Menu

Close

odds on

Live Now Commissions

LIVE NOW is a new commissioning programme from The Lowry, supporting artists to make work for digital platforms and online audiences, and paving the way for a new type of performance to sit within our programming. Over the last year we have supported the development of 9 new digital projects as part of LIVE NOW which have been debuting since late 2021 and will continue to be showcased on Lowry Digital this year. 

Antonia Beck, Senior Producer: Artist Development for The Lowry, said: 

“LIVE NOW was established in 2021 in response to the on-going situation with pandemic and the needs of performance-based artists who wanted space and support to reimagine their practice for digital platforms. 9 projects were commissioned, and it has been very exciting for us to nurture this new wave of creativity – learning with and from our commissioned artists, engaging with audiences in a new way, and making space for this work as part of our programmes. LIVE NOW has also offered us the chance to have a broad range of conversations about what digital performance can be, and the ways in which we can work with artists to connect with remote and online audiences through digital platforms.” 

LIVE NOW Commissions

Our LIVE NOW commissions include: 

  • The Alter by Swamp Motel 
  • This Dangerous Thing by Proto-Type Theatre  
  • Voice Thief by Limbik Theatre 
  • The Fountain by Yewande 103 
  • Odds On by Dante or Die 
  • Scrum – An Illegal Dance film created for VR180 by Avant Garde Dance 
  • The Interrogation by Access All Areas 
  • 2461 by Leo & Hyde 
  • Mystery Trip by Nigel Barrett & Louise Mari in collaboration with Kerry Underhill 

Find out more about these commissions below. 

The Alter
by SWAMP MOTEL

A short film where it’s up to you discover the narrative.  

One story, two timelines. Click to switch between the night before and the morning after. 

‘We’d go mad, if we actually moved out somewhere like this’ 

A group of city-dwelling friends unite at a remote country house for a weekend away. The perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature.
When they find an old map of the grounds, a nocturnal hunt for buried treasure begins. What they unearth will alter them forever. 

Credits 

Director: Clem Garritty
Written by: Sadie Spencer, Clem Garritty, Ollie Jones, Peter Hobday
Starring: Nicki Hobday, Shvorne Marks, Graham Butler, Kaffe Keating 

About company SWAMP MOTEL 

Founded by multi-award-winning theatre and experience makers, Swamp Motel creates entertainment that blurs boundaries between theatre, film and gaming. By giving audiences a pivotal role within story-worlds, Swamp Motel’s innovative productions are always live, social and thrilling whether experiencing them from your sofa, your desk or in an unexpected venue. 

Their online experiences combine the artistry of immersive theatre with the thrill of an escape room, made for the internet. Their theatrical events allow audiences to experience new and existing stories in the most unexpected ways, made for live. 

 

“Their work is distinguished by a sharp sense of humour, exquisite eye for detail and general air of mischief.” 

– The Guardian 

A Dangerous Thing
by Proto-type Theater

A new, digitally animated work created in response to a world full of uncertainty.

A Dangerous Thing is a new, digitally animated work created in response to a world full of uncertainty.

Proto-type Theater have worked with their long-time collaborator, visual artist Adam York Gregory, to continue their socially-engaged exploration of power, democracy, truth-telling, protest, privacy, conspiracy, and control.

Expanding on ideas explored in their recent, critically acclaimed theatre works (A Machine they’re Secretly Building and The Audit or Iceland, a modern myth), A Dangerous Thing wants to punch its way out of the screen and into our homes.

It wants to shake us up, to wake us up, and to hunt down all those insidious lies, hiding in plain sight, and running ahead of us with their boots on.

Mashing and melding animation styles, original sound and composition, contemporary performance and story-telling, A Dangerous Thing is coming, and it cannot be stopped.

“The Truth to Power Project began in 2015 as a response to the UK political climate and has since manifested as a wealth of creative, cultural, and participatory activity that seeks to shed light on the complex, hidden systems that govern how we live our lives.

Works in the series include a trilogy of contemporary theatre (A Machine they’re Secretly Building [Part of the British Council Edinburgh Showcase, long-listed for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award], The Audit & most recently DEAD CATS), digital animation A Dangerous Thing, BBC Radio drama The Forgotten Suffragette, the Manifestos for the Future Artist Summer School (with Mansions of the Future), UK-wide Rich Tea & Currency conversation café’s, workshops, mentoring, knowledge exchanges, public talks, lectures, publications and more. Further information about the Truth to Power Project can be found at www.proto-type.org.” – Proto-type Theater

About Proto-type Theater & Adam York Gregory

Proto-type Theater are a company of multi-disciplinary artists led by Rachel Baynton, Gillian Lees, and Andrew Westerside. They create original performance work that is diverse in scale, subject and medium, most recently developing The Truth to Power Project, a socially-engaged exploration of power, democracy, truth-telling, protest, privacy, conspiracy, and control.

