Okay so we are excited to announce that we will be bringing Boho’s Best Festival Ever: How To Manage A Disaster to Canberra this August.

We’ll be at the Street Theatre for two weeks over 12 – 22 August.

This will be the first Boho show in Canberra since Word Play in 2013, and the first presentation of Best Festival Ever in Australia. After premiering the show last year with seasons at the Battersea Arts Centre, the London Science Museum and the Stockholm Resilience Centre, we’re really stoked to be bringing this one home.

Best Festival Ever: How To Manage A Disaster places the audience in charge of programming and managing their very own music festival.

Seated around a table, participants take charge of designing, constructing and managing their festival from beginning to end. From taking care of rowdy campsite parties to assembling the perfect lineup of bands, from dealing with artist tantrums to preventing fights in the moshpit, the audience experience every part of the festival manager’s ride.

Part theatre show, part performance lecture and part boardgame, Best Festival Ever introduces participants to concepts from Systems Science and asks how we can best understand and manage the complex systems we live in.

Each of the Canberra shows will feature a conversation with a guest scientist talking about the ideas in the work, including Dr Will Steffen (Climate Council), Dr Bob Costanza (ANU) and Dr Nicky Grigg (CSIRO).

Following the conclusion of Big Day Out, Harvest, Future Music, Stereosonic, the Great Escape and Parklife Festivals, this might be your last chance to experience a music festival in Australia: jump on board.

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David here with a final wrap-up note at the end of the first Best Festival Ever season. After 17 shows in 9 venues in London and Stockholm, we’ve finished the show’s first tour and returned to Australia for a break – as well as to plan and prepare for the project’s next phase.

Over November, we presented the show at venues including the Battersea Arts Centre, the London Science Museum, Central St Martins, Kings College London, Forum for the Future, Zone Creative Agency, Färgfabriken, Miljöverkstan and the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

We shared the work with theatre audiences, scientists, high school students, sustainable development post-grads, researchers, festival-makers, urban planners, museum staff and corporate groups.

Fereday Films produced a great video of the show in action, which you can check out here:

Perhaps the most satisfying part of the work for me was the discussions with the audience we held after the show. For our Science Museum season, scientists Yvonne Rydin, James Millington, Chris Brierley and Emily Lines presented short talks after the shows, discussing their own work in relation to the systems science ideas in Best Festival Ever. The conversations about sustainability, planning, climate change and complex systems were incredibly rewarding to listen to.

That’s it for Best Festival Ever in 2014. In 2015 we’ll be looking at further tours for the show both within Australia and overseas. We’re also seeking to begin partnerships with other organisations to develop new interactive tabletop works looking at specific systems.

If you’re interested in knowing more, or if you’d like to chat about a possible collaboration, please drop us a line. And thanks to everyone who contributed their support to make this project happen – we’re hugely grateful!

Cheers from David, David, Nikki, Nathan and Rachel!

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David here – another quick update from the Best Festival Ever rehearsal room.

Exciting times this week – six weeks into this development, we’re about to begin our first public season. We arrived at the Battersea Arts Centre today and began setting up for our short scratch season, starting this Thursday 30th. After six big weeks, we finally get to share the results of our work.

It’s been a busy month. David, Nathan, Rachel, Nikki and myself have been devising and rehearsing full-time at the London Science Museum, working on bringing together the climate and systems science concepts behind this show with the story and game elements.

We took a brief excursion to Germany for International Spieltage, the world’s biggest boardgame convention, worked extensively with our extraordinary designer Gary Campbell on the tactile set and game elements, and held several playtests with Science Museum staff and friends.

You can see more videos on our Vimeo channel. These scratches were aimed at helping us calibrate and test the games in the show, and to be sure that they’ve effectively captured the science concepts they draw on.

Starting this week, we’re embarking on a busy month of shows. Following our week at Battersea Arts Centre, we’ll be presenting a public season at the Science Museum’s Dana Centre, a week at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and a series of one-off performances for organisations such as Kings College London and Forum for the Future.

