In 2016 new versions of Give Me Back were made for University of Bristol, as part of the launch event for the Brigstow Institute, on October 13th, and for Deptford Lounge, as part of the Hothouse programme, commissioned by The Albany and Lewisham Council. It was performed 6 times in Deptford, from 9 - 11th November. Give Me Back is different every time it is performed, made with and for particular communities/ publics, and re-made uniquely for specific places.
The show takes the form of a theatrical guided tour, not of the historic past, but of the future of a place, and uses location-sensitive mobile devices. Groups of participants are told site-specific science fiction stories, both utopian and dystopian, and have the opportunity to collaboratively imagine their ideal future architecture, seeing it drawn real-time and in situ, using micro-projectors and a networked drawing app. The event concludes with a fictional planning meeting, which brings together local inhabitants or users of the area, councilors, architects, planners and other stakeholders for debate around the groups’ proposals and plans.
The project explores how innovative technology and performance can be used to enable communities’ participation in urban planning consultation, and to facilitate conversations around place making. The performance asks audiences to collaboratively imagine and debate possible futures for their city. Give Me Back continues an enquiry around co-creating performance work with a participating audience, who are invited to share in its authorship and to shape its outcome.
Originally developed as part of Watershed's Theatre Sandbox Programme, a version of Give Me Back was also performed as part of the European City of Culture programme in Guimaraes, Portugal, 2012. In 2013 the show was commissioned as part of a series of Bristol Temple Quarter commissions coordinated by Watershed, Knowle West Media Centre and MAYK, with support from Bristol City Council and Arts Council England.