Posted on 23/04/2012
The Theatre Company Block Stop have been accepted to the 2012 edition of the NEU/NOW Festival, an international platform for emerging/graduating artists. Their entry, Who Killed FionaFarenheit?, was developed as part of the 2011 RHUL Drama and Theatre ATP (Advanced Theatre Practice) season.
Block Stop was founded by 2011 Royal Holloway Department of Drama and Theatre graduates Daniel Thompson and Melanie Grossenbacher.
From the Block Stop website:
Who Killed FionaFarenheit? is an investigation into how our online behaviour affects and reflects our own lives. We use Second Life as a vehicle to drive our narrative, but also to demonstrate the freedom one might feel when offered the opportunity to perform in a virtual world. With over 20 million user accounts worldwide, Second Life offers millions of people the opportunity to perform online every day. In this virtual world, an international community is able to exist using its own universal time, space and currency.
This piece explores the way in which the Internet can be a liberating space that facilitates equality, whilst also raising important questions about the way in which online anonymity can be abused and boundaries crossed. The show offers seven participants the opportunity to play with their own behavioural limitations in a way that is fun, exhilarating and thought provoking. Each participant will have a unique experience of Who Killed FionaFarenheit? as they are invited to ‘play’ with us in the safety of our theatrical frame and the assured anonymity Second Life allows. Although most of the action takes place in cyber-space, each participant experiences moments where the virtual world leaks and spills into their physical presence, forcing them to confront the multiple layers of reality we are engaging with.
In the comfort of a three-sided booth (for online anonymity), each participant finds a desk with a laptop open and prepared to run Second Life. Our ‘Real’ Life host sits in front of the booths and introduces the investigation into Who Killed FionaFarenheit. With the help of his avatar, LucasHeid, he gives a basic tutorial demonstrating how to use the interface, before the online ‘play’ begins. Once the participants have been teleported to their first scene, they begin to perform the role of one of the suspects in the investigation. The online detectives offer guidance and support throughout whilst gently steering the narrative to its dramatic and surprising conclusion.