This Easter, AMAZE at W5 presents a new immersive theatre production in association with award-winning writer and director Dan Gordon, that will tell the story of the Belfast Blitz.
In April 1941, despite the destruction being wrought throughout Britain and Europe during World War II, the consensus of opinion in Belfast was that “It’ll never happen here!”.
An exciting new immersive production will bring that story to life, bringing audiences back to Belfast, painting a picture of life in the city leading up to the night of the first raid on 7th April 1941.
Written and directed by Dan Gordon and starring Jo Donnelly (Rough Girls/Mimi’s World/Nova Jones, BBC) and Marty Maguire (Vikings, Amazon Prime; The Fall, BBC), this exciting new immersive theatre show will bring the Belfast Blitz story to life.
This brand new venture for W5 mixes live performances with multi-screen projection and state of the art 360-degree audio-soundscape technology to create a dynamic and innovative new experience.
The story begins with a cast of characters, based on real life witnesses to the Blitz and performed by actors, Jo Donnelly and Marty Maguire. As the first distant siren begins to wail, and the sharp cry of ‘put that light out’ echoes round the room, the audience is plunged into darkness for a unique acoustic experience.
An Immersive theatre production differentiates itself from traditional theatre by removing the stage and immersing audiences within the performance itself. This new venture for W5 mixes live performances from local actors with multi-screen projection and state of the art 360-degree audio-soundscape technology to create a dynamic and innovative new experience.
The novel new show brings the production much closer to the audience, enveloping them and making them feel like part of the whole experience.
A virtual, and emotional, environment will take guests back to that fateful night, truly enveloping them in the experience. As a new day dawns, images of the destruction wrought by the Luftwaffe flood the room, and the cast of characters, both live and virtual, begin to relay their stories of sadness, heroism and hope to the gathered audience.
Archive images from Belfast at the time of the Belfast Blitz used in the production were sourced from media partners, The Belfast Telegraph, as well as PRONI.
Commenting on the launch, Adrian Lutton, head of creative for W5 said: “The world-class audio-visual technology we have in AMAZE at W5 allows us to create out of the ordinary experiences, that push boundaries and traditional notions of what theatre should or can be. Our immersive Belfast Blitz experience is the first of many new and exciting experiences that will put the visitor at the heart of the action.”
Award-winning actor, writer and producer, Dan Gordon has written and produced the show. Commenting on the launch, he said: “I’m proud to partner with W5 to present this exciting new theatre production, which will bring immersive theatre to a whole new level. Many people think of war as something that happens elsewhere. And whilst Belfast has had its fair share of troubles since, at the time of the Belfast Blitz there certainly was a feeling that ‘It will never happen here.’
“Exploring that theme, particularly with what is happening in the world at present, has been exceptionally poignant and eye-opening and indeed, there are many parallels that can be drawn. The arts, and theatre in particular, have a unique role to play in opening hearts and minds; helping to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. I think this will be a powerful production that will be emotive but also entertaining, in that very particular Belfast way.”
It’ll Never Happen Here! A Belfast Blitz Experience takes place at AMAZE in W5 on selected evenings from 9 – 23 April. Tickets are priced £10 plus booking fees. Book here
Please note: For an optimal experience this 360-degree immersive show is designed to be viewed from a standing position, though some seating will be positioned around the performance space. The experience lasts approximately 50 minutes. Part of the show contains some very loud bangs and sound effects during a period of darkness. This show is not suitable for young children and is recommended for an audience of children aged 8 + and adults.
Please note: W5 floors will not be open during the production show times - tickets do not include admission to W5.