Edinburgh-based Civic Digits Theatre Company was founded in 2018 by Clare Duffy, after a chance meeting with ethical hacker, Rupert Goodwins. It blends digital technology, gaming and live performance to create innovative and interactive theatre, and question what it means to be a digital human in the 21st century.
For almost a year, they have been working with a team of multi-talented freelancers on The Big Data Show with the idea for this show in development since 2017. As a result of the current pandemic, the interactive show, aimed at young people (P7-S3) has now been recreated to an online form.
Asking questions about what it means to be a digital citizen and how to be social in a world obsessed with social media, this show is even more relevant as pupils return to school after lockdown.
The show sees two ethical hackers, Cy (Cindy Awor) and Bug (Kim Allan), taking pupils on a virtual journey telling the story of Rupert Goodwins, one of the young hackers involved in gaining access to Prince Philip’s BT email in the 1980s and the court trial that ensued. Using performance, bespoke mobile gaming and digital tricks, the show inspires greater understanding and engagement with our future as digital citizens in the 21st century.
This new, digital version of the show will have pupils watching 5 short episodes over an hour and a half guided by Cy and Bug, and interacting with a purposely built website and brand-new Super Swipe game app at the same time, trying to solve mysteries they discover as they delve deeper into the fascinating and shocking world of The Big Data Show.
Clare Duffy said, “We are incredibly excited to be working on The Big Data Show as an online experience! We are confident our audiences will be excited, surprised, shocked and delighted in equal measure and at the same level we had planned for the live show. It is a thrilling creative challenge making audiences feel as immersed as they would be in a live show, and we have got a fantastic bunch of digital magic tricks up our sleeve to make sure that happens. They work in people’s homes in lockdown as well as in classrooms as pupils head back to school in August.”
The Big Data Show is co-written by Civic Digits’ Artistic Director and playwright Clare Duffy and Rupert Goodwins himself, and is produced by Suzy Glass and Robyn Jancovich-Brown for Civic Digits, with co-producers Perth Theatre at Horsecross Arts and Unlimited Theatre. The project received National Lottery funding through Creative Scotland. It is also funded by the Scottish Government and the Garfield Weston Foundation and is presented as part of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework.