‘The Roof’ is a new kind of theatrical experience that takes the video game out of the screen and into the open air.
The show follows a three-dimensional hero who runs, jumps and fights his way through different levels, just like a video game avatar.
Members of the audience wear headphones to follow what’s going on inside the hero’s mind.
Part of the London International Festival of Theatre, the performance is the latest brainchild of David Rosenberg and choreographer Frauke Requardt.
“There’s a story of an avatar that is chucked into an environment that he is unfamiliar with, he’s finding out more and more as he goes along,” explains Requardt. “We have borrowed the structure of gaming where you progress through levels to a place where you have become a bit more efficient within the rules of the game, and maybe even start questioning those rules and try to find your own way through the game.”
Located in a car park opposite the National Theatre on London’s Southbank, the set was designed by Jon Bausor, the man behind the 2012 Paralympics opening ceremony.
With the whole production set outdoors, performers had to be prepared for the contingencies of British weather.
“It’s been a really great challenge for us as a group to see what is safe and what is not safe, especially at this kind of height,” says dancer Danilo Caruso. “It’s been good because we learn how to work as a team and as a group and try to make the show happen, even under the rain. And somehow under the rain it kind of becomes magical. Everything just gets more spectacular.”
‘The Roof’ runs on London’s Southbank until the end of June.