The Living Record Festival opens this Sunday


Spurred on by the catastrophic effect Covid-19 has had on the theatre and live performance industry, The Living Record hopes to build a virtual space for audiences to safely access a range of digital culture, sharing communal online bar spaces, and making recommendations of shows they have enjoyed to one another. The software offers each theatre maker or company their own microsite within the festival structure to share images, videos, interviews, backstage tours.

The Living Record Festival has a unique recommendation incentive built into the system, for every ticket recommended in a chain, the next ticket is £1 off what the previous person paid, until one lucky audience member can see the show for free. This system encourages audiences to be more outspoken and proactive in sharing the work they like, and the best work is rewarded with more audience.

The programme is available online now, with comedy from The Noise Next Door, the UK’s premiere improv comedy troupe; Clare Perkins in brand new play about the access we give to others via technology, Unhinged; Maria Ferguson’s debut poetry collection Alright, Girl?; new artist collective ‘The Wonderful’ with a digital piece about environmentalist Rachel Carson ‘Nevergreen’; plus rapper and digital musician Elian Gray shares readings from Awkward Awe; and a digital (RnD) of a play presented with a live DJ set My Mix(ed up) Tape by Katie Payne.

Artistic director Ross Drury said, “The Living Record Festival is a virtual space that supports professional development, networking, and artistic experimentation for artists and storytellers at all career levels and a financially accessible marketplace for theatre companies to connect with audiences and the wider arts industry. Its aim is to support independent companies, storytellers and artists, and to programme work which is purpose-built for a digital platform.

Living Record Productions is an award winning production company established in 2015, creating relevant, dynamic new writing and binaural sound theatre experiences, committed to supporting artists from working class backgrounds. Alongside Playwright Neil Smith Living Record staged Sisters, Creditors by Neil Smith at the Brockley Jack Theatre, Reunion and Echoes at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival Jodi Gray’s THROWN a boundary pushing exploration into binaural sound and performance toured across the UK to venues including Vault Festival; The Mill Arts Centre, Banbury; The Place, Bedford, and was selected as part of the REACH showcase 2018 at ARC Stockton. Theatre critic Lyn Gardner said “Terrific performance…Looks great and sounds even better” and THROWN was awarded the Brighton Fringe Award for Excellence at Edinburgh Fringe 2018. Thrown was live streamed in 2017, beginning an in-depth exploration into how binaural sound enables theatre to be highly effective for audiences at home. In partnership with Age UK, they found binaural sound performances and workshops were very effective for older people’s groups, bringing a high-quality cultural experience to them in non-theatre spaces. Living Record Productions were invited to run workshops in Bedford prison and an international school in Kuala Lumpur. Most recently Living Record have created the an interactive platform for digital arts and produced the children binaural audio series Mr Cleverly’s Transcontinental Delivery Service.

Company information

Artistic Director: Ross Drury

Producer: Ellie Barr

Software Developer Zarucchi

Listings information

17 January – 22 February 2021

Many shows are available on demand.

Tickets £1 – £15

Please see separate shows for more information

Partners and associates of the festival are Spun Glass Theatre, Chew Boy Productions, Fringe Review, Bedford Place, London Playwrights Blog and Dyspla.

Supported by Arts Council England

Full Programme:


By Living Record

The 2018 Edinburgh Excellence Award Winning binaural play, presented for the first time in VR. As the memories of former patients collide violently with her own, a child psychologist attempts to record what she’s spent her whole life trying to forget. But as Time loosens its grip, and her recording equipment begins to argue back, we hear the inner workings of a mind on the brink of collapse. With a microphone shaped like the human head and an audience with wireless headphones on, vivid soundscapes and whispered memories wash over the audience as they try to puzzle together the missing pieces of an almost forgotten life. Based on collected testimony from Age UK community groups, Thrown is a sensory and cinematic reverie on consciousness written by multi-award-winning playwright, Jodi Gray.

