In a groundbreaking move video game ‘Dear Esther’ is getting a full performance in London’s Barbican with a live music score and narration.
Theater with live music is nothing new, even film viewings featuring an accompanying orchestra aren’t unusual nowadays. Dear Esther, developed by The Chinese Room, however is taking a revolutionary move with a performance of it’s video game with live music and narrative accompaniments at the Barbican Centre in London.
The mystery exploration game will be played through in it’s entirety whilst BAFTA-nominated narrator Nigel Carrington leads you through the game. All the while BAFTA-winning composer Jessica Curry will bring the game’s story to life with a “powerful score” performed live alongside the playthrough.
The game is described as:
A deserted landscape, memories of a fatal crash, a book written by a dying explorer – explore an island shrouded in mystery.
Starting on a small beach, with only brooding cliffs and a small lighthouse in view, Nigel Carrington takes you through the game, journeying from the desolate Hebridean island to a car crash on the M5, a crisis of faith of a guilty heart, the lost shores of a dreamed shoreline and a final ascent through the waters of madness to the release of flight.
Originally released in 2012, Dear Esther quickly gained critical acclaim for abandoning traditional gameplay in favour of atmosphere, rich storytelling and extraordinary art, proving videogames are capable of the same musical, narrative and artistic expression as film, literature and Classical music.
The Telegraph described it as: “A beautiful and thought-provoking piece of work. It is oil painting, poetry, eulogy and video game all at once. And it’s never less than fascinating.”
It is thanks to Dear Esther’s unique gameplay style based on discovery, rather than action or puzzles, that allows it to break new ground with a live performance and accompaniment of theatrical scope.