The Matrix may have been right all along; maybe we really are living in a simulation. The proof? A new, immersive, hip-hop dance adaptation of the Wachowski sisters’ 1999 sci-fi classic, put on by 28 Days Later director Danny Boyle. Sure sounds like something a glitching simulation would cough up! But hey, stranger things have happened.
The production—aptly titled Free Your Mind—will open in October 2023 as the debut show at Factory International, a brand new arts venue in Manchester, England.
The show is described, per Variety, as “combining the hip-hop choreography of hundreds of dancers with the latest immersive design” and promises that “Free Your Mind will take audiences on a thrilling journey through The Matrix and into a new realm of possibilities.”
The statement continues: “This eye-opening production will stretch across the building’s ultra-flexible spaces, responding to them and harnessing the collective energy of the moment.” We’re still not completely convinced this whole thing isn’t an elaborate ploy to trap audience members in goo-filled pods so evil machines can harvest some of that aforementioned “collective energy,” but we’d love to be surprised. We’re freeing our minds here, after all.
One point against the “none of this is real” theory is that Boyle (who also directed Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, and a spate of other acclaimed films) is no stranger to large-scale dance production. He also directed the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games. You know, the one that involved a Queen Elizabeth II impersonator parachuting into the stadium and a scene some conspiracy theorists claimed predicted the COVID-19 pandemic eight years in advance, which, now that we say it out loud, definitely means that we’re all in those goo pods as we speak.
Well, at least we can enjoy a little art as we rot. Free Your Mind’s music will be composed by Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante it will be choreographed by Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy. Tracey Seaward will produce and poet/playwright Sabrina Mahfouz and artist Es Devlin will write and provide large-scale sculptures. Understanding the true nature of our reality is never easy but, as far as wake-up calls go, this one sounds pretty fun!