Audiences will need their own VR facilities and headphones

17 January – 22 February


The 39 Steps – A Radio Drama

Blackbox theatre

This stunning new adaptation of John Buchan’s classic ripping yarn, The 39 Steps, is aimed at a family audience and evokes the golden age of radio drama. Accused of a murder he didn’t commit, Richard Hannay is on the run. Following clues left to him in a little black book by a mysterious American gentleman, he must uncover the secrets of the 39 Steps, prove his innocence and save Britain from the forces of evil. What could possibly go wrong? … What? The actors haven’t turned up? OH, CRUMBS!

17 January – 22 February

£1.50 single ticket price for audio play (1hour and 40minutes)

Bully Beef & Whizzbangs

Blackbox theatre

Originally an award winning stage play written to commemorate the Armistice, Bully Beef & Whizzbangs has now been recorded ‘for radio.’ Set on the battlefields of France during 1916, WHIZZBANGS takes a wry look at life in a front line trench through the eyes of its two reluctant heroes. Stuck in a hole surrounded by mud and death, how will our boys cope with the ever-present danger of being shot or blown to smithereens? A stunningly atmospheric audio production aimed at both young and old.

17 January – 22 February

£1.50 single ticket for audio play (1 hour and 9mins)

Mum. Can you hear me?

Bernadett Szabo

A four-act monodrama which invites the audience into the consciousness of a girl, where the audience is trapped in her head with her inner thoughts and feelings while she is trying to make sense of the experience of saying goodbye to a world which she can’t properly see anymore. The audience unwillingly explores her immediate environment with the thirty-eight other unknown voices through the sound space which is created for this play. Inspired by the Essex Lorry Death accident from October of 20

1 – 22 February


Covert Firmament

Sky or the Bird

Covert Firmament is a collection of stories told via film, music, and narrative. They range from short Genre films (SciFi) to narrated short stories (between 12-20 Minutes) and a selection of spoken word pieces – apercu style – set to music. There is no particular organising theme or principle – though they will be arranged into movies, stories and apercu. It’s an eclectic array of works that can be easily enjoyed in today’s busy world. All writing will be by Dan Horrigan.

17 January – 22 February


The Noise Next Door: All Together

The Noise Next Door

The UK’s premier improvised comedy are bringing a bespoke evening of comedy entertainment to a screen near you. The Noise Next Door have been performing comedy together for 13 years. We try to bring people together, creating an instantaneous and spontaneous community which has never existed before, and will never exist again at each performance.

21 January

£10 for the ticket, one device but as many people as you like.

Finney’s Ghost

by David Fox

Finneys Ghost is a a ghost story and maybe a love story told through the photographs left by a dead boy. Finney leaves all his worldly goods, a suitcase of photos, to a girl he barely knew. On the case is written, ‘TO BE OPENED ON MY DEATH. The contents of this case belong to Pearl Black, upon opening, there will be silence in heaven about the space of half an hour, Signed William Gabriel Finney.’ She knows nothing of his death and almost nothing of his life, but what she finds inside the case shocks and enthralls her. It may even change her life. Starring Eleanor Barr.

27 January

£10 / £5 concessions



Thrash is an aural autobiographical stream of consciousness. A disjointed narrative mixed with performance poetry explores the effect of trauma and grief and coming out the other side to find healing and acceptance. Each audience member will listen to it via headphones while being asked to perform a everyday tasks. This piece is recorded purely for digital aural, controlled by the audience member via their own technology. The themes are mental well being, overcoming trauma and finding hope.

17 January – 22 February

£6. One off ticket price for 40-60 minute content

This Noisy Isle

Spun Glass Theatre

This Noisy Isle is a treasure hunt style show inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The production explores children’s attitudes to the refugee crisis as they navigate a new world, speaking with characters, solving clues and finding their place on this new island. We want the children to feel involved, that they are a character in this drama, making real meaningful choices.This Noisy Isle will be digital art as the characters will be connected via a live stream to children in their houses

17 January – 22 February

One off ticket price for 40-60 min content £7.00


Ant Lightfoot (supported by Spun Glass Theatre)

AM I A TERRIBLE PERSON is a comedic tale with real accounts of OCD and depression, tackling stigma on mental health and the LGBTQIA+ community through comedy and choreographed movement. I want audiences to feel empowered to talk openly about their own mental health; experience openness, vulnerability, honesty and discomfort, but also feel safe & protected. I often create video content & will use the microsite to upload illustrations to give audiences a full experience of my style and humour.

