve interacted with before. It is part interactive theatre show, part radio play, part tv drama and, with the level of interplay between the characters in real time, it vaguely resembles a hyper realistic video game.
Acknowledging the high workload of running an experience like this and not charging for it, I truly hope Maguire keeps developing this piece. I would love to see this on a professional budget with a paid cast and a big marketing campaign. If every actor could run their character for the month, in-person sessions could be introduced at different locations, further platforms like TikTok could be explored, and this show could blur the lines between performance and reality even further. I have it on good authority that Maguire will be running a similar experience for the Brighton Fringe Festival (UK) in May, so make sure you tune in for that.
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