A live action role-play (LARP)
Baltic 39, Newcastle, 8th - 12th February, 2017
Artist Jamie Harper invited members of the public to join his participatory piece, Washing Machine, a live action role-play about what we want our lives to have been about by the time we reach the age of 70. When we reach this point in our lives, will our sense of self-worth be measured by our ongoing commitment to youthful ideals, or will we judge ourselves according to the criteria of middle-aged comfort or rose-tinted old age? What part of ourselves do we want to embrace, and which combination of our various selves will make us happy, in the end?
What is Live Action Role-Play? (LARP)
LARP consists of people playing out fictional roles within an organised dramatic framework, but without a fixed performance narrative and without the presence of an audience. Part game, part drama, LARPs are designed to give participants an opportunity to live their way through a story: to experience it, rather than simply observing the work unfolding as a spectator.
How does it work?
The first half of Washing Machine will involve a facilitated workshop process that will enable people to get to know each other a little and develop a character that they feel comfortable playing. Using methods like drawing, automatic writing, collaborative story-telling, object arrangement and exploration of space, this workshop will open a playful space of possibility, allowing players to shape their own experience.
Following the workshop, the piece itself will consist of open-ended improvised scenes combined with a series of simple physical tasks that take players through the stages of their characters' lives. At the end of this play phase, a structured debrief will offer participants an opportunity to pause and reflect on their experience alongside other players.