Adam York Gregory is a long term collaborator with Proto-type. He is an animator, graphic designer and digital artist who has worked on an eclectic range of projects including: comics, video games, animation and film, photography, and live art performance. More information about Adam and his work is available at The Secret Surface.

Facebook: @prototypetheater
Twitter: @proto_type
Instagram: @proto_typetheater
Web: www.proto-type.org

Voice Thief
by Limbik Theatre

Giselle, alone in a room in her flat, listens to the sounds around her.

Giselle, alone in a room in her flat, listens to the sounds around her.

They remind her of home on the other side of the ocean. She wants to share them with you. From her phone, she wants to reach out to you, a total stranger, somewhere far away.

Voice Thief is a quirky, intimate, one-to-one performance that unfolds on WhatsApp. Using a combination of live calls, messaging, and 3D spatial audio, it’s an experience that invites you to listen and connect to someone in a (perhaps) unusual way.

Credits
Written by Gaël Le Cornec and BJT Samuels
Performed by Gaël Le Cornec
3D Sound Design by Ben Samuels
Tech by Joe Strickland
Script Advisor: Nassim Soleimanpour

About LIMBIK
Limbik is a UK-based performance and immersive technology company who create new live experiences in physical and digital space.
www.limbiktheatre.com

The Fountain
by Yewande 103

Fountain is a screendance featuring three dance artists shifting through embodied cycles of repair and intimacy.

The Heart Of The Matter / Relational Oceans / As Daughter, Was I Meant To Follow You? / Secretly Thinking About Love

Fountain is a screendance featuring three dance artists shifting through embodied cycles of repair and intimacy. Digital visual effects conjure evocative watery states that splash, vibrate, drench and flood the screen. The figures of the artists move through the splashing waves & dark space, moving between the spectrum of being seen, mirrored & camouflaged by the water.

The work is inspired by the range and scale of experiences within Black subjectivities that water evokes: from the play of running through fountains in the summer, the way our bodies are containers of water, to the significance of water and passages and the impact of colonial carving up of rivers within Black histories.

“For me it feels like, you know when you’ve been hurt so much that you just give up, you just let the universe carry you.” Shahada Nantaba – Dance Artist

About Alexandrina Hemsley / Yewande 103

Yewande 103, established in June 2020, lives as compassionate, embodied advocacy in action, through choreography, writing, production, artist support and mental health discourse. The company draws together the past 12 years of Alexandrina Hemsley’s performance, choreography, writing and screendance practices.

‘Yewande’ is Alexandrina’s middle name. It has been passed down the women in their family from their great-great-grandmother who ran away from slave traders in Nigeria. She hid, survived and lived until she was 103 years old. In Yoruba, Yewande means ‘mother has returned’. There are echoes of intergenerational, nurturing and survivorship within this name and family history that speak to personal / political lines of ancestry. This name also speaks to ways in which Alexandrina would like this company to hold others and uphold values of care and connection.

Twitter: @alexandrinahem
Web: alexandrinahemsley.com

Odds On
by Dante or Die

Odds On is a new digital production exploring online gambling.

Odds On is a new digital production exploring online gambling. Audiences will see the protagonist – a woman in her 60s – through the lens of an online slot machine site; peering through her screen as she spends more & more time consumed by collecting the ‘Pearls of Fortune’. A mixture of intimate theatrical storytelling with garish animation & video, the experience will entertainingly provoke conversation about an unseen national crisis, currently devastating lives.

The production has been created through engagement with people with lived experience of gambling harm, in partnership with Gordon Moody Foundation.

Audiences will experience the production through the Pearls of Fortune website as a solo experience, mirroring online gambling. They will create their own avatar and play the Pearls of Fortune slots – just as our protagonist does. As they win, they unlock another episode of our protagonist’s story.

Commissioned by The Lowry & Lighthouse Poole and funded by Arts Council England.

R&D supported by Farnham Maltings New Popular commission, Ideas Test & South Street Reading, and through public funding from Arts Council England.

