Planet of the Grapes - A retelling of the film classic Planet of the Apes. Yes! Following on for my Twitter request for shows. (Blog Post PT1) Planet of the Grapes performer Peter Michael Marino https://twitter.com/blackoutpete signposted his show to me. It was akin to walking down the Edinburgh Royal Mile picking up leaflets for shows to select.
It's not about finding shows, the annual fringe program is jammed packed. What to chose? picking up a flyer is a way to narrow the field. Yesterday's tweet did just that.
“Planet of the Grapes - Live from NYC” pic.twitter.com/ZSIFGLuSLN— Peter Michael Marino (@blackoutpete) August 21, 2021
Live digital theatre with an after-show chit chat. It was a delight to go backstage and meet Peter. Get a guided tour of the stage to see behind the scenes, as well glimpse into the performers green room! Such magnetic personalities ;)
Corking performances, Grape acting… and wonderful imagination. A treat for those who are well versed in the original film and a few treats for those who have read the book.
I loved the pre-show arrival with live mini ghost light with the Livestream scrolling ticker and audience noise. The mini interval was complete with a grape pianist. It was digital bijou. I loved it. It had for me the spirit of fringe in buckets. The close-up and personal of the tabletop stage leaning well into the digital medium where you’d not get that view in a physical venue. It made me want to see puppet theatre again.
Peter is a master at playing with that sense of scale. It was wonderful.
Thank you Peter for sharing with me your process. Your aspirations for the future of the show and the 'what went to plan' and the 'things that didn’t' making the liveness so magical. And is a perfect example of digital theatre.
What did I see? Planet of the Grapes at the Edinburgh Fringe on ZooTV. Tabletop Theatre performed live from New York by Peter Michael Marino.
“Planet of the Grapes Live” is a comedic and faithful homage that takes audiences of all ages on an epic, 60-minute adventure that fuses the Victorian era’s Toy Theater movement with the 1968 Charlton Heston/Rod Serling classic, “Planet of the Apes.”
About Peter: https://www.petermmarino.com/performer
Theatre Trailer: https://youtu.be/KwnIo2Lhylw
Created by Peter Michael Marino
Original Music by Michael Harren
Directed by Michole Biancosino
The making of blog on Tumblr - https://planetgrapeshow.tumblr.com/
Not wanting to give away the show here is a little "My trip to the theatre" macro-vlog!
The Tech Crit Bit
So the venue… getting an insight backstage was so satisfying making it feel like a theatre piece I’d seen distinguishing it from an on-demand or premiered live stream.
ZooTV is the digital extension of Zoo Venues who are part of what looks like a collective of venues working together under a project called MultiStory. https://multistory.scot/about/
“MultiStory is a new festival hub at the Edinburgh Fringe created collaboratively by Gilded Balloon, ZOO Venues, Traverse Theatre & Dance Base, featuring an open-air performance stage, local street food stalls and bars.”
Zoo Venues has venue based work as well as a digital programme. https://www.zoovenues.co.uk/zootv
Their website shares this... The ZOO TV programme is limited to a small number of shows. ZooTV asks for an up-front charge of £150 made to each participating company, in order for ZOO to cover running costs. In exchange for this, companies get all box office proceeds, PR and marketing support (their in-house PR team secure coverage for shows in major media outlets such as the New York Times, Times, Guardian and Scotsman), Online shows are hosted on their ZOO TV website and (this is interesting) provide digital ushers to help audience members during performances.
There were 11 in the audience and a little chat window streamed through Vimeo. As an audience experience, the box office was a little misleading as the transaction screen didn’t name the show I was paying for.
I have to point out... It is my first real experience of being in digital audiences purely as an audience member. So perhaps I’m just being a bit dumb. Immediately after payment, I had a small (7cm x 4cm) video embedded in place of the show notice. I could make it full screen but nothing in between that I could see. I also had to manually force the resolution to 1080 from 340.
A good look under the hood of presenting and delivering work to a paying audience. It looks like ZooTV used a platform called InPlayer for box-office https://inplayer.com/ I’m unsure how the back end connects for the productions whether Vimeo is integrated into the InPlay live stream solution or if ZooTV integrates through a platform of their own.
After a bit of poking around on the InPlayer site, I found a news item announcing their partnership with WildEricMedia a company own by a connection I recently started talking to again about the Livestream end of PCM’s production ambitions with the ACE Develop Creative Practice funding ambitions. https://inplayer.com/the-show-must-go-online/
What a great weekend.