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ERGO SUM is an immersive experience combining live performance with illusory, multi-sensory technology, exploring neurology, psychiatry, and the kaleidoscopic nature of human experience.

Binaural sound, projection mapping (from Limbic Cinema), and haptic sensation immerses audience members in the minds of the characters, allowing them to experience the world in multiple different ways.

After two major R&D phases in 2015 and 2017 supported by Arts Council England, Big Lottery, Sennheiser, Theatre Delicatessen, and the University of Warwick, in 2019 we worked on a full realisation of the production supported by Watershed Pervasive Media Studio (Bristol), Theatre Delicatessen (London), and the Barbican Guildhall (London) via their open labs scheme.


The play

Abrianna has a mission. She’s not sure what it is yet, but she knows it’s important. Why else would she be seeing and hearing messages everywhere she goes? Thing is, adapting to London city-life after growing up in the Tuscan countryside is not proving easy: technology seems to be malfunctioning around her, and even turning against her. When she ends up in hospital after finding a chip buried inside her arm, she starts to question her own reality.

Hallie was a visual artist. Now she cannot bear to paint. Trying a change of direction in her life, she takes on a new job for a fresh start. But her ability to live a normal life is being taken from her one piece at a time, no matter how hard she tries to hold on to it.

Joel sees the world and its inhabitants in a permanently shifting and dancing kaleidoscope of colours and shapes. Numbers too. In his job as a physics lecturer he finds solace from the continual sensory bombardment of the world, talking about the cosmos and its never-ending mathematical beauty. But after a few incidents at work he is in danger of losing his position, and his comfort-zone seems about to implode. How can he become more resilient to a world that is totally overwhelming?

A sensitive and in-depth exploration of what it means to be human in a fast-paced and confusing modern world, Ergo Sum immerses audiences in the minds of neurodiverse characters using binaural sound, tactile technology, and projection mapping. The play explores the boundaries and transitions between hallucination and reality, and internal self versus the external world, encouraging participants to see life from a different perspective.


Cast and Creatives:

Director/Writer: Ellie Chadwick

Creative Technician: Aaron Hussain

Choreographers: Irene Cioni, Depi Gorgogianni

Movement Direction: Depi Gorgogianni

Sound Design: Tom Parkinson

Lighting Design: Ben Pacey

Set Design: Thom Buttery & Aaron Hussain

Projection Mapping: Limbic Cinema

Additional Animation: Virginie Serneels

Stage Manager: Katy Munroe Farlie

Cast: Eleonora Cucciarelli (Abrianna), Daisy Fairclough (Hallie), Oliver Church (Joel), Melanie Gleeson, Harry Kingscott, Jessie Jane Knowles (Ensemble)

Voice Artists: Nigel Barrett, David Palmstrom, Tommaso Giacomin, Melanie Gleeson, Harry Kingscott, Jessie Jane Knowles
Creative Advisors: Gareth Fry, Pete Malkin, Roland Smith, Louise Mari

  • Dates : 28/2/2019 - 1/3/2019
  • Location : The Pit Theatre, Barbican Centre