Running my first larp

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Next week I’ve got the opportunity to put on a workshop at my counselling summer school. I decided to run a larp.

I’ve chosen ‘New Voices in Art’ by Edland, Falch and Rognli.  This is a larp in which the characters are artists at the preview of the show of the title, each with their own secret fears and hopes about their work.  The metatechnique ‘ping the glass’ allows these inner thoughts to be revealed, as characters give monologues that can be heard by the other players, though not by their characters.

The main reason I wanted to run this larp is that as our class graduates after this summer school, we will all go our separate ways.  Most will be looking to set up in private practice as therapists.  Like the artists in the larp, we’re at a crossroads.  I’m hoping that the larp will be a way to explore the future imaginatively and emotionally, without making that point too obviously.

The Larp O’ the Irish

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… my apologies for that appalling pun.  But I grew up there so I can get away with it.

Another reason I can get away with it is that it’s my lovely sister Carla who is bringing the gift of larp to Limerick, which happens to be European City of Culture for 2014.

The financial crisis has hit the city of Limerick hard, as elsewhere in Ireland.  One good consequence of this is that artists’ studios pop up in peculiar places – a former city centre Benetton store, for example.  An enlightened local government policy allows landlords property tax exemptions if they allow artists to use spaces.  Low rents and Ireland’s still-generous welfare system have also contributed to a mini-renaissance of Irish art.

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Larps I’ve Been Discovering

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Last night I spent yet another couple of hours trawling through larp documentation.  I feel like such a larp nerd, but I can’t help it!  I get all excited when I read about these and just want to play …

Limbo as staged in a vintage tram

Limbo … I’m excited to be playing this on Sunday with Adam James, who’s doing a great job of promoting larp in London.  The idea is that all the characters are hovering between life and death, in a kind of existential ‘waiting room’.  Some of them will die, I suppose, and some return to life.  Reminds me of Spirited Away.  This is just my idea of what fantasy ought to be about.  Continue reading