Our Digital Diorama brings to life a version of Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon, with performances from RSC actors and Associate Artists.

Visitors to our new exhibition, Digital Diorama, will have the chance to see Shakespeare's work in a whole new light.

The exhibition uses augmented reality technology, similar to popular apps like Pokémon Go and BBC Civilisations, to bring to life a version of Stratford-upon-Avon that William Shakespeare himself might have recognised from his childhood. Visitors will use tablet devices and headphones to experience scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, featuring performances from RSC actors and associate artists including Pippa Nixon, Richard McCabe, Alex Waldmann and David Acton. 

To create the performances, the actors were recorded using photogrammetry and motion capture before being turned into avatars, digital versions of themselves. One of the actors involved was Alexandra Gilbreath, who will perform in The Provoked Wife from May: “I thought I knew what motion capture is - but it's only when you go through the process you realise how fascinating it really is. This is something completely different for an actor but it uses all the theatre magic, the language. It's been great fun.”

Headshot of Alexandra Gilbreath
Associate Artist Alexandra Gilbreath is one of the performers in the exhibition.

Artistic Director Gregory Doran said: “Dioramas were very popular in the 19th century. They involved large scale models with vast panoramas which could transport excited audiences into the midst of a battlefield, a storm at sea, or the slopes of an erupting volcano.

"Our dioramas are digital. We’ve combined an old technique with the latest technology to take you right into Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon. We have invited a great cast of RSC alumni to perform tiny extracts from Shakespeare’s plays to illustrate a journey from birthplace to graveyard, and introduce the Seven Ages of Man.”

Digital Diorama has been envisioned and brought to life with development and technical support from Intel and is funded within the Audience of the Future programme by UK Research and Innovation through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Digital Diorama runs in the PACCAR Room on the second floor of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre from 27 April until 8 September. Entrance is free from 10am daily.

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