Minecraft play is world first

Alex Deery and Matthew Kilgore were pictured during yesterday's Minecraft Workshop in The Playhouse. DER2817-133KM
Alex Deery and Matthew Kilgore were pictured during yesterday's Minecraft Workshop in The Playhouse. DER2817-133KM

Derry’s Playhouse theatre is set to be the venue for the world’s first ever performance of a play inside the hugely successful ‘Minecraft’ video game.

The curtain will rise on the production in October, but yesterday (Friday) some of the biggest international bloggers were in Derry to officially launch the play.

Minecraft is the second-best-selling videogame of all time. Designed by Swede Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, it enables players to build constructions out of textured cubes and take part in exploration, engineering, crafting and combat. As of February 2017, Minecraft had sold 121 million copies.

The new play, Playcraft Live, will be performed by both human actors on stage at the Playhouse and their corresponding digital avatars in the world of Minecraft. Playcraft Live will premiere on Saturday October 14, both on stage at the Playhouse and broadcast to the world online at www.playcraft.live

Kieran Griffiths, Creative Director at the Playhouse Theatre, said, “We are excited to be introducing something completely new to the world of theatre. The production is hugely ambitious and a definite step into the unknown, but a tremendous opportunity to allow two artistic worlds to come together and learn from each other. Theatre involves removing the audience from their everyday lives and into a new situation; this will certainly be the case with Playcraft Live but the step will be even further than normal.”

The play will be split between live performances by actors on stage and puppeteers controlling the actors within Minecraft. Slipping between both stage and game world, the story will unfold across different locations and time from within the story. Audiences within the theatre, and online, will experience the production as a single live-stream, and neither audience needs to own Minecraft in order to view the stream.

Playcraft Live intends to bring together some of the finest creative talents from theatre and gaming. Leading Minecraft artists and digital producers, Adam Clarke (aka The Wizard) and MakeMatic, will work with set and costume designers at the Playhouse, to create virtual theatre sets within Minecraft. The production will see the dramatisation of a script, written specifically for Playcraft by Alex Scarrow, the internationally successful author and creator of the popular Time Riders teen novels.

For full pictorial coverage of yesterday’s launch event, see page 41 of today’s ‘Journal.’