Thu 25 - Sat 27 February

Dates and Times

Thu 25 - Sat 27 Feb


£5 for 1 show, £3 per show if you book three or more different shows


Theatre & Performance



Running time

Shows: 30 mins

Workshop: 90 mins

We demand a better future

DARE Festival is a three-day extravaganza of inventive, unexpected, challenging and ground-breaking new interactive theatre for audiences who want to play! Usually hosted in Shoreditch Town Hall’s Ditch, this year’s DARE will take place in an entirely virtual theatre space, ensuring you can experience all the fun from the safety of your own home.

Curated by critically-acclaimed playable theatre company Upstart Theatre, DARE brings together performance, installations and workshops. It is an opportunity to see new work in its earliest stages and offers audiences the chance to meet and chat to artists in our virtual theatre bar after the show.

This year we have commissioned six new pieces of interactive theatre that respond to the theme ‘we demand a better future’. The wide-ranging interpretations of that theme promise to be bold and delicious covering everything from the inequality of land ownership in England to Hong Kong street food.

Tickets: Book to see 3 or more different performances for DARE Festival and pay £3 instead of £5. Scroll down to find out more about each show.

All ticket holders should have received an email about accessing the performances. PLEASE CHECK YOU JUNK FOLDER if you have not received one yet. Alternatively, email or call 0207 739 6176.

To find out more about how the digital space will work, you can click here and watch this handy video:

If you have booked The Think Tank tickets, you will also need to downloaded the Slido App onto a device before it begins. You can access this via IOS or android and you can also operate the program from your laptop on an internet browser if you go to

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England Unity Theatre Trust.

Photo: Tylor and Vincent's Pussy and Money at DARE Festival 4, 2019. Credit: Ali Wright

ThisEgg & Camilla Clarke: & then everything just-
ShumGhostJohn: Cart Noodle Show
Speaks of Rivers: The Fourteenth Stop
Abby and Alice x Solidaritree: The Isthmus Project
Katurah Morrish: The Learning Lottery
Fable Workshop & Gavin Maxwell: The Think Tank
Upstart Theatre Workshop: Making Playable Theatre


Available throughout the festival. If you book to see any of the other shows, you will be given access to this installation.

A tour of the installation with a Q&A with the creatives: Sat 27 Feb, 4pm (this requires a ticket)


& then everything just- is an interactive digital experience that invites the audience - the people, the community - to take the position of the architects, the city planners, the judges, the politicians, the people who make the BIG decisions in, well, the world. The whole world.

Available as an online installation throughout the festival, audiences are invited both to explore and add their own thoughts to this reflection on where we are, how we got here, where we're going and what we want to change.

You can also join the creative team on Sat 27 Feb for a virtual discussion about this installation.


Co-created by Camilla Clarke & Josie Dale-Jones with the audience


ThisEgg is Josie Dale-Jones who self-produces, co-creates & performs shows with a variety of artistic collaborators. Camilla Clarke is a theatre maker & designer.

ThisEgg’s most recent show dressed. premiered at the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe to critical acclaim, receiving a Scotsman Fringe First Award 2018 as well as a nomination for ThisEgg for Total Theatre Awards’ Emerging Company 2018. During the 2019 national tour, dressed. was nominated for a 2020 Offie Award for IDEA (innovative/ devised/ experiential/ atypical).

In 2015 Camilla was a winner of the Linbury Prize for Stage Design. Camilla was the recipient of the Prince of Wales Arts Scholarship 2013, The Paul Klimpton prize for innovation in Design and The Lord Williams memorial prize for Design in 2014.


This piece is led by the audience, we can't be sure what will come up in conversation, please look after yourself and each other in whatever way you need.




Thu, 25 Feb, 8pm

Fri, 26 Feb, 7:15pm

Sat, 27 Feb, 1pm


What's better than a storytelling night? What about a game show with 8 stories about food!

The hilarious ShumGhostJohn are bringing their brand new game show Cart Noodle Show to your home. Get ready to sit on the edge of your seat, fight for the highest score, and have a taste of the delicious Hong Kong street food, Cart Noodle 車仔麵!

Warning: The myths in this show may not be authentic. The food may not be nice and kind. The host may not want you to win. Hot. Handle with Care.

Captions are available for all performances of this show.


Concept, Direction and Performance: ShumGhostJohn
Sound and Music: Angela Wai Nok Hui
Prop and Set Design: Jeffrey Choy


Fluid in their artistic expression, ShumGhostJohn is a Hong Kongese trio making performance works across disciplines, previously trained in language, ballet, computer science and biology. Met in 2017, they devise storytelling works that recognise Hongkongese identity, power of being a collective and the nature of interdependence.


Audience are expected to participate in games that require them to move around and find objects in their space. They have to have their camera on in order to participate.


Thu, 25 Feb, 5pm

Fri, 26 Feb, 5pm

Sat, 27 Feb, 3pm


Join 10 year-old Taaliyah on an interactive adventure as she rides London’s longest Night Bus route, transforming the sleepy streets into a wonderland with her vibrant imagination.

It’s a long journey, full of unexpected and exciting challenges, but she’s determined not to fall asleep - because Taaliyah knows that with a little help and a lot of courage she can overcome anything the world throws at her.

Featuring puppetry, poetry and physical theatre The Fourteenth Stop is an uplifting experience for all the family.

Captions are available for all performances of this show.


Devised by the company:
Aimee Louise Bevan
Cassiopeia Berkeley-Agyepong
Delvene Pitt
Jessica Manu
Roberta Livingston
Yasmin Keita


Speaks of Rivers are a Black female-led physical theatre company who create original work for young audiences.

