Community Cast Call Out: Operation Black Antler

We have an exciting opportunity to take part in the critically acclaimed production Operation Black Antler.

We are bringing BAFTA award nominated Blast Theory and celebrated immersive theatre company Hydrocracker to Manchester in June this year to stage this site-specific immersive theatre production and you could be part of the cast.

Shocked by the ongoing revelations about police surveillance and the behaviour of undercover officers, Hydrocracker and Blast Theory have devised Operation Black Antler, immersive theatre that invites audience members to take on a new identity to explore the ethics of undercover surveillance.

Would you like to take part?

We are looking for community cast members who will create the world in which we will immerse our audience by improvising a totally believable character to be based either at the safe house or the gig itself.

At the given date and time the audience arrive at a secret location. As soon as they arrive they are dropped into the hushed, purposeful preparations for a major undercover operation. Experienced police handlers welcome them inside. Mugshots pepper the walls. Surveillance kits are being checked.

In a small group a handler briefs audience members. Intelligence has just arrived that a group has arranged a gig beginning in less than an hour’s time. Audience members need to develop a new identity in double quick time and get to the venue.

We require people with some performance experience; able and willing to devise their own character and then improvise in given situations alongside the highly experienced actors from Hydrocracker.

What is the audition process?

We will be holding fun and friendly audition workshops on Tue 14 and Wed 15 March, times to be confirmed.

Places on the audition workshops are limited and must be booked in advance. To be considered please email with your contact details, a short statement telling us a bit about you and why you would like to take part in the project. Please get in touch by Mon 13 March 2017.

We are looking for a variety of ages, from 18-100 years old. Please note that cast members must be over 18.

When will rehearsals be?

Selected community cast members will need to be available for two workshops on Sat 20 and Sat 27 May to start building characters and entering the world of Operation Black Antler.

You will then need to be available for the following:

  • Week beginning Tue 30 May: We will invite you to meet the professional cast and start rehearsals on selected evenings/weekends.
  • Week beginning Mon 5 June: Production week and rehearsals. You will need to have availability for evenings and some days.
  • Wed 7 June to Sat 17 June: Operation Black Antler goes live. You will need good availability for this period.

Want to know more about the companies involved? 


Formed in 1993 and is best known for site-specific/immersive work that explores political content. The company has made work for piers, police cells, town halls, and restaurants; but retains a robust acting process that enables it to mine the foundations of the text and immerse the audience in an intense experience.

Recent work has been commissioned by Brighton Festival, (with whom it is an Associate Company) and then has been re-made for other partners: Wild Justice, Unitarian Church, Brighton Festival 2014 – Winner of Artistic Excellence Award; The New World Order, 2011 at Shoreditch Town Hall as part of the Barbican Autumn Season & Brighton Festival 2007 in Brighton Town Hall/Police Cells; Erpingham Camp, Brighton Festival 2009, on Brighton Pier and Shakespeare à la Carte, Brighton Festival at Pizza Express 2008 (Argus Angel Winner), then Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Theatre Festival Horsens, Canterbury Festival (2009); as a BBC Radio Play broadcast 2009/2010/2013 and Brighton Dome café-bar 2013.

Blast Theory

Blast Theory make interactive artworks that invite you to question your place in society. The group is renowned internationally as one of the most adventurous artists’ groups using interactive media, creating groundbreaking new forms of performance and interactive art that mixes audiences across the internet, live performance and digital broadcasting.

Led by Matt Adams, Ju Row Farr and Nick Tandavanitj, Blast Theory has shown work at the Venice Biennale, Sundance Film Festival, ICC in Tokyo, the Barbican and Tate Britain. Commissioners include Channel 4, the BBC and the Royal Opera House. Blast Theory’s first app – Karen – commissioned by National Theatre Wales and The Space launched at Tribeca Film Festival in New York in 2015 and was profiled in a large feature in The New York Times.

The artists work closely with researchers and scientists and have collaborated with the Mixed Reality Lab at the University of Nottingham since 1997, co-authoring over 45 research papers. The artists teach and lecture internationally including at the Sorbonne, Stanford University and the Royal College of Art. They curated the Screen series for Live Culture at Tate Modern. The group has been nominated for four BAFTAs, won the Golden Nica at Prix Ars Electronica and won the Nam June Paik Art Center Award in 2016.