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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