News: Big Telly Theatre announces Operation Elsewhere

Next month, innovative Northern Irish theatre company Big Telly is bringing a new and extraordinary online theatrical experience right into homes across the UK, Northern Ireland and beyond.

Directed by Big Telly’s founder and artistic director Zoe Seaton (THE LYRIC THEATRE, BELFAST, HULL TRUCK THEATRE COMPANY, TINDERBOX THEATRE COMPANY), Operation Elsewhere brings alive Irish myths and takes audiences on a virtual trip to the beautiful Emerald island for an adventure into another dimension, where somewhere is Elsewhere. Once admitted to the journey, they weave their path and meet strange and wonderful characters, faeries and changelings, together with mysterious quests, intrigue and game mechanics. It culminates in one extraordinary hour of theatrical entertainment, comedy and joy.

Originally written by Jane Talbot author of The Faerie Thorn, an acclaimed collection of contemporary dark myths, this new adaptation for Zoom features a cast of seven actors and music composed by Garth McConaghie (THE LYRIC THEATRE, BELFAST, New Victory Theatre, BROADWAY, NEW YORK).

Big Telly’s Artistic Director Zoe Seaton said: “Operation Elsewhere introduces audiences to an anarchic and contemporary version of Irish mythology. The show’s playful quest format breaks down the fourth wall, letting audiences join in a truly live experience. It’s theatre born in isolation but with a mission to connect us all in magic and myth.”

The new show comes hot on the heels of director Zoe Seaton’s critically-acclaimed online Zoom production The Tempest Live (a co-production with Creation Theatre). The show’s fifteen performances brought audiences together from across five continents to share in a Shakespearian theatrical experience.

Theatrical games are a format Big Telly have worked with over several years and they have staged large scale events played over kilometres, towns and industrial estates. Productions include I-Spy, A Quirky Tale, Merchant Quest, Operation Sweet Talk. Zoe has also directed Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest as games for Creation Theatre in Oxford.

When lockdown happened, game and site-responsive theatre specialists Big Telly quickly moved its thinking to how live theatre could operate online. They knew the mechanics of games would work. Zoe brought the idea to their theatre soulmates Creation Theatre in Oxford who were thinking along similar lines. A few conversations later Zoe had begun directing online Zoom rehearsals for The Tempest Live as a co-production. Following its success and 15 shows later, Operation Elsewhere is the next installment in Big Telly’s global theatre in lockdown.

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