Credits
Co-Creators & Writers: Daphna Attias & Terry O’Donovan
Dramaturgy: Tim Crouch
Script Consultant: Lisa Goldman
Animation & Motion Graphics Artist: John Brannoch
Editor: John Brannoch
Director of Photography: Chris Jeffers
Composer: Yaniv Fridel
Sound Design: Ben Kelly
Cast includes Fiona Watson

About Dante Or Die
Since 2006, Dante or Die have been creating original performances that have taken place in cosy cafés, an artificial ski-slope, high end and some lower-end hotel rooms, anonymous self-storage buildings and sweaty leisure centres… The list goes on. We’ve had the pleasure of performing across the UK and at brilliant international festivals. Creating performances for everyday spaces means that we have the chance to meet new people all the time, to be inspired by stories we wouldn’t otherwise hear, and invite people who might not otherwise, to go on a theatrical journey with us. We’ve collaborated with organisations such as Almeida Theatre, Traverse Theatre, The Lowry, BAM New York, Lighthouse Poole and are proud SITELINES Associate Artists at South Street Reading.

“We are so excited about creating Odds On. It’s the first time we are in the writers’ seat. It’s been such a fascinating journey so far. We are especially enjoying writing for animation and allowing the piece to be very surreal.” – Daphna Attias & Terry O’Donovan, Co-Creators & Writers

Twitter: @danteordie
Facebook: danteordie
Instagram: @danteordie
Web: danteordie.com

SCRUM VR180
By Avant Garde Dance

It’s 2030, and dance is a crime. We should have seen it coming.

It’s 2030, and dance is a crime. We should have seen it coming. We spent the first two decades of the new millennium gripped by fear. The war on terror, financial turmoil, climate change, and global pandemics, an anxious public turned to big tech and invasive surveillance for a safety blanket – but at what cost? Scrum immerses you amidst riotous protest; as a rabble of young digital natives confronts a powerful regime, the question is, will they rebel or confirm?

Avant Garde’s trademark synaesthesia of hip-hop, contemporary dance and captivating soundtrack unfurl in this electrifying VR show for all ages.

Credit line: Scrum – An Illegal Outdoor Dance Show, supported by Without Walls, 101 Outdoor Arts and Arts Council England.

Commissioned by Brighton Festival, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Salisbury International Arts Festival and Strike a Light Gloucester. Scrum VR film is commissioned by The Lowry

About Avant Garde Dance Company

Founded in 2001, Avant Garde Dance Company (AGDC) is an ACE NPO, led by Artistic Director and CEO Tony Adigun. AGDC is a critically acclaimed company at the forefront of London’s innovative Hip hop/Contemporary Dance scene. Dedicated to creating and distributing world-class dance, the company enjoys a broad appeal to diverse, intergenerational and multi-cultural audiences nationally and internationally.

Tony is a choreographer, director, curator, dancer, educator and mentor with a razor sharp eye for dance composition, musicality and form. His unique dance vocabulary has gained respect from the highest echelons of the dance industry.

AGDC’s recent works have reached over 170,000 audiences and engaged over 2000 young people taking part in learning and participation opportunities.

Nominated for the Best Independent Dance Company category in the National Dance `Awards, The AGDC mantra ‘Innovate Never Replicate’ is evident throughout the work, as the company embraces a sense of difference and individuality.

Facebook: AvantGardeDanceCompanyUK
Twitter: @AvantGardeDance
Instagram: @avantgardedance
Website link: www.avantgardedance.com
www.illegaldance.com

The Interrogation
by Access All Areas

Charlene has done something terrible.
Lots of people saw her, and they’re not happy. 

Charlene has done something terrible.
Lots of people saw her, and they’re not happy. 

Using new mobile app technology, Access All Areas will take you on a GPS-guided walk through the streets to discover what happened to Charlene. 

What would you do if you thought you saw a crime? Would you get involved? Would you tell the police? Would you walk away? What if your phone could tell you exactly how to handle it? 

Commissioned by The Lowry and touring nationally through local streets, this new interactive audio production lets you question the causes of criminality, the ableism of language, and the feeling of being judged as a learning disabled person. 

Bring your smartphone, and your wits, and get a taste of how it feels to be Charlene on the streets. 

About ACCESS ALL AREAS 

Access All Areas make disruptive theatre and performance by learning disabled and autistic artists. 

Our interactive performance events create intimate moments of interaction between performers and public, occupying unexpected spaces in venues, on the streets, and in public buildings. 

https://accessallareastheatre.org/  

a bus stop in the desert

Mystery Trip
by Nigel Barrett & Louise Mari in Collaboration with Kerry Underhill

We don’t know what we’re doing    

We don’t know where we’re going 

We don’t know what we’re doing    

We don’t know where we’re going 

But we do know that we need to get out of here  

Come with us  

Mystery trip is an epic digital excursion created by pioneering theatre mavericks Nigel Barrett & Louise Mari in collaboration with disability and welfare rights activist Kerry Underhill and a gang of people confined to their homes due to chronic health conditions. 