United by their passion for storytelling through movement, Speaks of Rivers believe that theatre is a brilliant way to bring people together and inspire positive change. Founded in October 2020, the company's creative practice has been characterised by the shift to digital theatre-making in response to the pandemic. Their aim is to develop work that welcomes members of the neurodiverse community and they integrate BSL, captions, and audio-description into the shows they create. Using puppetry, spoken word, music, dance and more, they hope to share original stories with audiences across the UK.


The audience will need to create a toolkit of items from their home and pack them in a rucksack/bag. Specific details will follow, but this will be linked to themes/feelings e.g. ‘something that makes you feel brave’ rather than a list items that everyone will need to have.


For children aged 7+ and their families


Thu, 25 Feb, 7:15pm

Fri, 26 Feb, 8:45pm

Sat, 27 Feb, 8pm


Isthmus is an interactive game, played between the performers and the audience that demystifies and reimagines England's land system. Unequal access to land is particularly stark in England, where land ownership is often inherited - less than 1% of the population own half of England. The system favours the privileged and actively upholds race and class inequality, from the affordability of homes to the quality of the land and infrastructure. However, the injustices pervading England's land system are often overlooked because they’re complex. Through play, discussion and debate, audiences will navigate and reimagine the system: to work for you and your community.

You will need to use the platform Wonder which works best on Firefox and Chrome, so please make sure you are using either of those browsers. Once you're in the virtual space, you'll be sent the link and password to access Wonder.


Alice Davies
Lois Donegal
Charise Johnson
Abby Sumrie
Nazia Tamanna


This project is a collaboration between two collectives: Abby + Alice (A+A) are set and experience designers specialising in interactive work. They’ve made a giant tap for Glastonbury Festival, a speakeasy in an old leather factory and more recently a game about parks in lockdown. Their work has been exhibited in the V&A and presented at ADC*E Europe. Solidaritree is a creative environmental collective and inclusive community for underrepresented people in the environmental movement, who aim to change the assumptions around environmentalism. The team are three women of colour with backgrounds in environmental and conservation science, public policy, media, fine art and graphic design.


Thematic warning: discusses a variety of inequalities and injustices in the UK. Interaction warning: the game is centred on discussion with co-players in which you'll be required to give your opinion on in-game decisions. Cameras will be turned off for the majority of play, and there is no obligation to turn them on at any point. Players will have the option to talk or type for all discussions.




Thu, 25 Feb, 8:45pm

Fri, 26 Feb, 8pm

Sat, 27 Feb, 7:15pm


The Learning Lottery is a playable theatre experience that puts audiences in the black lace-ups of some UK teenagers and gives them one simple goal: do well at school. The teens are eager and the education system professes “to provide world-class education for everyone, whatever their background” (DfE, 2020), so what could possibly go wrong?

Created from research, The Learning Lottery scrutinises the narrative that the UK is a functioning meritocracy. It asks audiences to confront our relationship with a system that insists on its investment in equality, and yet strangely, somehow, always recreates uncannily similar stories of winners and losers.

Which numbers will you draw?

Captions are available for all performances of this show.


Katurah Morrish is a theatre-maker, actor and youth arts practitioner with a background in educational research. She is particularly interested in work that investigates the mechanisms and commonly held beliefs that prop up harmful and destructive systems and practices. Katurah is committed to making work that argues for a better future for young people and often finds herself impatiently asking why not change now?

Katurah trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and studied Education at the University of Cambridge. She is Assistant Youth Director at Group 64 Theatre for Young People and a member of the performance art collective thewonderful.


Some klaxon/siren sound effects likely to be used.


Thu, 25 Feb, 6:30pm

Fri, 26 Feb, 6:30pm

Sat, 27 Feb, 6:30pm


Children have had enough of adults messing up the planet, and they can't be trusted any more. They have risen up and are taking matters into their own hands!

The Think Tank is a re-education initiative to get adults thinking more creatively. The world’s biggest problem’s aren’t improving, in fact they are getting worse. Now more than ever we need creative ideas to help solve the problems that adults can’t seem to fix. Filled with games and tasks to spark creative problem solving, join The Think Tank and help re-imagine the world.

Captions are available for all performances of this show.

Please can ensure that you have downloaded the Slido App onto a device before The Think Tank begins. You can access this via IOS or android and you can also operate the program from your laptop on an internet browser if you go to


Co-Director: Gavin Maxwell
Co-Director: Sean Hollands (Fable Workshop)
Cast: Arabella, Roddy, Neil, Ronnie, Corrina, Ollie
Youth Consultant: Michelle Edwards


Fable Workshop, led by Sean Hollands, is a collaborative and experimental theatre company that creates new work with innovative artists.

Gavin is a neuro-diverse theatre-maker and movement director. Gavin co-runs GymJam, a socially driven physical theatre company that aims to amplify under-repped community voices. GymJam's next project Anthropocene is a playable, interactive piece of digital theatre exploring climate change.


Be prepared to move around your space and immediate area. Recommend floors are clear to avoid injury.


Sat 27 Feb, 12pm


Join Upstart Theatre's Artistic Director, Tom Mansfield, for an online workshop in making theatre for audiences who want to play! We'll be exploring how Upstart Theatre mixes techniques from board and video games with more traditional theatre devising techniques, to create our unique brand of playable theatre.

"immersive theatre at its very best…stirring, involving and highly original” on Upstart Theatre's Situation Room


This workshop is aimed primarily at adults who create performances, but is open to anyone who'd like to attend.

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