17 January – 22 February


The Anarchist’s Mobile Library – an audio adventure

Tessa Bide Productions

The Anarchist’s Mobile Library is an interactive, audio adventure audiences can can play on any

internet device. As they listen, the audience plays the role of the creator, choosing the story they would

like to explore and how they would like it to end. With bold animations, narration, and a beautifully

created soundscape, our project is accessible to all those with the internet, although we encourage the

listener to put down their screens and let their imaginations paint the visuals!

17 January – 22 February

£8 ticket for access for the festival period

Prayer For A Parasite

Héloïse Thual

My piece will be a monologue illustrated by drawings and pictures about a woman getting gradually transform both physically and mentally by a parasite. She will become a host to the parasite’s memories, dreams, craves and desires. It will be composed of different entries “Day 1″”Day 2/ Day 3” until the metamorphosis is complete.

17 January – 22 February



Maya Katherine

Maya Katherine is an actress and director. With support from the National Youth Theatre, ‘CONTROVERSY’ follows a young girl on her journey through internet fame and the hidden online world.

17 January – 22 February


Broken Link

Noga Flaishon

Luke, Holly, Alice and Pat meet every year in the cemetery of their hometown to remember Elly, who died 4 years ago. This year, due to lockdown, they can’t meet in person and so move the meeting online. This year- Elly Joins the Zoom Chat. Broken link has been written especially for Zoom, utilizing the medium to it’s fullest to bring the audience a live theatre experience, a bone chilling and touching story of betrayal, hopes, and who we are when adolescence is over.

14 February


Take Care (Online)

Ecoute Theatre

A short documentary-style film on the elderly care system. All text comes from interviews conducted over 6 years, featuring roughly 25 real characters, played by 4 actors. Meet Pam. She used to work on the complaints desk for BA, now she’s waging war against a London care home in a bid to save her mum. An inventive piece of digital art that both entertains & educates an audience, providing a behind-the-scenes, intimate look at the lives of carers. Carers we all clapped for a few months ago…

17 January – 22 February



Julius Wills

An episodic audio drama following the story of 3 Starship Engineers aboard Resurgam, a Generation ship on a 300-year journey, as they witness this journey being pulled in and out of Cryo Stasis. The aim of the piece is to create a drama in a sci-fi setting, exploring the themes of loss and living outside of your time. The audiences should feel the effect of Cryo along with the characters, as they jump in and out with them. I will involve a digital artist to create artwork for each episode.

17 January – 22 February

A single episode is £5, but if you want to listen to both it is £8 in a bundle offer. They are 30 min episodes and we will be producing two for the festival.

Heads or Tails

Skye Hallam

“after life, things needn’t be so bad.” Heads or Tails is an uplifting piece of existential pop culture comedy. It tells the story of a young actress taken too soon, who is given the opportunity of a lifetime, (well an opportunity to fulfil her lifelong dream)… of performing a one woman show. She has been granted one hour on Earth and uses her time to help those still living to learn from the regrets of the dead and to reminisce on her life lost.

17 January – 22 February


Readings from Awkward Awe

Elian Gray

I’ll be performing 1 or 2 pieces from my recent LP, Awkward Awe. While the album is already out in the public domain this will be a first time performance without the musical backdrop and the lyrics taking centre focus. The work aims to convey a feeling of confusion and frustration at modern life, a bewilderment of coming to terms with adulthood in a world gone mad. The pieces will be presented in video, hopefully feeling more like a live performance than a music video.

17 January – 22 February

£2.50 – £4 with free download of album

Vivid Ashes

The Quean’s Company

We created this piece as a way of addressing how we as individuals deal with trauma. This idea was originally formed to take place as an immersive piece in a nightclub setting however with the country going into lock down we ended up creating the piece digitally. We aimed for the audience to feel connected to the piece emotionally and then feel a sense of strength after viewing. The piece is a short performance art film that we edited and filmed during lock down. Key themes: trauma and feminism. The Quean’s Theatre is a gutsy feminist performance company creating daring and bold work.

