enter wonder.land – a free digital installation inspired by the new National Theatre musical by Damon Albarn and Moira Buffini
2 December – 30 April, open daily from 12pm Wolfson Gallery, National Theatre
enter wonder.land, a free digital exhibition opening on 2 December at the National Theatre, features specially-created immersive experiences inspired by wonder.land, the National Theatre’s new musical created by Damon Albarn, Moira Buffini and Rufus Norris. wonder.land is a coming-of-age adventure inspired by Lewis Carroll’s iconic story that explores the blurred boundaries between our online and offline lives.
enter wonder.land sees the world of the stage show spill over into the National’s exhibition space with custom-built set pieces and complements the production through a creative use of technologies: Oculus Rift, Kinect, 3D modelling, Google Cardboard and Augmented Reality face-tracking.
The installation features a virtual reality music video, fabulous wonder.land, a first of its kind collaboration between the National Theatre, 59 Productions and Play Nicely with Mahdi Yayha and Room One as Production Partner. fabulous wonder.land is experienced through Oculus Rift and allows you to fall down the rabbit hole and land in wonder.land – a vibrant world with a unique soundscape. As the full multicolour brilliance of wonder.land is revealed, the Cheshire Cat, hovers above, serenading you to fabulous, an original composition by Damon Albarn with lyrics by Moira Buffini.
The installation also includes a Mad Hatter’s interactive sound installation created in partnership with Mogees; a Kinect experience allowing audiences to walk in wonder.land; an Augmented Reality face-tracking magic mirror wall; a wonder.land character avatar builder where audiences can create their own avatars and share on social media; and a takeaway Google Cardboard VR experience for iOS and Android.
The NT’s digital development department worked closely with the show’s creative and production teams to create the installation including wonder.land set designer Rae Smith and associate set designer Tom Paris,
The Production Partner for enter wonder.land is Mahdi Yahya, Managing Director of Room One.
Play Nicely is a Bristol based creative technology studio, delivering cutting edge digital experiences for the arts, culture and entertainment sectors.
59 Productions, led by Creative Directors Leo Warner, Mark Grimmer, Lysander Ashton, Richard Slaney and Ben Pearcy, is one of the world’s leading companies specialising in design for stage and live events, combining technology and art to tell amazing stories. Since 2006, this multi-award winning company of artists has mounted more than 120 productions across the world at venues including the National Theatre, Royal Court, Young Vic, ROH, ENO, New York’s Metropolitan Opera as well as at theatre festivals in Salzburg, Berlin and Avignon. Recent credits include the video design of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the record-breaking David Bowie is exhibition, the Tony Award-winning production of An American in Paris currently running on Broadway, and the opening event of the 2015 Edinburgh International Festival, The Harmonium Project.
Room One is a group of companies spanning art, theatre, film, music, media, and TV. It partners with artistic organisations to encourage the adoption of ground breaking new technologies, such as virtual reality.
Mahdi Yahya, Managing Director of Room One, says: “I’m delighted to support the National Theatre as a Production Partner for this ground-breaking installation. The National Theatre is well known and respected around the world for its pioneering work in the arts, and enter wonder.land is a perfect example of how technology and the theatre can create outstanding work together.
“The enter wonder.land team contains some of the foremost creative VR experts in the world and they show just what can be achieved using cutting-edge technologies. I passionately believe that new technologies like VR need to be opened up so that everyone can experience and engage with immersive pieces of work. Partnering with companies like Room One can help arts organisations introduce VR to new audiences and I know that the exhibition will be a resounding success.”