Today I want to share an adaptation of a play, Kursk, to film. It is from a growing genre, that of Immersive Theatre, where the audience are required to experience more than something just created with words. The film version attempts to capture some the plays’ experiential attributes.
In the year 2000, a Russian submarine, the Kursk, suffered a huge explosion that ripped the bow apart and sent the vessel to the seabed. Inspired by this tragic event, this production takes the audience on the imagined journey of a British Submarine sent to spy on the Kursk. The audience is subsumed in the submarine space with the performers, silent observers to the events as they unfold, complicit in their world of secrecy and codes, witnesses to the last minutes of the Kursk.
The piece puts the audience at the heart of the story using a novel and highly engaging staging that embraces both the epic and intensely personal. Using cutting edge sound design that creates the sonic equivalent of a virtual submarine, Kursk is an authentic and emotionally rich voyage into the icy depths of the Barents Sea and the dark recesses of the imagination.
Kursk received quite amazing reviews, two of which you can read here and here.
Thanks to a new initiative in the UK, The Space, the play has been reworked for film and you can watch the whole thing by clicking the image below
The producing company, Sound&Fury is a collaborative theatre company whose artistic interest is in developing the sound space of theatre and presenting the audience with new ways of experiencing performance and stories by heightening the aural sense.
Also on The Space is a fascinating documentary, Writing Kursk, about the making of the piece and is well worth a listen.
I am a real fan of this immerse theatre as I think it can challenge audiences in a very visceral way. Mind you, not everyone agrees. In her blog, journalist Lynne Gardner explains why she has issues with it; Immersive theatre: take us to the edge, but don’t throw us in, she asserts, saying that it can replicate terrifying human experiences, but this type of theatre is best when it maintains some perspective.