We four have gathered once more in Manchester, for the final climax of our tale. The story trail has been underway for the last 10 days, taking participants to interesting places around Manchester where they are discovering digital and non-digital surprises, and fragments of the story. On Friday evening the story will culminate in a live performance on a canal boat, and our current task is to refine the script and rehearse the performance.
Maya has been giving guided tours of the story trail, which have been popular with people who aren’t familiar with the technology (which is most people, since we are using the very new Zappar codes and geocaching which is quite a niche activity) as well as with those who appreciate the personal touch and extra information they’re able to get on the tour. At the end of each tour Maya has been doing a microprojection, usually onto the dark canal waters. This evening it was too wet for the tour, so we went to a poetry reading at the Manchester Central Library and afterwards did the microprojection outside the library as the audience left.
It was still raining heavily, which meant we had to take care to keep the projector dry, and people weren’t going to stand around very long looking at it. But the rain did provide a nice wet concrete surface on which the projection showed up very nicely. As people walked over the text they did a double-take and looked back to see what it was, some bemused about where it was coming from.
I’ve also learned how to fold an origami narrowboat as part of this project. It’s harder than it looks! But now that I’ve got the knack of it, I’m finding it very meditative. The boats, which give another fragment of our story, have been distributed around various festival venues and will also be available at the performances and guided tours.
Tomorrow we will mark out the performance space of the boat on the floor of our rehearsal room at Z Arts, make the final tweaks to the script and rehearse for the three performances on Friday night (book now if you haven’t already – the first two are nearly full!). And on Saturday, Sarah and I will give our workshop, which follows on from the workshop Maya and Michelle gave last Saturday – reviewed here by a participant who can’t wait for the next part.
So, we are in the busy and exciting days as everything we’ve planned and prepared is finally realised. I just hope that the weather will be kinder – rain is not so nice for going around the story trail – and that this annoying cough I’ve got clears up before Friday …