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London Horror Festival 2021

Emily Gillmor Murphy
October 18 & 31 (Online) 

BLIND is a 30-minute immersive audio experience that will take place in your own home, alone and in the dark. This performance utilises binaural sound and sensory effects for a true at-home horror experience. All you need to experience 'BLIND' is headphones and a dark room.

Hi Emily thank you for talking to The New Current, how have you been holding up during these very strange times?

It has been a strange time and like many artists, I initially panicked and felt the compulsive need to take my time at home to create new work constantly. I think there was this terrifying need to not waste time and to just keep making new work… But once the panic subsided and I realised it is OK to take time to reflect and contemplate, I started to imagine new kinds of work and new ways to enjoy theatre, and it was in this mindset that myself and my director Ciaran, started to create BLIND.

Has this time provided you with any new creative inspiration or opportunities?

I’ve worked in theatre for a long time now and while I’m always trying to think of new and exciting ways to tell stories… This strange time forced us to re-evaluate the role of live performance, and if we can’t have people in one room together, how do we create the same atmosphere and experience for an audience? And for me, personally, the answer was audio. With audio the performance is put directly into your own head, you can transport your audience directly into the world you’ve created for them, and all they have to do is put on headphones and close their eyes. 

What does it mean to you to be bringing your new show BLIND to the London Horror Festival 2021, are there be any nerves ahead of your run? 

It’s super exciting for our team to bring BLIND to London Horror Festival 2021. We created BLIND because we wanted people to be able to have an exciting horror experience in the ‘safety’ of their own homes. Halloween is a great time of fun and we’re thrilled to give people an alternative way to celebrate it. And massive thanks to LHF for allowing us to bring it to as many people as possible.

We’re of course nervous to see how audiences respond to BLIND. But I do believe if people approach it with an open mind and are prepared to immersive themselves in the experience, they will get great enjoyment out of it. 

Can you tell me a little bit about BLIND, what was the inspiration behind your new show?

BLIND' is a 30-minute immersive audio horror experience, utilising binaural sound and 3D sensory effects creating a truly unique at-home horror experience. All you need to experience 'Blind' is headphones and a dark room.

We were inspired to make BLIND because we wanted to provide an opportunity for people to enjoy an immersive audio experience from their homes. Using binaural recording techniques, we were able to create sounds and voices that sound like they are in the room with you. In a time where we’ve been asked to isolate, we really wanted to create a performance that makes audiences feel like they’re not alone, even if that is in a scary way.

"...I feel I worried too much about creating work that I thought others would enjoy."

What were the biggest challenges you faced bringing BLIND to the stage?

BLIND was recorded in late 2020, and our biggest challenge and priority was always the safety of our creative team. But with strict safety protocols in place and the support of many artists we were able to record BLIND in a safe and stimulating environment.

Have you always had a passion for theatre?

Yes, massively. And like many, I’ve missed it terribly during the Covid-19 Pandemic. But I’ve also been in awe of how many theatre companies have adapted during this, with things such as performances over Instagram, live-streaming, outdoor performances and even audio journeys. I think the future for theatre is bright and I really look forward to what comes next.

What is it about horror that interests and inspires you so much as a creator?

I think it is the mystery, we are fascinated by the unknown and things we don’t understand. I’m less interested in the violent element of horror and more the psychological side of it. I suppose all of us have a dark and mysterious side to us, and the horror genre is a way to celebrate and explore that aspect of our personalities.  

How did Ryots Productions come about and how much has your approach to your work changed since you started out?

Ryots Productions is the brainchild of myself and my work colleague Ciaran Gallagher. Ciaran and I have worked together on many theatre projects in the past and we are both adaptable theatre-makers who are always looking at new ways to tell great stories. With Ryots we have the freedom to devise and play and we both feel unlimited in what projects we are able to work on.

When I first started making theatre, I feel I worried too much about creating work that I thought others would enjoy. I soon learned that if I’m passionate and excited about a new piece of work, others will be too. 

What's the best piece of advice you would offer fellow theatre-makers?

You can do it. In every single project I’ve worked on, there has been a moment where I’m convinced the whole thing is going to fall apart, and yet it never has. Some work will be great, some won’t, but you can do it if you just keep trying. 

And finally, what do you hope your audiences will take away from BLIND?

I hope audiences will have a unique, fun experience and also get a really good scare!

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