Saturday, August 15, 2015

BEST FESTIVAL EVER: HOW TO MANAGE A DISASTER



Boho Interactive + Applespiel in Association with The Street
Devised and presented by Nikki Kennedy, Nathan Harrison, David Shaw, Rachel Roberts, David Finnigan
Designed by Gary Campbell
The Street Theatre to 22nd August 2015

Review by Len Power 14 August 2015

If you enjoy those management course hypotheticals or just an evening with friends playing a board game, ‘Best Festival Ever: How To Manage A Disaster’ has all the elements of those experiences but on a larger, more theatrical scale.

Boho Interactive is a science-theatre ensemble from Canberra who produce interactive performances based on sciences including Game Theory, Complex Systems science and Network Theory.  For this production they are joined by members of Applespiel collective from Sydney.

At the show I participated in, there were 32 of us around a long table in the Street Theatre’s intimate Street Two space which had been dressed and lit to create a living room ambience complete with red curtains, bar and standard lamp.  The goal of the evening was for the group to experience what it takes to create a music festival and run it successfully.

Cleverly managed by facilitating performers, participants were quickly drawn into an entertaining scenario with the table top representing a farmland space with a river running through it where a music festival was scheduled to be presented.  We were required to choose the artists who would perform at the festival and build the necessary infrastructure while ensuring the environment was impacted as little as possible.  Little did we know that a potential disaster was waiting for us to manage as well!

A lot of imagination has gone into the design of the elements of the experience.  The series of games played as the scenario progresses were amusing and involving and managed in a way that no participant would feel intimidated.  We really had a great time while being educated about the sciences underlying the whole experience.

At the end of the game we were given a choice of drinks from the bar set up in the space and then Nicky Grigg from the CSIRO, who had also participated in the game, gave us a very interesting academic’s perspective on the sciences behind the experience.  The guest speaker will be different at every performance.

This was a highly entertaining and instructive experience.  You’ll learn a lot but you’ll also have a lot of fun.

Len Power’s reviews are also broadcast in the ‘Artcetera’ program on Artsound FM 92.7 on Saturdays from 9am.

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