From learning how to bake bread to talking about sleeping issues, as well as gaining a
deep insight into childbirth: Ot[her] was definitely not your typical Saturday evening
Ot[her] was the final year project of Leeds Uni’s School of Performance and Cultural
Industries students. After attending this extremely unique one-to-one immersive piece
of theatre, I can certainly say that each student has a very promising career ahead of
If you were lucky enough to get a ticket for this sold-out show, your experience was,
without any doubt, very different from mine. And that’s the beauty of immersive
theatre. By breaking the “fourth wall”, which traditionally separates, verbally as well
as physically, actors from the audience, Ot[her] allowed for a far more personal
experience, which felt real and tangible.
This beautiful piece of theatre, directed by Faith Yianni and written by Martha
Hankin, invited four individuals per slot to become part of their show. For me, it felt
as if I had fallen down the rabbit hole into another world like Alice in Wonderland. It
was more than just going from room to room, interacting with different characters and
enjoying first class acting: it was a truly indescribable experience.
I bet you wouldn’t believe me if I told you that I had been making dough to bake
bread, talking about dreams, sharing the same bed as a performer and finding a drunk
bride on the toilet, all in less than an hour! The roles were played to perfection by
Rachel Turner, Lauren Smethurst and Lauren Ash. Also, Lucy Townsend, who
embodied “Mother Earth”, deserves a huge congratulations for not only performing a
delightful monologue about our planet’s finite resources but also for a lovely
conversation afterwards. Trust me, I would have loved to stay and chat longer.
With a great use of music and effective stage setting, Ot[her] was entertaining,
touching, poignant and deep. It explored the many facets of femininity; from being a
mother, a daughter, a bride or a teenager whose birthday party no one attends. This
play succeeded in investigating what lies beneath the surface, whilst engaging the
audience to draw on their own personal experiences.
I was so deeply absorbed in this piece of theatre that I even forgot my handbag in one
of the rooms. I don’t think it gets more immersive than that!
While I was sitting in stage@Leeds’s foyer and sipping on my glass of wine, still
waiting for another half an hour until I could get my bag back, I couldn’t help but
think about how lucky I am to study at the same place as such creative and talented
individuals. And that wasn’t just the wine talking. It was an unforgettable Saturday
evening and we will, without any doubt, hear from many of you in the very near