24 May 2017
Masquerade introduces immersive theatre at M Space during a one week intensive course led by Vikesh Godhwani from 10th July - 15th July 2017.
This course aims to give a comprehensive introduction to immersive theatre practices. Although hard to define, immersive theatre often involves audiences actively participating within performances through complete immersion into different worlds, promenade theatre and/or the use of interactive games, blurring the lines between the role of the performer and the spectator. Immersive theatre ranges from Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More in New York, to Les Enfants Terribles’ Alice’s Adventures Underground in London, to the ever-growing trend of Escape Rooms that has even taken Malta by storm. The course will explore how to involve audiences through different techniques and will use games as the primary method of devising. This one week intensive course would be practical in nature, as by the end of it, students would have created a piece to share with friends and family that would utilise five of the spaces within M Space. However, it will also provide for wider knowledge on the subject as students will be given additional reading material and information on immersive theatre that covers different examples of the style.
What is Immersive Theatre?
In immersive theatre, the audience are not merely passive bystanders. They are part of the story, however small their role may be, and they are in the middle of the action. In an immersive theatre production, the audience in some way plays a role, whether that is the role of witness or the role of an actual character.
Vikesh Godhwani first started his training at Masquerade, receiving his ATCL Diploma in Speech and Drama in 2012. Apart from teaching at Masquerade and being in charge of the Junior Company, Vikesh was also part of Teatru Manoel Youth Theatre from 2012 to 2015. Moreover, Vikesh is also one of the founders of Frolic Theatre Company, where he has taken on the roles of producer, actor, writer and director. Some of Vikesh’s notable acting credits include Oscar in Heartbreak Beautiful (MITP), Harry Witherspoon in Lucky Stiff (Blue Box), Sentinel in The Three Sunsets (Manoel Theatre), various outlandish characters in the Post Dramatic Stress Disorder series (MADC Clubrooms and Spazju Kreattiv), and most recently various characters in Goldsmith’s The Last Queen of Paradise (The Tristan Bates Theatre in Covent Garden, London). Vikesh’s most noteworthy directing credit is perhaps his original piece, Coco’s Fabulous Speed-Dating Soiree, which earned him the title of Best Director at the MADC One Act Play Festival and at the Malta International Theatre Festival, along with another six awards including Best Original Script and Best Production. Vikesh is currently very interested in exploring the potential of immersive theatre in Malta, having worked as a trainee stage manager on The Almeida Theatre’s From the Ground Up, an assistant on Circa’s Depart (Lift Festival) and a participant in the Roundhouse’s Interactive Theatre course run by Coney in London. Vikesh graduated from King’s College London with a Masters in Arts and Cultural Management and was most recently a producer on the Homegrown Festival’s wrap party at Battersea Arts Centre, where he also directed a piece entitled Revolting Women.