Fairy Tales: Immersive Storytelling for Kids

Once upon a time…

We’re used to putting together interactive experiences for adults, but when Discover approached us to create an immersive fairy tale for children, we couldn’t wait to give our inner kids the chance to run wild!

Illustrator David Litchfield and author Ross Montgomery had already put together an amazing storyboard for the experience – they just needed someone to bring that world to life, creating a magical and mesmerising world for children to play in.

Bringing fairy tales to life

Children would be in the space for thirty minutes, and we wanted to make sure each and every one was enthralled from start to finish! We knew we had to create movement and shift focus to different areas to really help pull the story off the page, from the cosy Three Bears B&B to an enchanting night-time forest with vibrating glow worms, to a town complete with a castle disco dancefloor.

Children started their journey with a story in the B&B, with the windows shrouded in darkness. The moment when we shifted the lighting to reveal the town just beyond the windows was always an exciting one as children got their first glimpse of the magical world they were about to explore!

Around the experience, we used the dramatic colours of a beautiful sunset to move from day to night, and were able to use carefully positioned hard light sources around David’s illustrations to capture and build texture, lifting the space to transport children into the fairytale world. We also illuminated the town windows independently to give life to each home and building, while Discover’s sound designer shifted the audio soundtracks around the space to match the lighting.

Illuminating imaginations

We were really pleased that we were able to work with Discover to use a lot of their own equipment to keep costs down, which meant the experience was kept affordable for families. We also made sure our designs were flexible enough to move things around when it came to building the set, so that we could deliver exactly what Discover was looking for.

It’s been amazing hearing some of the reactions – there’s nothing better than knowing children have loved the little bit of magic you’ve helped create! A few of the comments on the experience that have really made us smile:

“Absolutely MAGICAL – my boys were blown away!”

“Out of this world, remarkable, astonishing and so much more.”

“The girls and I were transported to a miniature, child-size story world in Stratford that really got their imaginations going.”

The experience will be on at Stratford for the rest of the year before heading up to Manchester for 2021.

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