Ben Kirman


Gameful app-driven interactive theatre (2022)

Áruló flier, featuring a pizza box with a receipt showing show credits

Áruló is a collaboration with Kolibri Színház (Budapest, Hungary) and director Vidovszky György as part of the EU funded PlayOn! project. It is an adaptation of Traitor by Esther Richardson and Cecilie Lundsholt.

In Áruló, the audience follows the story of a pizza delivery rider, who accidentally finds himself the centre of a conflict between a shadowy corporation and a group of rebels. This is a production aimed at young adults, and centres the mobile phone as a tool of potential oppression and freedom. As part of the show, all audience members are provided with a mobile phone that is used extensively through the performance.

An actor running into a scene holding a mobile phone

Audience members collectively decide the name and costume of the main character, and help make decisions throughout the show. They help them choose who to trust and when to lie, help search for clues and also control CCTV and traffic lights to help the courier get through the story. Much of the action in the show features phones in some respect, as a communication tool through voice and text chats, but also as a device for work/control and independence.

I produced the mobile application and live orchestration system for Áruló, working closely with the director Vidovszky György and the designer, Gidró Nándor, who is responsible for the amazing visuals. For me this was a great project to demonstrate the storytelling capabilities of mobile phones in this context, and the technical implementation came together really well. It is great to see an auditorium of phones simultaneously respond to action on stage. Especially cool is that the phones are not just novelty props, but are entwined in the plot and themes of the show.

Áruló is part of the repetoire of Kolibri, and is shown regularly to audiences in Budapest. Like Futebol this project is an international collaboration as part of PlayOn! and it is well worth exploring the other productions in this project.

Full credits and more information on the show at Kolibri's website.

Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union