Co-Founders of Objective Entertainment Christopher Adams and Dean Elliott talk about their online immersive experience THIS IS REALITY 2000

Within the past two decades, reality TV gameshows have formed a significant part of popular culture, the concept of relatable characters becoming household names a fascinating premise. Inspired by the genre, immersive theatre company Objective Entertainment have crafted their very own interactive experience THIS IS REALITY 2000, a Zoom based event, curated for a group of up to 12 participants who partake in a series of social games. Currently available to organise and book now, co-founders Christopher Adams and Dean Elliott tell us more about exploring the reality TV genre further, creating the show for Zoom and why they’re determined to perfect the immersive show format.

You’ve presented various stagings of online immersive experience THIS IS REALITY 2000 via Zoom. How have you found the experience so far?

It’s been amazing to see players from all walks of life throw themselves into the game and bring the characters to life in their own way. We’ve worked really hard to give people just enough so they feel safe to play the game while encouraging them to interpret the characters as they want to. We’ve seen so many different Sasha Fortunes, Nicky Fowlers, Viv Savages (and more) – all with the essence of the character, but totally unique! You can take the quiz to find out who you’re most like here.

The experience draws from the Reality TV Gameshow genre, a staple of 21st century entertainment. What inspired you both to explore this idea?

We started in the knowledge that this would be a game for Zoom for people in isolation, hopefully bringing strangers together in a new environment. We also knew we wanted the concept to match the platform, so reality TV made sense. It’s a format that everyone is familiar with, and it also seemed that shows such as Big Brother and the era itself were having a bit of a ‘moment’. Just as we made it, Big Brother was back on TV for the 20th anniversary of the first series. 

We also think the game is a bit of a comment on what reality TV has become. You look back at the early series of BB and there is almost something quaint and innocent about it… we’re more inspired by the over-the-top personas that arrived later on.

Inspired by the Reality TV show format, THIS IS REALITY 2000 witnesses participants complete various challenges, quizzes and games, what has been the approach in terms of structuring the experience?

In simple terms there are two layers – the game itself and the character-led Secret Objectives. HouseMaster, voiced by Hannah Wilder, sets the challenges and provides updates on scores and events in the house, all voted live in the game so everything you do has an impact.

Alongside this, there are the individual Secret Objectives that each player is encouraged to fulfil. The combination of the game and the character-led drama provide plenty of juicy moments – and no one has to be an actor, just like in reality TV!

You create a range of experiences for online parties, team building and dates, crafting experiences to suit the participants. How do you both approach creating these experiences?

People are at the heart of all our experiences at Objective Entertainment. We want to share the joy of acting with everyone (without all the bad bits) and we were tired of being so passive when engaging with artistic creations. The fourth wall feels so at odds with participation in the 21st century and we want to create work where the audience is essential. Even in supposedly immersive theatre, audience members can feel like it doesn’t matter whether they’re there or not. We flip this assumption and break down all barriers between the artistic creation and its audience.

The immersive show format is a genre Objective Entertainment aim to make a lot more engaging, ensuring participants are just as involved in the experience as the cast. Why focus on this particular genre further?

In fact, there is no cast! Just like reality TV, each person playing makes it what it is. Even though we’re actors, we find the one-man-band performance over Zoom quite cringeworthy. Not to do down what else is out there… but we wanted to move away from melodramatic “murder mystery”. We wanted to make something fresh, relevant and exciting – and reality TV is so successful for a reason!

Experiences are crafted around the participants taking part, ensuring no two shows are the same. How have you found this aspect of the experience?

It’s been really exciting… a real vindication of our approach and hard work to see players take to it and make the experience their own. It’s so satisfying for us when the less confident players find their voice and are fully going for it by the end. That’s how we know we’ve succeeded in facilitating an experience that provides opportunity to be creative and have a fantastic time.

Questions by Lucy Basaba.

To find out more about THIS IS REALITY 2000 and arrange an event, visit here…

To read our interview with game operator Oscar Hewitt, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop