The story began its life as a 6000 word epic family poem. After a series of untimely deaths a 7 year old boy inherits his ancestral home – Raddlesham Mumps. He finds himself in a huge empty house with only an ancient butler for company. The butler begins to tell him the bizarre and hilarious deaths of his deeply eccentric ancestors and the story takes flight on darkly comic wings.
The poem was the first part of an nnovative multi-media platform project developed across 4 mediums – the book, an album, a live show and the immersive VR experience, to explore:
- The commercial opportunities of working across multiple platforms
- How diversifying the initial product would attract new audiences
- How working cross platform can enhance an audience / user experience
- How one platform can lead to another and the resultant impact of this
The play has recently completed its 2nd tour and will deliver a third spring tour and a sequel is currently in development.
The R&D element of the project was funded by EIRA, a ground-breaking project harnessing the expertise of seven universities and colleges to offer knowledge exchange across three key areas: artificial intelligence, biotechnology and digital creative.
The Raddlesham Mumps creative team, MBD (the VR developers) and the University of Essex academic team worked together to create two unique immersive VR experiences as a prequel to the play (available on Android and Occulus Go). The University of Essex then carried out the research component into impact of various mediums which was featured on BBC Look East.
The academic team consisted of Dr Liam Jarvis from the Literature, Film and Theatre Studies department who brought some initial creative mentorship when considering how tech can support immersion within a performance and Professor Paul Hibbard and Dr Loes Van Dam from the Dept of Psychology who focused on the research and immersion and presence across the platforms.
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