fanSHEN and Rebecca Enderby from King’s College London
Rachel Briscoe, fanSHEN
Rebecca Enderby, King’s College London
Professor Mark Pelling, King’s College London
fanSHEN’s Research in Residence project concerned the promotion of environmentally sustainable lifestyles, demonstrated by a theatre production that provided all its energy. Building upon work technology created for their GreenandPleasantLand show, which featured pedal powered sound, fanSHEN customised four gym machine to generate power for their new play Cheese. The machines we customised with the help of pedal power specialists Magnificent Revolution and electronics experts Re-Innovation.
Over three weeks the four gym machines were installed in the Golden Lanes Sport & Fitness gym, the Whitechapel Sports Centre, the Artizan Community Centre and at the City Life Family Festival in Leadenhall Market. A total of 452 people used the machines generating 2.5 kilowatts of energy which was stored on large batteries. Individuals using the machines would have their exercise measured in terms of household energy usage and received cash-back vouchers that could be used against the play’s ticket price.
The play, Cheese, was performed for three weeks in September 2013 at a venue on Oxford Street. It’s story follows the lives of a successful couple, Joe and Freya, whose lives are thrown into disarray one day when the cheese runs out. It is a political comedy, a humorous adventure through absurdist systems.
Cheese received features from Time Out whose reporter contributed 128 watts of energy to receive £1 off their ticket to the play, and a review by Permaculture who called it an “extraordinary play with a very important message to tell”. fanSHEN ran a dedicated blog, Pedalling Power, to document the project.
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