1UPSTARTS is a Hull-based theatre company that specialises in the creation of interactive, immersive theatre. We combine live performance with non-linear narratives and a variety of gameplay mechanics to create a problem solving environment that audiences can exploit and explore, in order to better equip them for dealing with real world issues. We comprise of a group of University of Hull students and graduates from several different fields and have worked with numerous community groups and charities in the creation and engagement of our work.
how did it it begin?
The company was formed during the course of Lee Watt P’s (Artistic Director) year studying ‘Hypertheatre’ during his Masters of Research. With the help of local students and artists, Lee was able to create 4 interactive shows over the course of the year that formed the basis of the company’s ethos. After some excellent feedback from audiences who enjoyed the various experiences, the group decided to continue creating work for the public, leading to the creation of 1UPSTARTS.
Since launching, the company have developed and mounted multiple shows, most notably their flagship show ‘Passenger Car 425’ – which has been taken all over both Hull and Scarborough. The show enables audiences to vote in real time on the action taking place on stage through the use of their smartphones, and currently has 6 different endings and 28 individual iterations. The show has been performed at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Kardomah94, the Gulbenkian Centre, and many more. The company has since collaborated with the Goodwin Development Trust and its Youth Arts Takeover, who have commissioned several projects, including an incredibly successful family show for the Big Malarkey Festival. As part of the Youth Arts Takeover’s showcase night, the company performed a version of ‘Passenger Car’ that was broadcast across BBC Radio Humberside, meaning audiences could interact with the show and vote from anywhere in the world.