Image: Ryoko Uyama
An interactive performance that allows the audience to take control of a war ravaged country is to tour the UK before, during and after the general election in May.
Coney’s Early Days (Of a Better Nation) starts the national tour on April 21, before coming to a close May 14, with the general election taking place on May 6.
Tom Bowtell, co-creator and writer, said: “By creating a world which is fictional enough to be different but real enough to be relevant, we hope to give audiences a safe space to challenge their own political beliefs and try others on for size.
“The 2015 Election provides the perfect context: we don’t want the show to espouse any one political stance, but are excited to see the potential of immersive theatre to engage people with politics, particularly those who are disenchanted with it and who – before seeing the show – are not intending to vote.”
The performance hands over control of the ‘new’ nation to the audience, who can decide their own politics, how they wish to run the country, and how to avoid the so-called “mistakes of the past.”
Annette Mees, co-creator and director: “We were keen to give people a taste of what it’s like to make difficult decisions, to activate their sense of what they want in a bigger society and for them to think about who they want to be led by.
“We’re not providing answers but we are creating a space to think about these issues, of course with an eye on the upcoming 2015 General Election
“We’ve been really excited by the shift in the last few years. Ten years ago, voting numbers were going down. Last year, there was a resurgence of active citizenship across the world: politics outside of the political system such as Occupy and the Indignado protests.”
The show has been developed with game mechanics, economic and political systems, as well narrative structures.
Themes in the show have been inspired by the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement and the 2011 London riots.
Coney have a history of such tours, with interactive pieces such as A Small Town Anywhere and House of Cards.