17 January – 22 February



Carmina Masoliver

At the end of 2019, I published an epic illustrated poem, ‘Circles’ with Burning Eye Books. I began to tour the book at the start of 2020. The spoken word piece is 15-20 minutes and is inspired by Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis. Taking the point of view of the suicide victim’s lover in the play post-death, the piece takes place on London’s tube network and follows the fragmented views of this once-absent character. It is a piece about love, loss and the line between sanity and insanity.

17 January – 22 February

£15 – physical copy of the book included with recording (£5 show and £10 book)

My Mix(ed up) Tape

Living Record Festival will be showing a digital R&D sharing of “My Mix(ed up) Tape”. This is a work-in-progress sharing of a brand new play about Phoebe – ‘P’ for short coz of her “skinny body and MASSIVE head”. A 30-something-female trying to navigate Cousin Caroline’s wedding party back in her hometown in the Welsh Valleys. An energetic tour-de-force play about female anger, mis-diagnosed ADHD and finding out who you really are. With a live DJ-set from DJ GLADE and sensory audio-visual graphics that transport you into the world of the play, this is Katie Payne’s first play, produced and directed by Dirty Protest Theatre; supported & funded by Arts Council Wales.

Please note : This digital sharing is 20minutes of a full-length play to be performed in theatres – with filmed segments taken from an R&D using what was made available during a lockdown. This R&D focused on testing out ideas on Access, Digital Design & Music to which some will be used to make up the fully realised show.

Jan 17th-Feb 22nd


On Record

Cameron Essam and Ella Dorman-Gajic

This is an audio play within an audio play. The purpose of the set-up is to get a confession out of the lead actor of her violent past (unbeknown to her/ the audience until the end). A physiological thriller, delving into the workings of 1 woman’s mind. Our aim is to push the boundaries of a conventional audio play by subverting the audience’s expectations & their understanding of the play’s reality. We will use imaginative & visceral sounds, to fully immerse our audience in an audio experience.

17 January – 22 February


Story Soup

Martin Gibbons

A collection of performed fairytales created and composed in album format by writer and actor Martin Gibbons, and musician Andy Mack. Each tale will be told in it’s own unique style, drawing on a wide variety of genres and appealing to audiences of all ages. Our aim is to introduce audiences to creative retellings of some well known fairytales, some lesser known, and some completely original tales. It will be created and recorded originally for the digital platform.

17 January – 22 February

£3 for one £5 for both tales

Alright, Girl?

Maria Ferguson

A soundscaped binaural recording of my debut collection, Alright, Girl? published by Burning Eye books. Extremely personal, yet highly relatable, Alright, Girl? is a frank exploration of class, gender and belonging. This recording will be made in collaboration with a sound designer and will provide the audience with a way of accessing spoken word poetry despite the ongoing uncertainty surrounding live events.

17 January – 22 February

One off ticket price £7.50

Ram of God, the film

Theodora van der Beek

Ram of God follows the story of a milk-based cult and its sheep/man hybrid leader, Ram. It is a dark comedy/feminist folk horror about gender dynamics. Filmed, edited and performed all by one person, it retains some of the essence of a solo theatre show and joyfully tackles the new possibilities and limitations of reimagining theatre as film. Developed with Soho Theatre, featuring original music by award winning composer Adam Jonota Bzowski and supported by Arts Council England.

17 January – 2 February

£6/£4 concessions

This Little World

The Giddy Round

A product of the social and civic turmoil of 2020, This Little World grapples with themes of isolation and political upheaval through an adaptation for solo performance of Shakespeare’s Richard II. King Richard, alone in a sparse prison cell, reflects on the events that brought about his fall. To portray him, and conjure the people and scenes of Richard’s history, actor Owen Corey utilizes kinetic body puppetry, deeply-invested characterizations, and instant self-filmed videography.

