ANTS are a collective of six interdisciplinary artists from across the world determined to make theatre that can thrive in and beyond a socially distanced world. The ANTS (Lu Curtis, Eva H. Lee, Diana Vallverdu i Cabrera, Paul Hernes Barnes, Mengqiu Xu and Zhaolin Zhou) have worked throughout 2020 to create We Still Fax, a brand-new, genre-defying production developed to withstand the current unstable climate and redefine theatre under restriction.
Described as immersive theatre crossed with an escape room, the show explores how theatre as an artform can adapt to our current world, not by uploading shows to the internet, but by playing with form and space.
In We Still Fax, audiences will receive an intergalactic fax machine in the post that comes alive through sound, light, touch, smell, smoke and of course, faxes. The show weaves together innovative storytelling, analogue technology and code-breaking games to bring a whole new world to the doorstep of audiences.
You receive a mysterious machine in the post. You plug it in and something strange happens… You connect with an alternate dimension; one in which the internet doesn’t exist and someone needs your help! To take on this incredibly important mission, you will need to crack codes, send faxes, unlock secret hatches and, when the time comes, push the big, red button. They are counting on you; their world depends on it.
Lu Curtis, an ANT, said: “Creativity means change, yet theatre has remained largely the same. When venues closed down, many companies took stage work online. We want to change the game. We want to bring the stage to you – not just over a screen, but right there, on your living room table, in your home!
“2020 has shown us that theatre needs a makeover. Rather than let the pandemic stop us in our tracks, we used it as inspiration. It was the mascara to theatre’s long lashes.”
Each fax machine used by the production has been completely rewired by the ANTS themselves in order to deliver this show to any UK home. The machines are equipped with a phone-sized computer (the RASPBERRY PI) to provide remote control of the show over the internet. This means that the ANTS have been able to produce a fully-realised, entertaining theatrical experience that is completely COVID-19 secure.
We Still Fax, having been dreamt up at the height of coronavirus infections, takes every precaution to keep audiences safe. All machines are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between every show. The ANTS send the machines in the post three days in advance of the performance date and time. This enables ample time for delivery, but also allows for each fax machine to decontaminate further after their delivery.
We Still Fax runs from 15 January until 14 March 2021. For tickets and more information, visit www.antstheatre.com/westillfax