27 Aug 2016

Enter the world of The Cube by Circa69

You awake to find yourself sitting at a table inside a cube…

… your friends are gone and you are faced with the question – how do you build a reality which doesn’t collapse within three days?

If the augmented reality experience of Pokemon Go leaves you wanting more with every play, here’s one gripping piece of fully-blown virtual reality (VR) that’ll suck you in from the very start. The experience of The Cube by Circa69 is similar to the Japanese phenomenon in the sense that you’re transported into an incredible digital world, yet here, the story is completely bizarre and will quite frankly, blow your mind.

For five days, The Cube will make its way to Hull School of Art and Design from 31 August as part of Freedom Festival 2016. The concept brings to life one of the most unusual mass disappearances in history – the true story of a young person who vanished in America under mysterious circumstances in 1959. Creator of The Cube and Electronic Theatre Artist Simon Wilkinson describes the piece as ‘a one-on-one virtual reality experience, where the audience member sits at a desk, opposite a stranger, with a headset on’. You are instantly sucked in, seeing the whole story unfold through the eyes of the character who disappeared.

Despite it only being a 15 minute performance, it’s one you’re likely to remember for a long time to come. Seen through the (surprisingly comfortable) Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, the piece takes you into a fascinating, immersive new world. At times it can be difficult to properly appreciate art when you’re surrounded by others in an audience, influencing your own mood and perception, but with The Cube it’s all about you and the story. Expect to end up completely immersed in what’s in front of you with no influence from the outside world.

The Cube is a definite must for fans of the cult Netflix series Stranger Things, the supernatural horror which follows the disappearance of a young boy and has an equal amount of supernatural mystery and horror. The very fact you’re aware throughout the 15 minutes of peculiarity the concept is based on a true story just adds to the experience itself, leaving you on the edge of your seat, searching for the answer to the unknown.

Circa 69 is the collective work of Simon Wilkinson, who also delivers lectures on topics such as immersion and the impact VR has on people. If this floats your boat check out some of his innovative thinking in this lecture.

If you’re still sat there completely baffled, it’s best to go experience it for yourself, but make sure you secure your tickets.

The Cube will be staged from 31 August to 4 September in 15 minute slots between 12.00 – 15.00 and 16.00 – 18.30.

Tickets are available now at Hull Box Office (recommended for ages 12+).

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