17 January – 22 February


A Bloody Shambles

by Ella Dorman-Gajic

A short audio drama about Jess, who has woken up with a familiar feeling between her thighs, in a bed she doesn’t recognise. At the last of her money, she tries to find a way out, without making too much mess. The story explores themes of period poverty & taboos about menstruation. My aim is to immerse the audience in each location & Jess’ dilemma, through specific uses of sound, which build to reflect her anxiety. Her journey highlights the experiences of many womxn, which are often overlooked.

17 January – 22 February


Skip, Skip, Skip

Leanne Moden

Themes: A verse play about music, belonging & accidentally becoming a teenage goth. An immersive audio download; digital art like creative storytelling podcasts (eg Imaginary Advice). Listener experience: feel connection & empathy for characters & provoke discussion re: music & sub-cultures: are they a positive or another excuse for tribalism & division? Aims: to diversify my creative storytelling to a new medium; access cross-genre audiences & feedback; open up conversations re: social cohesion

17 January – 22 February

one off ticket price for 30 minutes of content – one off tickets @ per £5

Stories of the Present War

Beautiful Confusion Collective

Stories of the Present War is a live puzzling out of complex matters. Inspired by letters written by my grandparents during WWII, it models a way of thinking about (in)tangible inheritance(s) and the present in relation to the past, both personally and in a wider social context. The live reading of letters is followed by interactive live blogging sessions that allow spectators to react, ask questions or share their own family stories. A digital archive will grow with each reading (I propose 4).

20 January – 21 February

£15 for five sessions and access to egallery



Nevergreen is a voyage into the life and mind of Rachel Carson, the pioneering scientist who birthed modern environmentalism. Through a single performer, soundscapes and visuals of nature, the audience is immersed in three areas of the natural world: sea, forest and soil. Concurrent with these sounds and images are the social and political issues Carson faced, as a ground-breaking woman who died tragically young. The Living Festival will enable us to animate this project at a timely moment.

17 January – 22 February

£5/session for sessions 1-4, £12 for 3, £15 for all 4, £5/session for session 5.

Any tickets purchased for sessions 1-4 also include admission to session 5 and any e-gallery space I build from session to session.

The Stove

Emma Brand

The Stove was originally created in March as an antidote to isolation. It’s a virtual meeting place, where participants share memories and stories over dinner, before creating a story together. The Stove explores the possibilities of live online performance, transcending geography, creating a sense of immersion, and bringing entertainment and community into people’s homes. There is no central narrative other than an attempt to bond audiences through nostalgia, food and shared experience.

3 – 21 February



Bethany Pitts

Unhinged is an immersive audio thriller, told through recorded material. Clio (Clare Perkins) is a recently divorced Grandmother embracing dating online. Gradually we discover, as she does, her new date is tracking her via her phone – every keystroke, phone call, even recording her everyday life. The audience experience this as if in Clio’s mind, but our ears are then revealed to be those of her abuser. Unhinged explores the limits of the access we give others to our lives via technology.

1 – 21 February


Write Now

Outside Edge Theatre Company

The festive period will be shown in a new light with this uniquely curated selection of short scripts. This anthology of work from new playwrights who have been affected by addiction and meet weekly to support one another, both creatively and in their recovery. Through a bizarre but topical anthology of scenes & monologues, we invite audiences on a dark, magical journey, meditating on the idea of hope, despite the long winter ahead.

17 January – 22 February


Shit Samaritans

Omar & Lee (Lee Drage & Omar Ibrahim)

Live zoom sessions with two comedians who are ‘Shit Samaritans’. The idea of the piece is to offer relief, catharsis and an open place to laugh at ourselves in trying times, by listening to the audiences problems and responding with comical advice. Though comedic in nature, the experience will aim to support the audience, in the hope they’ll hopefully leave the session feeling better than they did before it started.