One of our key aims for this project is to communicate ideas around Systems and Resilience Thinking to a broad range of groups, so we’re pleased to be sharing the work with theatre audiences, science audiences, high school students, post-graduates, social innovation organisations and corporate groups, all in the next month.

Public show dates are as follows – you can book through the websites below.

Battersea Arts Centre
7pm Thursday 30 Oct
7pm Friday 31 Oct
7pm Saturday 1 Nov

Science Museum Dana Centre
7pm Tuesday 11 Nov
7pm Monday 17 Nov
7pm Tuesday 18 Nov
7pm Wednesday 19 Nov

Hope to see you there!

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David here, with an update from the final phase of Best Festival Ever: How To Manage A Disaster.

David, Nikki, Nathan, Rachel and myself are two weeks in to our development / rehearsal process at the London Science Museum’s Dana Centre, completing the last stage of the show’s development before our public UK / Sweden seasons in November. We’re working with Tassos Stevens from UK company Coney as our outside eye, and designer Gary Campbell is constructing our interactive tabletop set.

We’ve spent the first fortnight closely re-examining the science behind the show – returning to our research into complex systems and how they behave. Our show features a simple model of a music festival, intended to be illustrative rather than comprehensive, but it’s important that it clearly demonstrates the systems properties we’re interested in: interconnectivity, feedback loops, tipping points, phase transitions and resilience, to name a few. Over the last two weeks we’ve re-worked our model of how a music festival exists within, and impacts on, the countryside and community it takes place on.

Now we’re satisfied that the science underpinning the work is all there, we can move on to refining the games and the stories that we use to illustrate these ideas – the story of the music festival that the audience are managing. Last Friday we hit our first major milestone, a playtest of three of our newer interactive games. The results were really promising – some great conversations about Tragedy of the Commons situations in between games about laying down pathways to connect the festival site and assigning electricity from the generators.

We have three more weeks of development and playtests before our first scratch season at the Battersea Arts Centre at the end of October. We kick off our public season proper at the Dana Centre on 11 November, followed by a week-long tour to the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

If you’d like to track our progress, we’ve been keeping a detailed project blog about the process of making the work at modellingplay.wordpress.com

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David here. There’s a flurry of excitement in the Boho camp this week, because we’re about to get on the plane and head over to the UK for the next three months.

As some of you may know, Boho was in residence at the University College London Environment Institute in 2012, developing our systems science tabletop board-game / theatre show Best Festival Ever: How To Manage A Disaster. The show was created in partnership with a lot of great UK artists and organisations, so it’s a huge pleasure to announce that we’re launching the first full production of Best Festival Ever this November at the London Science Museum.

There’s some background on the Best Festival Ever project here if you’d like to know more about the show.

Image by Andrew Galan

David Finnigan and David Shaw from Boho will once again be joined by Nathan Harrison, Nikki Kennedy and Rachel Roberts from Applespiel, and we’ll be working with UK theatre artists including Tassos Stevens (Coney) and designer Gary Campbell.

We’ll be in residence at the Science Museum from mid-September until the end of November, refining and rehearsing the finished show. Public performances will kick off with a short scratch season at the Battersea Arts Centre at the end of October, followed by a two week season at the Science Museum’s Dana Centre from 10-24 November. We’ll be presenting a series of evening performances at the Centre alongside short talks by climate scientists in response to the work.

Finally, we’ll be taking off to Sweden at the end of November for a week-long tour to the Stockholm Resilience Centre. We’ll be sharing our take on Systems and Resilience Thinking back to some of the scientists who first formulated these ideas, and whose work we’ve been drawing on over the last three years – as you can imagine, we’re excited and also fairly intimidated!

We’ll be keeping track of our progress on this blog, so please keep an eye out if you’re interested.

If you’d like to chat with us about Best Festival Ever, please get in touch! If you’re interested in our presenting the show at your venue or workplace, if you’d like us to create a new game around a system of your choosing, or even if you’re just curious, we’d love to hear from you.

DATES

30 Oct – 1 Nov – Battersea Arts Centre scratch season

10 – 24 Nov – London Science Museum season

25 – 29 Nov – Stockholm Resilience Centre season

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