Theatre Within a Theatre

Judith Aston was commissioned to create an immersive installation for the Royal West of England Art Gallery as part of their six week long ‘Centre Stage’ exhibition. The piece was specifically made to celebrate 250 years of the Bristol Old Vic theatre. Working with another filmmaker and a model maker, Aston created a maquette of the theatre’s auditorium, complete with projections and peepholes. Viewers could explore the different sight-lines within the theatre and watch the take down/set up of four different shows alongside excerpts from their performances. It was originally displayed as part of an immersive installation with external as well as internal projections, an external soundtrack and the aroma of old fashioned theatrical greasepaint. Aston has subsequently developed it further, putting doll’s house lights and decorative mouldings inside the theatre, and placing the speakers inside to create a more magical lure. This new version has been displayed at the Windmill Hill Art Trail and as part of a group show at the Centrespace Gallery in Bristol. Aston is currently looking for funding to develop it further, using virtual reality to extend the personalised nature of the experience and play with the idea of scale.