We will be taking audiences from the comfort of their homes to travel by online bus on a unique live mystery trip. 

Bring a sandwich 

Each trip will fully accessible with live palantyped closed captions, BSL interpretation and audio description. 

This show is supported by Arts Council England through Grants for The Arts. 

Credits 

Created by Nigel Barrett & Louise Mari  

With: Kerry Underhill, Sara Davies, Mik Scarlett, Oshiku Crisafulli, Richard Misek, Charmaine Wombwell,  

Sound and original composition: Jon McLeod and Anna Clock 

Digital dramaturg and system design: Jason Crouch 

Video design: Andrew Crofts 

Coordination: Simone French 

Audio Description: Rob Salmon 

Palantypist Louise Pepper 

BSL Interpreter: Charmaine Wombwell 

Marketing design: Ellie Stephenson 

 

About Kerry Underhill 

Kerry Underhill enjoys performance and visual art, but hasn’t been able to access the arts for almost a decade, due to restricted mobility and chronic pain. She enjoys recreating historical underwear, houseplant wrangling and watching the seasons unfold from her window in Bath. 

AboutNigel Barrett & Louise Mari 

Nigel Barrett & Louise Mari have been at the cutting edge of theatre innovation since meeting as part of cult performance collective shunt. They have been commissioned by Manchester International Festival, Tate Britain, National Theatre, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London International Festival of Theatre, Liverpool Biennial, The Museum of London, Edinburgh Art Festival, National Theatre Wales and Expo 2020 Dubai. They are winners of the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award.    “This was genuinely one of the best nights of my life”  Anastasia Ackers. Party Skills for the End Of The World Lockdown Special  

Twitter: @mystery_trips
Facebook: mystery trip 
Instagram: @mys.terytrip
Web: nigelandlouise.com  

2461
by Leo & Hyde and Adam Lenson Productions

A collaboration between leo&hyde and Adam Lenson Productions 

We’ve been exploring the idea of a “digital immersive musical”, where game design is set design, and Snapchat filters are costume design. 

A collaboration between leo&hyde and Adam Lenson Productions 

We’ve been exploring the idea of a “digital immersive musical”, where game design is set design, and Snapchat filters are costume design.

To do this, we’ve been exploring the platform gather.town as a space for digital theatre. gather.town is a fun digital platform, which combines Zoom-like video calls with a graphical interface a bit like Among Us / Habbohotel. Our theory is that gamification makes digital theatre more engaging than Zoom theatre, where it’s harder for audiences to feel the same absorption that they might inside an actual real-life theatre.

Adam’s been digging deep into the design and tech possibilities of the platform, designing a spaceship modelled on the Lowry’s floorplans. Leo and Stephen have constructed a story set in the year 2461, and cooked up a soundworld for a set of characters trapped on a spaceship.   

It’s rare to have the opportunity to test new ideas, collaborations and even entire ways of creating theatre. The Lowry Live seed fund has given leo&hyde and Adam Lenson a chance to do all three in a fun and meaningful way, one that has been full of learning, growth and exploration.
 

About leo&hyde and Adam Lenson Productions 

leo&hyde:

“leo&hyde have the ear of today and speak directly to the heart.” British Theatre.
A Manchester-based music theatre company, we combine new sounds and new stories with new tech in pursuit of a new style of 21st century musical. Musicals to date include The Marriage of Kim K (Lowry Rewrites 2019) and GUY.  

Twitter: @leoandhyde
Facebook: @leoandhyde
Instagram: @leoandhyde
Web: www.leoandhyde.com

Adam Lenson:

Adam is a London based director, dramaturg, and producer who specialises in new musical theatre. Adam has directed PUBLIC DOMAIN, WASTED, and STAGES, amongst many other musicals; and with his company theatrical.solutions, he has produced more than 50 different live digital theatre events. 

Twitter: @adamlenson
Instagram: @adamlenson
Web: www.adamlenson.com 

In the news:

Wed 19 May 2021. The Lowry commissions more new work from independent theatre companies in £50k boost for theatre ecology.

Wed 9 March 2022. The Lowry launch new digital platform ‘Lowry Digital’ responding to the continued need for digital work to co-exist with live performance.