We’ve learned that a good story experience involves elements of immersion and also
elements of interaction. Recently we found this out all over again as we developed a
special online experience for the Claremont Road Day Centre. The Claremont centre
provides creative activities for older people and their members love both the expressive
and the social side of the arts. The perfect audience for a story!
We used one of our favourite ideas – a maze. We decided to start our audience in the
middle and challenge them to get out. We would give each participant a fragment of the
map so they would have to co-operate to find their way around. The path they took would
create their own unique story.
We built a detailed background mechanism of hedges and pathways. Then we filled it with
mysteries, secret doors, clues to solve and objects to find, before the final door could be
We got some very interesting feedback – the experience was truly immersive, hypnotic
even. But where was the social dimension? Could we include references to the Claremont
centre? Could we add a tongue twister? It was a great reminder that storytelling is both
hypnotic and conversational, both steeped in imagination and yet still connected to the real
We re-recorded some of the audio in a more conversational tone and added in comments
and rhymes throughout the maze that referenced the Claremont centre and its
surroundings. We even added the recitation of a tongue twister as a final group task
before the maze released its travellers back into the real world. It made a huge difference.
The maze is now both hypnotic and social, both magical and conversational. That is surely
what makes storytelling such a beguiling experience.
If you would like to explore the maze with a group of your own, please contact us and we
can discuss modifying it to your unique requirements.