Rabbit Hole is a hybrid live-digital show about conspiracy theories. It asks why we believe the things we do and how healthy curiosity can turn into a dogmatic mistrust of mainstream narratives. 5 performers take the audience through an interactive, subversive, and surprising world. First created by Feral Bird Theatre in 2021, and supported by New Diorama Theatre, the Cockpit, and Applecart Arts
Δ HI, WELCOME! Δ
Is this a show about conspiracy theories? Or maybe that's just what They want you to think... Journey down the Rabbit Hole. Find the Truth.
Don't miss our upcoming R&D performances!
Δ 11th-12th of February: 'Enter the Warren' - a short prequel to RABBIT HOLE at The Living Record Festival, a Grass-roots digital art festival designed specifically for streaming.
Δ 21st of February: RABBIT HOLE scratch at The Cockpit's Theatre in the Pound, a not-for-profit scratch night. All tickets £1.
Help us build the RΔBBIT HOLE!
‘This show is for those who regularly have arguments with loved ones about conspiracies. It's for anyone who is tired of being angry on the internet. It's for anyone who doesn't understand how anyone can really believe this stuff.'
Rabbit Hole uses interactive theatre to explore how conspiracy theories develop, spread, and take root. Crucially, the show does this by casting its audience members in the role of conspiracy theorists. Far from the stereotypical -and usually false- images of lonely, terrified, tin-foil aficionados, here the audience form a community of like-minded peers, supporting and informing each other along the journey. The deeper we go, the more surreal it gets, and the more questions there are. As with all good conspiracy theories, the answers are always just behind the next curtain. The project also uses digital media to create a multi-layered Rabbit Hole universe, which can be experienced across several different platforms.
‘We are also exploring how digital theatre intersects with in-person performance, and how it can enrich the theatre experience beyond the pandemic context’
This project centres around the main show, "Rabbit Hole," which is a 1-hour long live interactive performance happening simultaneously over Zoom, in-person in a theatre space, and on the conference platform Kumospace, where we build a digital world with music, videos, games, and other surprises.
Audience members can watch the show digitally from home, or in-person in the theatre space. Alongside exploring conspiracy theories, we are also exploring how digital theatre intersects with in-person performance, and how it can enrich the theatre experience beyond simply being a pandemic-induced placeholder for "traditional" performance.
We will have week of R&D at New Diorama Theatre in February 2022, followed by a scratch performance of a short excerpt at The Cockpit on the 21st. Following this, we plan to have a further 3-week rehearsal period before performing Rabbit Hole in its final form later in spring 2022. This full-length performance was originally due to be on at VAULT Festival in March, but following the cancellation of VAULT we have begun discussions with several other venues about rehoming Rabbit Hole.
‘Empathy and understanding are key to steering someone away from harmful beliefs. Sometimes, the best way to figure out how they feel is to go down the rabbit hole yourself.’
Conspiracy theories have been increasingly visible over the past decade, with new media platforms simultaneously giving a voice and protective anonymity to almost anyone with an internet connection. The covid-19 pandemic combined with recent political events have amplified those voices. Because of digital media, conspiracy beliefs are also not bound by international borders. According to research by Hope Not Hate, 6% of Britons support the American movement Qanon, with 25% supporting related conspiracy theories. Online UK antivax groups also saw a sharp rise in 2020, increasing fivefold on Instagram and threefold on Twitter, according to the BBC.
Often there is a great deal of animosity between skeptics and conspiracy theorists, particularly in online spaces. There have been numerous academic studies that show that this animosity further entrenches beliefs in conspiracy theory and that empathy and understanding are key to steering someone away from potentially harmful beliefs. Sometimes, the best way to understand something is to get inside it. With Rabbit Hole, we show audiences the world as it looks from a conspiracy theorist’s point of view by using humour, entertainment, and interaction. We show effective and ineffective ways of engaging with someone who might be falling down the rabbit hole.
As mentioned above, we will rehearse and perform the full 1-hour version of Rabbit Hole in spring of 2022. After this, we can see potential for a national tour as well as more add-on stories in the Rabbit Hole universe.
Beyond the performance itself, this project will get Feral Bird Theatre's name in front of audiences and potential future partners, so that the company can continue making innovative, engaging, and multidisciplinary work. We hope you'll join us on the journey!
Rabbit Hole is a production by Feral Bird Theatre. Julia Vita is the creative lead and a performer in the show. Iarina Armaselu is our producer, and Ana Hampu our assistant producer. Humira Imtiaz is our creative technologist (they're basically a zoom and digital tech wizard who can turn you into a rabbit at the click of a button!) Isabella Javor, Florencia Nannetti, Owen Landon, and Alice Gill-Carey perform in the show. We come from a wide array of professional and personal backgrounds, and we are quite an international team. At the moment, the production team is working remotely across 2 countries and 3 cities. The performers have backgrounds in stage and screen acting, physical theatre, clown, and playwrighting, and we love having such a varied, dynamic set of skills in the rehearsal room.
But Wait There's More...
We are interested in building an expansive, immersive world for our audiences. We want people to be able to experience this world from different angles, and to keep experiencing it beyond the central show. So, we also have "Enter the Warren," a short add-on story that gives viewers a little glimpse into the origins of some of the Rabbit Hole characters. This will be performed digitally at Living Record Festival on February 11th and 12th. As with everything in the Rabbit Hole, it is interactive, conspiratorial, silly, and slightly sinister.
Peep Show Special: Jeremy enters the Warren
Update on Rabbit Hole Planned Performance (TLDR at Bottom)
From the beginning, and perhaps as you would expect for a project born in the midst of a global pandemic, Rabbit Hole has had its share of successes and setbacks. We've had creatives come and go.