The Young Vic Will Host a Theatrical Preview of VR Experience DRAW ME CLOSE

The Young Vic to host theatrical preview of VR experience Draw Me Close, a National Theatre and National Film Board of Canada co-production.

Tickets on sale from Tue 15 Jan at 12pm.

Draw Me Close, written and directed by award-winning Canadian multidisciplinary artist and writer Jordan Tannahill and co-created by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and The National Theatre of Great Britain (NT) and presented in preview by the Young Vic, blurs the worlds of live performance, virtual reality (VR) and animation to create a vivid memoir about the relationship between a mother and her son, in the wake of her terminal cancer diagnosis. Weaving theatrical storytelling with cutting-edge technology, the performance takes a deceptively simple approach to the immersive medium, allowing the audience member to take the part of protagonist and experience life as Jordan inside a live, animated world.

Draw Me Close was first conceptualised at a 'Virtual Reality Lab', co-hosted by the NT and NFB in Autumn 2016. The purpose of the three-week project, run in Canada and the UK with artists from both countries, was to explore and advance the language of creative non- ction VR storytelling. Following the lab, Draw Me Close was selected for further development, and an early version was presented at Tribeca Film Festival's Storyscapes in April 2017, where it was met with critical and audience acclaim. Following further development, Draw Me Close was selected for Venice Virtual Reality at the 74th Venice International Film Festival in September 2017 - the first ever competition for films made in virtual reality at a major film festival.

Audience Members will experience this immersive and intimate performance individually in a series of approx. 1 hour timeslots, running from 10:45am to 8:45pm each day. Due to the unique nature of this presentation, tickets are available to buy one at a time.

This preview is part of an ongoing commitment from the Young Vic to develop innovative new, multidisciplinary programming strands pushing the boundaries of traditional forms of theatre.

Jordan Tannahill said: I couldn't be more excited for the Young Vic preview run of Draw Me Close -- an immersive, animated memoir about a relationship between a son and his mother that combines live performance and virtual reality. The piece has been two years in the making; the result of an international collaboration between the National Film Board of Canada and the National Theatre. It utilises ground-breaking technology to tell, ultimately, a very human and intimate story about two people who grow together over twenty-five years of love and hardship.

Kwame Kwei-Armah, Young Vic Artistic Director says: When I first watched Draw Me Close, I took my headset off and needed time to contemplate the meaning of life. It is a deeply moving and revealing VR performance that tells the story of love, loss and family. As a mixed media experience it also embodies what it takes to be an artist in the 21st Century; visually thrilling, deeply moving and using world-first technologies. It is our job to show that this type of work belongs within a theatrical space, and that mission is one of the core aims for the Young Vic as we continue to explore what was once considered impossible beyond the realms of our four walls.

Draw Me Close is written and directed by Jordan Tannahill, with principal illustrations by Teva Harrison, additional illustrations by Olie Kay, creative technology by All Seeing Eye, with set design by Tom Paris and sound design by Gareth Fry. Produced by Johanna Nicholls (NT) and David Oppenheim (NFB) with executive producers Toby Coffey (NT) and Anita Lee (NFB). The role of the mother was devised with Tamzin Griffin.

Cast includes Geraldine Alexander, Tamzin Griffin and Penny Layden.

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