#unrealchethams Saturday Round Up – 3 / by Lenni Sanders

We’ve had another lovely week at Chetham’s Library! We’re getting down to putting together our Unreal Tour for February 18th, working out what kind of structure it will have, and choosing our favourite stories of Chetham’s (real and imagined) to integrate into the script. This week, there are some fab new stories in our red postboxes in the Scriptorium which are going to work their way in (and there’s still plenty of time to add yours too!)

We’ve been really enjoying working out a route for the tour, and coming up with how we’d like to engage people in interactive ways in each room or space. A fairly big part of the way we write and perform as iOrganic involves using games in various ways in our performance – using the structure of a game, or creating that kind of mood. We plan for the Unreal Tour to slip in and out of games, or game-like moments, so it’s been fun thinking about how to do that.

This week we also hosted our Unreal Histories workshop. We all created stories in the first half, and made some forgeries and documents that support those stories in the second half. At the start, we showed our workshop participants a selection of particularly interesting books and papers that we felt summed up the ideas we wanted to encourage them to think about:

William Henry Ireland’s Shakespeare forgeries
a little book written entirely in an enigmatic code (but actually containing a sweet poem about going to your friend’s house)
a piece of 1800s conservative propaganda that disguises itself as a newspaper

Overall: things with murky or obscure histories, things that are not as they initially appear, or things that have been created with unusual motives behind them.

I really enjoyed Saturday afternoon – everybody who came contributed to the fun, relaxed atmosphere, and made some fantastic documents and “artefacts” (which we are going to integrate into our performance by talking about as if they’re real). We had some great conversations about authenticity and the way historical truth is constructed, and just generally a lovely afternoon. Thanks everyone for coming!

I’m going to update this blog post with pictures from the workshop, so keep your eyes peeled if you want to have a look at what we got up to.

Lenny