Find out more about the process behind this dance-theatre crime drama...
Out Late is a dance-theatre crime drama that tells the story of the tangled relationships of Sebastian, Vinnie and Fifi and the events that lead to Vinnie's untimely murder.
Originally a live experience combining dance and theatre, the piece has been reimagined for an interactive digital audience. You’re invited to watch this twisted story of jealousy, shame and manipulation in a way that is revealed to you in an order you choose.
Out Late tells the story of Sebastian and Fifi, whose seemingly happy life is thrown off-axis by the introduction of Vinnie, a charming but volatile out-and-proud gay man. Sebastian falls in love with Vinnie and tries to hide his new relationship whilst his wife Fifi secretly watches from afar.
Out Late is the second production by VOXED that brings together Choreographer and Director Wayne Parsons, Writer Ankur Bahl and Dramaturg Pooja Ghai. Performed by Folu Odimayo, Caldonia Walton and Stuart Waters, Out Late is a unique blend of dance and theatre set against a slick backdrop designed by Rosa Maggiora and an original score by Angus MacRae with lighting design by Guy Hoare.
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As a stage performance the piece had a linear structure and would move from scene to scene until the resolution. The order in which scenes were shown was fixed and could not be altered. But what if the ordering was not set in stone? It was this idea that motivated the team to reimagine Out Late as an interactive project.
StoryFormer allows content to be strung together in sequences with multiple entry and exit points. With Out Late, audiences move between narrative paths based on the choices they make and thus are presented with a variation of Out Late. Each variation shifts the narrative perspective by presenting the story in a slightly different order, altering the audience's experience. In addition to playing with the narrative sequencing of Out Late and how the story is consumed, the production team have also had to wrestle with spans of control and audience agency.
A challenge often levelled at narrative interactive experiences is that they remove the creative control from production teams and that by giving audiences the choice of where they go and what they see, audiences will not receive the carefully authored experience creative teams intended. The alternatives will be somehow lacklustre and unsatisfying because control of the experience has been relinquished. Spans of control and audience agency are often considered as being one and the same, but this is not the case.
VOXED has designed an experience where audiences are able to make choices within set boundaries. In this experience, the audience has a greater amount of control than they would have in traditional media experiences. When a choice is made, an audience member is shown a scene in response to their choice, this is repeated to build a curated journey through the work. When an experience, like this one, has been designed with the intention of having multiple journeys through, it proves that it is possible to have a cohesive narrative experience while also providing audiences with agency.