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In Conversation with Kate Hunter and Rea Dennis | Sea Symphony

"We hope that people might feel alive! With all their senses buzzing on their way home. Perhaps they might talk about the diverse experiences they have heard about, or remember their own stories of the sea."

In today's backstage blog, we catch up with Kate Hunter and Rea Dennis, the creators and designers of the upcoming installation Sea Symphony, an immersive audio/visual experience in collaboration with Rawcus. Running from 30 May to 8 June in the Theatre Works courtyard.


Without giving too much away, how does Sea Symphony transport the participants to another place?


Sea Symphony is a one-person experience which uses sound and vision to take you out of your day-to-day routine for a few moments.  Built from stories, memories and musings from a team of 8 awesome Rawcus actors, it’s an immersive experience which uses headphones and a small space to shift your senses to a spacious and quiet place. 


What was the inspiration behind the installation?


Sea Symphony is part of artists Kate Hunter and Rea Dennis' ‘Symphony Series’, which are works that focus on the ways in which memory, personal story, poetry and imagination work in tandem. We are theatre-makers creating audiovisual experiences, and in this new work we are curious about the sea in all its modes and representations: as a place of joy but also fear for some, as a home for creatures, as a place of safe harbour or stormy wildness, as harbinger of climate change, and as a great body of salt water that stretches around the earth and which connects us all.


What have been some challenges in bringing the installation to life?


Actually it has been a very fruitful and generous collaboration. We worked closely with Rawcus for a day to build some momentum and generative material, and then we interviewed them and composed a series of stories and musings that came from those interviews. The entire team has been open-hearted and imaginative, and we’re really excited to bring this work to a public audience.


If you could have anyone you want to participate in Sea Symphony, who would it be and why?


We hope that lots of people will participate, from all walks of life! You might be a passerby who is curious to see what is in the red phone box in the courtyard at Theatre Works, or you might arrive early for a show and have some time to check it out. Sea Symphony runs for 14-16 minutes, it’s free, and the audiovisual stories are randomised so you can return again and again and have a different experience each time. What’s not to love? 


What do you hope people talk about on their way home from participating in Sea Symphony?


We hope that people might feel alive! with all their senses buzzing on their way home. Perhaps they might talk about the diverse experiences they have heard about, or remember their own stories of the sea. But they might also talk about what to have for dinner or whether they have left the kettle on. There is no way of knowing!

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