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, andĀ 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!

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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