8pm Live Show Every Friday of the Festival from 22 Jan

£6 for a ticket + access to other recorded shows

Breaking Up With Reality

Eden Harbud

Reality abandoned all of us. This is an exploration of our break up with our past, and the new relationship we have with our future. Using a loose narrative, I’ll combine spoken word, recorded soundscapes and music to create an audio love letter to Reality. It’s hard having to only greet Reality with an elbow bop, but if we get any closer it will break our hearts all over again. I want to comfort the audience whilst also allowing them to further come to terms with our new reality.

17 January – 22 February

Admission ticket £6. Purchase Script £4.


Lava Lounge

HURT would be an interactive radio play which takes listeners on a visceral journey into the mind of Archie, a hitman-cum-prostitute who sells himself as a human punchbag. This story must exist on a digital platform. We want to combine the immersion/interaction of gaming with the drama of a radio play, and deliver it to a podcast generation. We want audiences to experience Archie’s tortured mind as he navigates a nocturnal world. We want to sonically depict what it is to be at war with oneself.

17 January – 22 February


Always on my Mind

Shipwreck Productions

In light of the new Covid induced world we live in, it is now more important than ever to produce, promote and experience real human interactions which truly make us feel. Sadly, this indirect format comes with it’s own complications for true immersion. Our aim, as a theatre and film production company, is to create an experience that, despite the hurdles, allow people to still feel and engage with real human stories through pre-filmed footage, live theatre and immersive techniques.

17 January – 22 February

£6.00 one off ticket

Four Walls

Olivia Mermagen

The world has been devastated by a virus and society is beginning to rebuild itself. An individual who has only existed on a virtual platform for the last 5 years tries to reintegrate herself in society but finds she has developed severe social anxiety and can’t remember how to communicate with others. As her attempts at a fresh start seems more and more bleak, the distinction between reality and the online world that has protected her for so long begins to blur and she loses herself.

Shifting Sands

Tom Thornton

My piece is an audio story, some would describe as a fictional podcast meets radio play. Its a dystopian satire that examines modern life and the apathy of the millennial experience. Taking place in a world where human’s evolve the ability to hear each others thoughts, by exposing the concept of the inner monologue in the format of an inner monologue I hope this is a thought provoking, funny and surprising experience for audiences.

17 January – 22 February

£6 – One off ticket

Dance Of A Million Pieces

Gemma Rogers

Endy’s in a coma. she won’t wake up. Clocks ticking. It’s 31st dec at 21:00, a few hours until the exact time 7 years earlier, Mion & Endy met. In a last ditch effort to try and draw her back, Mion is armed with drugs: DMT, Ayhuasca, and a meditation cd. Spirituality isn’t really his thing but Mion will do whatever’s necessary to keep her alive & home with him. Where she belongs. A story about the pain of losing someone. Binaural sound & strong visuals help our lovers say goodbye to each other.

17 January – 22 February


Ain’t No Female Romeo

Lita Doolan

An online love affair takes a social media fan across the world to find the poster. The piece asks how far does clicking ‘like’ take you emotionally? The audience experience is one of looking at gadgets as a portal into somewhere new. The work is digital art because it uses the technology interface as part of the plot. Every thing is geared around communicated (or not communicating) digitally – this is the only way the two people have connected. Narrative is a subversion of Romeo and Juliet

17 January – 22 February

£5 for one off event

Tales of a Reluctant Traveller

Randy Ross

Sixteen weeks, four continents, three bungee jumps, and I couldn’t come home soon enough. This is the story of how a Boston homebody turned a solo trip around the globe into a comedy novel and an acclaimed one-man show. The 1.5-hour, multimedia event includes a humorous travel slideshow, readings from my novel God Bless Cambodia and performances from my show The Chronic Single’s Handbook.

17 January-22 February


And Breathe

by Mark Conway and Alex Packer

Worldwide, 500 billion – 1 trillion plastic bags are used a year. 2 million plastic bags a minute. And the average length of time a single plastic bag is used is just 12 mins. We want our short film to explore the sound and look of plastic against the natural. Lots of incredible visual stories have looked at plastic and the natural world, we want to bring it closer to the impact on the human body. How it affects our breath, our movement, our virility; and how it is emblematic of our end.

8 – 22 February


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