Centre for Research in Opera and Music Theatre (CROMT)

Recalling the End - Melancholy Artefacts

A composed theatre piece by Tim Hopkins with music by Judith Weir, consisting of a live performance and a mobile mediated experience.  It will also feature work by sound designer, Sussex colleague Danny Bright.  The piece focuses on three artefacts created during the final months of WW1.   

R and D currently underway has been commissioned by 1418NOW and Brighton Festival, to develop the artistic vision of the piece and its experimental media theatre approaches.


Since the armistice, many objects have been made as vessels for acts of remembrance - memorials becoming points of focus once a year, linking later generations and wars back to a moment of silence.   

Melancholy Artefacts is concerned with three objects created in violent din of the months before, aiming to bridge the imagination back to their moment - from the storm before the calm.  Each is a product of technology pushed on by conflict, seen by the piece as unintended memorials - to desperate ingenuity and extreme human experience:    

              - a strip of cinefilm-paper displaying the intensity of artillery bombardment - an extraordinary technical achievement, which frames,     yet misses, two crucial minutes of history - the moment of armistice itself ;         

              - a Browning Automatic Rifle - the precursor to today’s AK47 and the global role of similar weapons;

              - a moving image of a ground attack seen from an observation balloon - as if from a drone.             

These historic objects have technological kinship with our own times.  Our piece reflects this using techniques from then and now:

live performance, natural acoustics, VR, 360 video, designed audio, mobile performance, digital processing - observing the past through the present.  Audiences become like battlefield observers, (of then, and now).  

The work is presented (A) as a live music and media theatre performance (season), and (B) as a mobile, mediated and mixed reality experience (tour).  

This dual context addresses different kinds of audience at different times - contemporary theatre and music Festival audiences (A) and diverse audiences such as gaming, media theatre, heritage (B).   It also relates to themes of Then and Now, here and there, action and recall, and the missing space between.”

 Recalling the End

From storyboard - work in progress