Making the audience invest

Perhaps it was a train of thought I was already on, but this year’s Edinburgh festival experiences for me included a large dose of participation. From Squidboy, a one man show, engaging the collective imagination of his audience by passing round invisible crisps for us all to share, to one on one experiences such as, Tales of Magical Realism, a first person narrative that led audience members to immerse in the story, going from voyeur peeping through a lens, to being entrapped cycling (literally cycling on a bike) to the Golden City.  Popup Theatrics Long Distance Affair connected audience members with performers round the world via skype and Dr Brown – see review –  constructed his show over eight back to back sessions each show building on the previous. In each of these examples the audience made the experience, perhaps this is true of all art that happens live, but in these the audience were literally included in the action and in inviting their participation they were also asked to invest in the event, it’s success was partly their responsibility.