Escapism in some form or other balances out our predictable routines – whether that be via art, spirituality, vice, technology, a getaway – the need for a break from the everyday crucial for us all to function. Cue Electrick Village‘s brief VR installation piece RawTransport™, a quietly ambitious exploration of escapism and how this in itself further deepens our own sense of self. Made possible by the accessibility of a headset and headphones, how we potentially holiday or ‘escape’ in the future could shift dramatically and not involve the chaos of packing and check ins.

Courtesy of Hannah Pye

Courtesy of Hannah Pye

Carly McCann and Ben Grant present at first glance a novel, care free show – asked to fill in a consent form prior to our VR experience by our hostess, an unassuming shipping container situated metres away from the Vaults becomes the basis of something more profound, forming various realities. The novelty gradually shifts into a meaningful, thought provoking evening as we’re taken on a round trip across various planes and realms – not necessarily instantly recognisable locations – sunflower fields, an oceanic expanse; but places I’m sure many of us have seen or experienced before, but may not have given much thought to in that particular moment.

RawTransport™ is a meditative experience, there’s the opportunity for all to sit back and observe and listen, rather than immediately attempt to draw conclusions and tie up loose ends – a facet of the show that gives it its charm. The crux of the show is escapism, but what that could mean for me, could mean something completely different for someone else, clever as the experience is unique to the viewer. RawTransport™ allows for a max of 4 to take part at a time, 4 seats set in the middle of the intimate space as you walk in. I’m joined by one other participant and when discussing the show afterwards, they draw parallels to the first time they’d ever experienced 3D animation – for them the innovation of this show on a par with the excitement of watching genre pushing art.

I look forward to watching this again if developed further, and appreciate the artistry and invention displayed in terms of pushing theatre forward.

Review written by Lucy Basaba.

RawTransport™ was shown from Tuesday 11th until Sunday 23rd February at the Vaults as part of this year’s Vault Festival. To find out more about the production, visit here…

To find out more about Electrick Village, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop