Operation Black Antler is an immersive theatre piece by four-times BAFTA nominated artists' group Blast Theory and critically-acclaimed immersive theatre company Hydrocracker that invites you to enter the murky world of undercover surveillance and question the morality of state-sanctioned spying. For 40 years British police officers have been undercover inside protest groups. Scandals such as Wikileaks, the Snowden affair and the revelations about the Special Demonstration Squad show that secret forces within the state have little respect for law.
In Operation Black Antler you are given a new identity as part of a small team; you are briefed and then sent into an undercover operation. Once inside, you can choose to take part in a series of challenges that encourage you to consider what is and isn’t acceptable in the name of security. From a first-hand perspective, you must make decisions and then reflect on the consequences of your decisions. What will you do when the power is in your hands?
‘Hydrocracker is a company that professes to 'want more for our audiences than to sit in the dark and watch'. This robust, inventive promenade performance of Joe Orton’s farce, presented as part of the Brighton Festival, demonstrates how true Hydrocracker is to its words.’ Erpingham Camp
‘Blast Theory has a track record of creating technologically sophisticated experiences, drawing audiences into worlds which question how we live.’
For more information on the development of Operation Black Antler, read both a blog by Matt Adams (one of the Blast Theory artists) and Jem Wall's (Artistic Director of Hydrocracker) post on the reasons for making the piece.
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This groundbreaking piece of immersive theatre is accompanied by a debate that runs in parallel to Operation Black Antler, Complicity and the ethics of undercover security (Mon 23 May, 6:30pm). The issues from the show will be debated by a panel of speakers from Hydrocracker, Blast Theory, University of Brighton and others before opening them up to general discussion.
Operation Black Antler - Extended Trailer from Blast Theory on Vimeo.
The copy on this page has been amended to better reflect the intentions of the artists as a result of direct concerns from the public. Brighton Festival, Blast Theory and Hydrocracker apologise for the misleading representation of the piece and hope the corrections above help to clarify.