As pioneers of visual pop culture moments around the globe from collaborations with David Blaine to Lady Gaga, Intel has once again delivered an incredibly groundbreaking feat – and this time in the form of a partnership with the iconic William Shakespeare, well, the Royal Shakespeare Company to be exact.
Considering I have somewhat of an obsession with the idea of advancing a hybrid tech reality for humankind, last night, I had the pleasure of attending the premiere of a digitally reimagined production of “The Tempest.” Breaking boundaries, the show paid homage to the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death by creating a new dimension for guests in the form of the rendering a digital character – Ariel the sprite – live on stage.
Using live performance capture technology powered by Intel and developed by The Imaginarium Studios (traditionally reserved for pre-recorded video game and film content), the show featured a highly complexed and very loveable digital avatar which interacted with other live actors in real-time. According to Imaginaruim, the avatar is created with “336(!) joints, the equivalent to recreating every joint in the human body, and is powered by a PC that has 50-million times more memory than the one that put man on the moon.” So you can imagine the versatility of the character.
What I loved personally was seeing how Ariel (played by Mark Quartley)’s character was re-designed to be almost a beautiful blue androgynous nymph-esque creature with almost digital quirks in the physical human which complimented how the digital avatar came to life. Almost featured in 75% of the production, Ariel the sprite’s mesmerising presence definitely stole the show.
The overall production was also incredible as you can see from some of the photos in this post, with a complex narrative built into a subversive world, everything from the backdrops to the lighting, the thunder and lightning cracks of “the storm” and the detail in each of the character designs are truly world-class.
The Tempest in collaboration with Intel runs until January 21 2017 in Stratford-Upon-Avon, tickets are available through the RSC and will also be showing at The Barbican in 2017.