The world premiere of Unchain Me, a major new site-specific Brighton Festival commission from the critically acclaimed dreamthinkspeak, directed by the company’s Artistic Director, Tristan Sharps, will now extend until 12 June 2022, after selling out due to phenomenal demand when the festival launched earlier this month.
This thought-provoking multi-media performance, taking place at venues across the city centre, is inspired by Dostoevsky’s novel The Possessed, in which a provincial town descends into chaos as it becomes the focal point of an attempted uprising orchestrated by a shadowy conspirator.
Audiences will be invited to join a secret cell of activists. The cell is formed of a disparate group of outsiders, all united by their idealism and hunger for a fairer society. Using a specially designed app with headphones, audiences will be able to interact with the performance, whilst also triggering film and audio sequences.
The action will take place across a range of locations in and around the Brighton Dome and the Royal Pavilion Estate, including the surrounding streets and lanes, permeating the daily workings of the city-centre without the knowledge of the wider public. There will be multiple access points and pathways through these locations, slipping between busy public areas and previously unknown passageways that interlink the buildings of the estate.
Tristan Sharps, Artistic Director, dreamthinkspeak, said
“Creating a new project in Brighton has always felt like pressing a reset button for me. All of the projects we have previously created for the Festival have felt different to each other. With Unchain Me, we wanted to find a more sustainable relationship with the environments we inhabit. Instead of taking over and transforming locations, we wanted to move towards inhabiting buildings exactly as they are, as if we are infiltrating them, with minimal set and installation work.
We’ve been skirting around this project since 2009, when we originally planned to create it for three different UK cities simultaneously. Coming to this piece now, it has inevitably absorbed the social media dominated world we currently live in, with its messy mix of conspiracy theories and fake news, coupled with a deep and escalating desire amongst many people for a more fundamental change to our world.”
The production will feature 16 predominantly Brighton-based performers who are Abigail Lythgoe, Antonia Draper, Azaan Symes, Claudia Barba, Georgina Tack, Ian Howarth, John Black, Karl Kennedy-Williams, Lucas August, Marie-Helene Boyd, Oliver Menzies, Rachel Heaton, Rafei Barakat, Rob Horrocks, Tatenda Madamombe and Tommaso Giacomin.
They will be supported by a large pool of local freelancers, including creative and technical teams and a wide variety of personnel from local venues and businesses.
The core creative team includes Tristan Sharps (Conception and direction), Erin Guan and Qianer Jin (Associate Set and Costume Design), Enrico Aurigamma (Sound Design), Umut Gunduz (Video), with app development by Marmelo and Joipoloi.