Through a prism remotely

Jan 17 2022 | By More

Online, immersive show from Production Lines

Edinburgh grass roots theatre company Production Lines is to stage prism, a new interactive and immersive play by Claire Wood, running online from Wednesday 2 to Saturday 5 February 2022.

The play explores the points of view of separated parents about where they want their five year-old daughter, Storm, to go to school. So far so conventional. The innovation comes when Mum, Dad and Mum’s PA make their cases to a children’s panel – the audience – who then have to make a decision.

prism promo

Mum wants Storm to come join her in LA; Dad wants her to live with him in Forres; and Mum’s PA thinks Storm should stay with her in Switzerland. No one has asked Storm what she wants.

Performed live online, audiences will act as the panel, hearing the arguments from the three different perspectives to decide Storm’s fate. Using the chat and voting function within the online venue, the audience can choose which version of the story they would like to hear at each performance.

“Memory is subjective,” says Production Lines, “and the three characters within the play each have their own version of events. prism explores how different perspectives can make us see and feel differently – creating different versions of the same story every night.”


prism is the second interactive theatre piece from Production Lines, following on from 2021’s roulette (Æ review: ★★★☆☆ Frothy), an online dating show in which the audience were given the power to pair the couples together determining the course of the story.

The play will again be directed by Ross Hope with technical direction from Andy Ellis. Jennie Landels will be on design duties, with returning performers Alan Patterson, Caroline Mathison, Gregor Haddow, Vanashree Thapliyal and Richard Lydecker joined by Gregor McElvogue.

What you see depends on which side of prism you look through…

The company says that the closure of physical theatre spaces during the pandemic prompted it to explore how online theatre could use the tools available within the presentation software to exploit audience interaction as part of the storytelling,

Rather than being a distancing element, they say that the digital medium can break down the barrier between viewer and performer – prism is the next evolution of that practice, allowing the audience to react and influence the story in real time.

The show is being “staged” with funding from Creative Scotland’s Digital Pivot 2021, part of the Creative Digital Initiative, which supports creatives in exploring a more digitally based practice.

As part of the project Claire Wood worked with author and independent producer Suzy Glass to explore the potential of online theatre.

a pleasure and a privilege

“It was a pleasure and a privilege to spend time chatting to Suzy about the concept for this production,” says Wood. “Her ambition, creativity, passion and commitment to making art that makes a difference is infectious and inspiring.

“Suzy stamps all over any lazy notion that digital theatre is the poor cousin of its velvet-curtained real-life relation. We can’t wait to bring our brand new live and performance to a screen really near you, very soon.”

prism will be presented online Wednesday 2 to Saturday 5 February at 20:00. Tickets cost £8, with additional pay-what-you-can options.

Ashley Smith-Hammond, Creative Industries Officer at Creative Scotland said: “The realisation of Claire’s new work is a testament to the power of creativity in the face of continued Covid-19 challenges. prism demonstrates an emerging potential for theatre delivered via an interactive medium. It will tell an intimate family story in a new way, directly involving audiences in the outcome.”


prism by cmfwood
Wed 2 – Sat 5 February 2022
Evenings: 8pm. (Running time: 1 hour 20 mins)
Tickets £8 (with a pay-what-you-can option): Book here on citizenticket.

Production Lines Website:
Twitter: @ProductionLines


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