In Conversation: A Dialogue Between Larp and Performance


Over the past twenty years, as the practices of live action role-play have evolved from small sub-cultures to larger international play cultures, it has been common for larp to be described in relation to various forms of theatrical performance and performance art.

Over this period, theatre in the UK has seen an explosion of ‘interactive’ or ‘immersive’ forms of theatre that invite some form of audience participation, and this has led some theatre practitioners towards larp in the quest to do away with the traditional separation between performers and spectators.

This event will raise questions about the relationship between larp and performance, exploring the similarities (and differences) between performance for an audience and performative play in a larp context. Creatives from all disciplines, larpers and anyone with a curiosity about the overlap between larp and performance are invited to address these questions concerning the aesthetics, ethics, economies and politics of live action role-play in conjunction with performance.

The evening will commence with a playing of Human Experience, an audience interaction larp by Nina Runa Essendrop. We will then conduct an open space conversation around various themes of larp/performance. The event will conclude with a short panel discussion, involving both theatre and larp practitioners, on the issues raised.

Human Experience is a physical, immersive larp. The players play ancient consciousnesses who shortly get to experience life through a human body and explore how humans move and sense. They do this with the help of a participating audience. The audience are invited into the silent world of the beings to help them use their newly found bodies by showing them movements or describing sensory impressions. The interactions will be slow and careful and audience members can take as little or as much part as they want to. The larp features an original soundtrack by Lo Ersare.

For those interested in participating in this larp as players, a preparatory workshop will begin in the theatre at 5pm, prior to the playing (with an audience) at 7pm. If you would like to be a player, please email Jamie Harper at

As a precursor to The Smoke, London’s new international festival of larp, In Conversation is intended to promote connections between people from a range of creative backgrounds who share an interest in play, in the hope that these connections may flourish during the festival and beyond. The event is hosted by theatre director, play designer and Smoke organiser, Jamie Harper.

Attendance is free but an optional donation of £3 is requested on the door to help meet the costs of running the event. We encourage participants to bring an item of food that can be shared, the bar of Camden People’s Theatre will be open until 11pm.

Please RSVP to confirm your attendance to before 3rd January, 2017. Camden People’s Theatre is a fully accessible venue.

Image Credit: Human Experience by Nina Runa Essendrop. Photograph by Simon James Pettit.