Innovative live show HOME X will be premiered in London (and online) this February
The award-winning team behind HOME X is excited to announce their next cutting-edge production, combining theatre, music, gaming, and VR technology. This innovative live performance was created in collaboration with technologists and artists in London and Hong Kong.
The team has created a 3D world where digital audience members can join as native creatures. Live performers from Hong Kong and the UK will be captured as 3D images by depth-sensing cameras and added to the world. In-person audience members in both locations will see half of the performers live in the venue and the other half as 3D projections on an immersive screen.
After winning Arts Council England's Digital Culture Award for storytelling, the team is thrilled to bring this ground-breaking experimental performance to audiences in the UK and around the world. HOME X features dancers and musicians from the UK and Hong Kong collaborating in a virtual reality world. Audiences will witness the future of live performance at the premiere in February 2023 online or at high-profile venues including the London Barbican, Theatre Royal York, and Cambridge Junction.
HOME X is co-produced by Kakilang (formerly Chinese Arts Now) and their Hong Kong partner, Don't Believe in Style and co-commissioned by Cambridge Junction, Oxford Contemporary Music and York Theatre Royal. The work is supported by StoryFutures and The Space, originally commissioned by British Council Hong Kong.
In HOME X, we are using technology as a form of artistic expression to create a new way of experiencing and telling stories. Through this project, we aim to explore the potential of technology to bring people together and transcend physical boundaries. The remote audience will actively participate in the game, while the live audience witnesses these different realities intersecting in various ways. We aim to create a powerful and engaging experience that brings people together in a meaningful way.- An-Ting 安婷 (director/composer of HOME X and Artistic Director of Kakilang)
- Conceived by An-Ting 安婷, Ian Gallagher and Donald Shek
- Directed and Composed by An-Ting 安婷
- Creative Technology by Ian Gallagher
- 3D Design by Donald Shek
- Experience Design by Henry Lam
- Costume Design by Christine Ting - Huan 挺歡 Urquhart
- Choreographers/Dancers: Si Rawlinson (UK), Suen Nam (HK)
- Soprano: Colette Wing Wing Lam
- Actor Gamer: Mia Foo
- Dramaturg: Daniel York Loh
Home X is a live performance within a rich and magical virtual world that seeks to bring people together through a shared digital experience. The concept was born out of a desire to create a space where audiences could connect with each other and with the performers, regardless of their physical distance.
Live on stage in Hong Kong and the UK, depth-sensing cameras capture 3D video of the performers using infrared light to capture the shape and movement of the performers’ bodies in realtime. The live audience will watch as they are digitised and streamed into the 3D world. This world will come alive for the audience through an immersive projection, with a live in-game camera following the digitised performers, the digital audience, and the other creatures of the world.
HOME X uses the gaming engine Unity to create a three-dimensional, virtual world. The digital audience members are able to fully engage with the performance by entering the virtual world as avatars. They can interact with other audience members and the performers using gestures and emojis, and even play a role in driving the story forward. The use of bespoke streaming technology allows for a lag of less than half a second between the London and Hong Kong performers, making it feel as though they are truly performing together in the same space
In-person audience members in both locations will see half of the performers live in the venue and the other half as 3D projections on an immersive screen. Through the use of cutting-edge technology and immersive storytelling, Home X creates a shared experience that feels both live and real. It is a unique exploration of the concept of "home" and a celebration of the power of connection and togetherness
We believe that Home X has the potential to revolutionise the way that people experience theatre. By combining the best of live performance with the latest in gaming technology, we are able to create a space where people can come together and share in the magic of the performance, regardless of their physical location. We are excited to continue exploring the possibilities of Home X and to see where this technology can take us in the future.
The system was conceived and developed by the creative technologist Ian Gallagher. The London studio is built with Kakilang and the Hong Kong studio is built by Don’t Believe in Style.
I am incredibly proud of the work that has gone into creating Home X and I can't wait for audiences to experience it for themselves. It is a truly unique and innovative performance that offers a new way for audiences to connect with each other and with the performers. I believe it will be a truly unforgettable experience.- Ian Gallagher (Creative Technologist of HOME X)
The digital audience members, in the form of native creatures, join two explorers, Jack and Yang 楊, as they are sent to a mysterious new world and discover its secrets. As they journey through this fantastical landscape, they realise that their actions have far-reaching consequences. They must confront the delicate balance between destruction and renewal and the true meaning of home and belonging.
The production uses its unique form to bring live dancers and musicians together with in-person and digital audience members to explore the mixing of different realities and the concept of home and root.
What happens when you tear up your roots and move away? What is lost and what can be made again? Where, or what, is home? The groundbreaking performance will take the audience on the voyage of discovery at the HOME X world.
The soundscape in HOME X is created from the natural field recordings. It includes 38 kinds of birdsongs from UK and HK, the land sound from Portugal Evora and a drum set. The composer An-Ting 安婷 was inspired by the richness of the natural sound and desire to share it with people. Birds and other animals naturally create layers of sound which put the acoustic world into a harmony.
The music will all be performed live in HOME X. An-Ting 安婷 collaborates with opera singer Colette Wing Wing Lam thorough NDI and Ableton live and stream the sound through WebRTC to Unity where the game takes place. Wing Wing interprets the poem ‘The Sea’ by one of the emperors of the Three Kingdom, Cao Cao, in Cantonese on top of the soundscape. The music uses natural sound, electronic drums and the emperor's poem to explore humanity's ambition and complex feelings about home and roots.
The 3D world of HOME X digital performance was designed by artist Donald Shek, from the initial visual concepts to building the world using digital drawing apps, 3D computer graphics software, and the video game engine Unity.
The space is influenced by history, geography, mythology, and concepts nurtured during the R&D stages of the project and at its inception. The world is familiar with references to local vernacular buildings, flora, and fauna from both the United Kingdom and Hong Kong, yet an oddly mystical landscape that forms the backdrop to the story of Home X.
As you further explore the colorful landscape you may encounter musical compositions inspired by the variety of nature that exists in both the UK and HK. The detail and textures are enhanced not just visually through digitally painted assets but through auditory depth within the world. Each element of the world was meticulously designed through not just geographical references but a mosaic of ideas linked to real-life experiences by the whole team to help enrich the story with symbolism and allegory.
HOME X - Online (World)
- 7:30 pm GMT, 10-11, 15-16, 21-25 February 2023
- 2 pm GMT, 23 & 25 February 2023
HOME X - In-Person (UK)
- York Theatre Royal
7:30 pm GMT, 10-11 February 2023 (2 performances)
- Cambridge Junction
7:30 pm GMT, 15-16 February 2023 (2 performances)
- The Pit, Barbican (London)
7:30 pm GMT, 21-25 February 2023 (5 performances)
2 pm GMT, 23 & 25 February 2023 (2 performances)