Choosing Children Access

july - nov 2023

App to allow for real-time customisable access materials and user interaction for an immersive theatre show produced by Ben Fredericks collaborations.


Choosing Children Access is a unique approach to delivering accessibility content and allowing for visitor interaction during a live interactive theatre performance. The mobile app that I created was just one part of a larger interconnected system of systems. The stage setup included 24 light orbs which, along with the regular stage lighting, were controlled by a central lighting desk. The set also featured a dynamic video projection running from Unreal Engine into Madmapper, with the lighting desk sending network triggers to play certain video clips. There was also of course the actors which had to work in time with all of this technology during the live show. This was all brought together by a great multi-disciplinary team led by writer and director Ben Fredericks.

Following on from a useful (but ultimately unsuccessful) sprint of R&D with a questionable AR headset, we decided to use a mobile phone to display access content and allow for user interaction in the show. This allowed us to communicate to and from the lighting desk using the OSC networking protocol. The lighting desk told the phones when to trigger content based on the current scene.

Each performance was limited to 20 visitors, each with their own phone. The phones were mounted on an adjustable stand in front of the visitor and all start with everything disabled, allowing the user to enable certain elements as they saw fit. The options included were subtitles, British sign language interpretation, audio description, and camera passthrough.

There are also ten instances in the show were the characters ask the audience questions and they are prompted to answer on their devices. These were simple yes/no question and depending on the answer given, one of the orbs on stage linked to that particular device would light up and change colour. There is also a prompt at the beginning of the show for the user to “wake up” their orb, turning on their orb to allow them to see which is theirs. There is also a results page that displays at the end of the show and shows what percentage of people gave each answer.


Ben Fredericks Collaborations:

Github repository: