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iAm - Kensal House Community Rooms, Ladbroke Grove

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

S.P.I.D. and The Bush Theatre are presenting iAm, a fast paced, interactive show about our attachment to technology, at Kensal House Community Rooms, Ladbroke Grove – from September 30 to October 25, 2014.

Created by Mel Cook and Helena Thompson, iAm explores our attachment to technology by giving audiences the chance to experiment and compete in a series of group activities. Mixing immersive theatre and interactive games in a near future scenario, the piece addresses issues like morality and community in a digital age.

The audience are invited to an intimate focus group. Only a select few have been allowed in to test a cutting edge new product – the iAm. Could it be the next big thing? But as the eager guinea pigs sign their non-disclosure agreements, someone throws a spanner in the works. The company’s latest recruit has ethical concerns: aren’t iAms entitled to certain rights? Technology is about to take on a life of its own.

Co-creator Helena Thompson said: “Most of us have accepted technology as a practical way of improving daily life. Yet we’ve all caught ourselves shouting at Siri or berating Sat Nav as if they were humans. The gadgets we rely on play a more emotional role than we like to admit.”

S.P.I.D. (Specially Produced Innovatively Directed) uses immersive arts events to bring people together. They create participatory drama shows which happen all around. The charity has won Fringe Report’s Best Outreach Award, the Apollo Award for youth work and a Young People Now award. S.P.I.D have also collaborated with the National Theatre, the Gate and Riverside Studios.

Co-creator Mel Cook is an experiential theatre maker. She has created festival work for Latitude, Glastonbury, LIFT, and Hide & Seek, and developed site-sympathetic work for Shunt Vaults, BAC, V&A, and The Lowry. She is associate director for S.P.I.D. and Coney. She has been a finalist for the James Menzies Kitchen, ITV, C4, Arches, Bankside, and Leverhulme directing awards.

Co-creator Helena Thompson founded S.P.I.D. in 2005. Her previous shows Bluebeard’s Wives (ICA, 2003) and Open House (selected as Festival Highlight of the Year by The List and Time Out, 2005) are published by Plays International. She was on the National Theatre’s attachment scheme and has been commissioned by BBC Radio 4 and The Bush Theatre.

iAm is suitable for ages 7+.

Tickets: £9, £6 concessions – available on 020 8743 5050 or online at www.bushtheatre.co.uk/.

Times: Tuesday and Wednesday at 1.30pm; Thursday to Saturday at 7.30pm.

Running Time: 75 minutes.