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Sophie Mercell in the final still of Play: Three Acts


OnLooking is an ongoing series of small-scale, non-digital experiments exploring the role of the audience in performance, in order to interrogate the boundaries of what theatre is - and isn’t.

Created in stages over a period of six months, the series playfully explores interactions between live performers, participants and audience, asking how and why we delineate between artistic disciplines, and what lies in the overlap.


P1 Play: Three Acts

The Play: Three Acts flipbook

Inspired by the work of photographer Eadweard Muybridge, Play: Three Acts investigates the imagery of the body in space, interrogating an audience’s instinct to read dynamic human stories into body language, patterns and the juxtaposition of images. 


Taking the form of a manually-operated flipbook, Play: Three Acts is a pre-recorded performance piece only viewable when an audience member physically engages with it, making their involvement an integral part of the action, despite being separated from the performance itself.


Seemingly random, the movements of the participants invite us to project a narrative onto their actions, relationships, and responses to their environment.

Peter Groom and Sophie Mercell in Play: Three Acts

Sustainability: Camera used was Lomography’s “Simple Use” Reloadable 35mm film camera, capturing the essence of a single-use disposable while significantly reducing the environmental impact.

Pictured: Sophie Mercell and Peter Groom

The next installment in the OnLooking series will be added soon.

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