The Museum of Brisbane and Folly Games have teamed up to produce the interactive adventure ‘A Convict’s Hope’ based on the history showcased in the Museum’s exhibition Life In Irons: Brisbane’s Convict Stories.
For Saturday’s launch sessions (7 July) people of many ages attended, filing into one large room cordoned off. After a couple of speeches where the Museum and Folly Games introduced the concept and thanked each other, we got on with the main event. Upon entering everybody was assigned coloured pegs which allocated you to a team and a device. You could scan clues on top of the device to get information, but they were a bit moody and sometimes not very helpful with their answers.
The launch shows may have revealed some pacing issues that Folly Games no doubt will quickly rectify. We were on our feet for over two hours which was a bit uncomfortable for some audience members, one person even sitting down on the ground against the wall at one point. The pattern of looking for clues also became a bit repetitive as your legs started to get sore. However, the game gathered steam at the end and children attending overcame their initial shyness and got really engaged with it. This fact speaks well of Folly Games and the two performers who took us through everything on Saturday.
We were informed we had been given the hardest setting to navigate but there was always somebody around to guide you if need be. The actors did well engaging with a live audience, sprouting much exposition and sharing some comedic banter. By performing as people from the past too, they evoked nicely the poignancy of the resilient spirit of such people and how hard personal freedom was to come by back then. You could feel when Mary McCauley, a real classy lady and a smuggler, left for her own time – a part of the audience didn’t want her to go.
The point of the show and the lesson of its history came together quite nicely but it might be nice to get there a bit sooner in subsequent games.