Following the successful exhibitions of The Chinese Room's Dear Esther game and accompanying live music score, Dear Esther Live will be going on tour across the UK in 2017 and 2018.
The show started as a one off live performance of the music from the video game by composer Jessica Curry at the Barbican in London in October 2016. The music was accompanied by a live playthrough of the game on a screen for people to see the immersive Hebridean landscape. The concert was reprised for the London Games Festival in April 2017.
For the tour, the game has been edited and specially designed to act as part of the concert/art experience and will be played live by writer Thomas McMullan. Along with Curry's score, the audience will enter and experience the journey both visually and audibly, creating a captivating performance art show with a celebration of video games front and centre. Along with McMullan, a voice actor will be bringing the games spoken word element to life along with a string section and soprano to provide the musical accompaniment.
“Dear Esther really has stood the test of time," said composer and co-founder of The Chinese Room, Jessica Curry. "Going back to it, we were still felt so passionate about it. We realised that we’re missing a trick here, in not playing it live, as it has so many advantages that way. And one of the most exciting things about this tour is that no audience is going to get the same experience. The playthrough can change every night.”
Dear Esther was released in 2012 by Brighton-based The Chinese Room as an immersive exploration and narrative game experience. It was nominated for a BAFTA the following year. The show is being produced by the developer along with music events company Music Beyond Mainstream and Arts Council England. There will also be further electronic music from Robin Rimbaud, better known as Scanner.
The dates for the tour are as follows:
03 Glasgow – Tramway (press night)
28 Birmingham – Town Hall
29 Coventry – Warwick Arts Centre
30 Cambridge – Corn Exchange
19 Nottingham – Royal Concert Hall
20 Edinburgh – Usher Hall
21 Gateshead – Sage Gateshead
25 Cardiff – Royals Welsh College of Music & Drama
26 Liverpool – Philharmonic Hall
27 Basingstoke – The Anvil
01 Bristol – Colston Hall
02 Brighton – Brighton Dome