Theatre in Wales

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NATIONAL THEATRE WALES & 
BLAST THEORY TO STAGE EXCLUSIVE, LIVE EVENT FOR KAREN APP PLAYERS     




A one-off, live, immersive event will be staged in a secret location in south Wales on 24th Oct, for players of National Theatre Wales and Blast Theory’s Karen app, co- commissioned by The Space, which reflects on the hidden data mining techniques employed by corporations and governments.
Building on their track record in digital innovation, National Theatre Wales have been working with digital performance pioneers Blast Theory to develop the free app. More than 10,000 people all over the world have played it since it was launched in April 2015, making it one of the most successful digital productions created by NTW.

The app, which is available on the Apple App store and on Google Play Store, mixes gaming and storytelling. Those who download and play it meet an onscreen lifecoach called Karen (played by Claire Cage) who gets to know them by asking questions
about their outlook and life
experiences. As the players’ nine-day relationship with
her unfolds, Karen becomes more curious, more
chaotic and it becomes clear that she has few
boundaries between her personal and professional lives. Karen is in fact profiling the app players, offering them advice based on their conversations.

Tickets for Karen’s 40th Birthday Bash will go on sale on Thursday 17th September 2015. They will only be available to those who have completed the nine-day Karen app experience, which is available FREE on the Apple App store and on Google Play Store (and will still be available even after the live event).

At the end of the players’ experience with Karen, they have the option to purchase a report showing how their data has been used. And now, taking the concept of a personalised experience a step further, some of the players can join her for an exclusive one-off evening - Karen’s 40th Birthday Bash - at a secret location in south Wales, on 24th October 2015.

John McGrath, Artistic Director of National Theatre Wales, says: “Karen has become a huge hit on people's phones - and has opened up new a new space for actors and audience to interact. Having developed this piece with Blast Theory from the earliest stages, everyone at NTW is delighted now to be creating a special, intimate live event with their artists and Karen herself. Everything about the event and the app is very much in line with NTW's passion for bringing theatre to new and unexpected spaces – both virtual and 'real'.”

Co-Founder of Blast Theory, Matt Adams, says: “The breadth and depth of response to Karen has far exceeded our expectations: over 2,000 people have bought a data report. Many of Karen’s players talked of feeling a strong connection and subsequently a loss at the end of their experience with her. This live event will not disappoint fans of her unpredictable nature.”
 
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