Mackman is working with the New Vic Theatre in Newcastle-under-Lyme to produce an interactive video solution for their ‘Unite: It’s Not As Simple As Black & White’ project. The project is a New Vic Borderlines initiative, in collaboration with the Port Vale Foundation Trust and Sporting Communities CIC. It is funded by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and aims to address faith, race and hate crime.

The New Vic recently invited people to join the first phase of interactive workshops using creative writing, poetry, music, technology, art and sport to explore why hatred exists and how we can make a difference. The interactive video is aimed at schoolchildren to discuss racism using football as a prism through which to explore reactions and concepts relating to discrimination. An anonymous survey took place in January in the interest of understanding faith, race and hate so that the New Vic could address the aims of the project.

Established in the 1950s, the Victoria Theatre Company was the first professional company in Britain to perform permanently with their audience on all sides of the stage. Today, the New Vic is known both for its professional productions and for its award-winning work in the community. The Unite project is their latest insightful work to encourage discussions about hatred, particularly racial and religious hatred.

The New Vic is providing professional video footage with actors portraying storylines related to a football game, and using an interactive video platform, Mackman will craft a solution that enables viewers to navigate through the videos and make their own choices to influence the outcome and highlight how racism affects the characters. This technology is similar to the ‘choose your own adventure’ books of the 1970s and 1980s, elevated to allow users to take control of the storyline and explore different outcomes. The potential of interactive video was shown to dramatic effect in the 2018 Black Mirror episode ‘Bandersnatch’ and is on the rise in popular culture.

Stay tuned for updates on the project, and for information about how to view the interactive video. In the meantime, we encourage you to visit the New Vic website to learn more about the Unite project and its aims.