You love theatre and dream of Paris, but your French is not good enough? The Team of Theatre in Paris found a solution to this problem thanks to augmented reality, with an idea that could be the revolution in the theatrical world.
The project is still being tested and at the moment is active for few plays, with a reduced number of devices and seats; practically, with the help of augmented reality smart glasses, the viewers can see “surtitles”, written translations of the plays superimposed above the stage. With this system, even the non-French speakers or those not having a native knowledge of the language can go to the theatre and enjoy the plays.
Carl de Poncins, co-founder of Theatre in Paris, said: “We are a service that is dedicated to the expatriate and foreign community, as well as tourists, allowing them to overcome the language barrier and experience Parisian life as a Parisian would.”
He explained he had the idea watching the bored tourists at night: why don’t make them part of Parisian night life, in which theatres are a big part?
There’s also a personal experience part in his idea, since he added: “While I was studying abroad in Oxford, I went to a Shakespeare performance and after a few minutes, said: what is ‘thou’? I know that even if you speak another language well, it’s sometimes hard to understand and get the most out of their theatre.”
Theatre in Paris’ smart glasses have been created in partnership with the digital service company Atos and the eyewear company Optivent, and the surtitles project, at the moment available in 6 different languages, has been presented last summer to the Avignon Festival. For now the service is reserved to tourism professionals and English-speakers, but de Poncins hopes that 2016 will be a great year for its development.
To have a walk in an enchanted forest among fantastic creatures: how many times we dreamt of this when we were little? Now we are adults and we have a possibility of making this dream true, thanks to the play “Dark Wood Dragon Quest”, the first theatrical event with augmented reality elements of UK.
In fact, from 7th October to 1st November in the Monikie Country Park of Angus, Scotland, it will be possible to take part to this incredible event: downloading an app on their smartphones, the participants will be able to walk in the park, lighten up and decorated for the occasion, among fantastic creatures as fairies, goblins and trolls thanks to augmented reality. Basically, focusing on the various parts of the wood, it will be possible to see and take pictures of magical creatures and then to share them on social media with family and friends. All this is part of a wider story: the participants, through clues and solving puzzle and riddles, will have to find the ancient Dragon.
The app was ideated by Vision Mechanics and created with the help of of animation graduates from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee, who took 3D models and placed them in the real world thanks to the augmented reality technology; anyway, the show will be enjoyable even for those who don’t have a smartphone, as even Symon Macintyre, Vison Mechanics’ artistic director, said: “We were keen to tap into local talent to develop the technology side of things but, even without a smartphone or tablet, audiences will be able to enjoy a whole host of impressive, interactive physical installations and lots of traditional, theatrical creations to see and explore on the night.”
This event will be for sure one of the most anticipated events in UK, and also Jim Clarkson, regional partnerships director at VisitScotland, seems pretty enthusiastic: “Every year, Angus welcomes visitors from all across the globe but I’m certain this is the first time we’ve played host to so many different mythical creatures.”
We are enthusiastic as well: we can’t really wait to have a peek to the pictures of the play!