A virtual reality theatre show that took three years to curate, with help from specialists in marine biology, will take you to the Great Barrier Reef.

The creation of Frogman has included underwater film shoots in Australia and Indonesia and was made in close collaboration with schools from Hull and Backbone Youth Arts, Brisbane, a leading Australian experimental youth theatre. Together they have created the show exploring themes of childhood, parenthood and the impending coral reef bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.

Times Series:

The show, Frogman, brings theatre-makers curious directive to London for the first time since 2016. The coming-of-age virtual reality (VR) thriller was at the Edinburgh festival last year and now this new re-worked version will play at the Shoreditch Town Hall from April 4 too 14 and then North Finchley’s artsdepot from April 17 to 21.

With an increased capacity of 50 audiences members, all simultaneously in VR, Frogman blurs the lines between reality and fiction, the physical and the virtual. It submerges the audience deep into the Great Barrier Reef and carefree summers of long ago. Blending youthful nostalgia with a dark sense of haunting unease, the show captures that yearning to return to purer days, real or imagined and the pain at the realisation that those days are gone forever.

Georgina Strawson plays Meera and will be performing live on stage. The cast also includes voice work from Johnny Flynn as Douglas Clarke, Anna Procter as Cathy Selbourne, Kate Shenton as Jen Philips and Russell Woodhead as Ryan Willis.

The VR cast features four non-professional young actors from schools in Brisbane, Australia. They are Ava Ryan (11) as Young Meera, Indiah Morris (11) as Lily McCullen, Sol Castanho (11) as Shaun Jacobs and Milla Webb (13) as Ashleigh Richardson.

Directed by artistic director and founder Jack Lowe, the show was three years in the making and he worked alongside specialists in marine biology from Hull’s Deep Aquarium, coral reef scientist Jamie Craggs (Horniman Museum), Sebastian Hennige (Heriot-Watt) and Creative Technologist Ed Greig (Deloitte Digital).

As part of the run at Shoreditch Town Hall from April 4 to 14, curious directive will host a Digital Realities masterclass for emerging artists, offering a paid artist development opportunity for three artists/companies. Offered in conjunction with Deloitte Digital and Shoreditch Town Hall, the artist development opportunity over two days forms part of curious directive’s wider remit to dismantle the barriers to innovative use of tech for smaller companies.

artdepot, 5 Nether St, North Finchley, N12 0GA. Details: 020 8369 5454

Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old St, London EC1V 9LT. Details: 020 7739 6176