Thursday, 13 November 2014

Matt Stokes talks about Stone Frigate

Matt Stokes came to talk to us about his Stone Frigate project, and ask if anyone is interested in being involved.

His project sounds fascinating...

'Next year Matt will stage a unique event at Kielder Water & Forest Park by bringing alive a little-known piece of Northumberland’s fascinating history through an immersive form of art.

A Live Action Role-Play, or LARP as it’s more commonly known, is a creative form of interactive storytelling in which participants physically play a character of their own creation and engage with other characters to develop an unfolding story. There is no audience in the traditional sense as the players themselves are the viewers.

Thousands of people attend LARP festivals across the UK every summer and for Matt, this is becoming increasingly familiar territory.

He said: “Although I’ve participated in LARPs before, I’m still learning a huge amount about how they work. Many LARPs in the UK, and much of Europe and North America, revolve around fantastical or mythical worlds. However, it’s my experience of attending events held in Scandinavia, which incorporated aspects with direct parallels to contemporary issues and culture, that has really influenced me.”

Following research in local archives, Matt discovered an unusual piece of Kielder’s wartime history which will become the basis of this project, commissioned by Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust through its Art & Architecture programme. It may come as a surprise to many people that during the Second World War, the park was once home to a unique rehabilitation centre in Lewisburn, close to the River North Tyne. Named HMS Standard, the centre was used by the Royal Navy to help recovery service personnel diagnosed with a variety of psychiatric conditions return to active service.

In the LARP at Kielder, participants will re-imagine the experiences of the people and atmosphere of the place and period.

Speaking about his project, titled Stone Frigate (a term given to onshore Royal Navy bases), Matt said: “I hope that the Stone Frigate offers people the opportunity to get involved in and engage with something they might not have experienced – whether they are ‘LARPers’ or not – as well as helping to reinvigorate knowledge about an intriguing and important part of Kielder’s history.”'

Stone Frigate is an event influenced by Larp (Live Action Role Play) exploring themes of stigma, uncertainty and control, set against an isolated and highly regimented backdrop of Naval life during WW2. It will be played out in an environment resembling the early 1940s, encompassing the accommodation, clothing worn, activities undertaken and food that is eaten. This is a one-off event designed for 30-40 participants of all ages over 18. It is gender neutral, open to both male and female players.

No comments: