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May 18, 2012

Garlic Cake and Jelly – Minigames

In between the clips of Kelly’s antics, we wanted to have as much audience participation as possible. To do this we thought up a few mini games to encourage the audience to take a few risks for themselves. The idea behind these games was to have each volunteer ‘take a chance’ that could result in a nice, or nasty outcome.

When thinking up ideas for the games, I was particularly interested in an advert I had seen recently: the Bulmers ‘Experimenters Wanted’ campaign. The advert itself shows an actor attempting to hand out free tickets to watch his friend’s band play at a nearby pub. Many of the passers by turn down the offer, but several accept the tickets. Those who choose to ‘experiment’ are rewarded by a surprise performance by Plan B when they arrive at the pub.

Whilst watching the ‘making of’ video that accompanied the advert, I was struck by something the actor said: ‘When they get there, those people that have taken a chance, been brave, and tried something new and exciting, are rewarded.’ This is just one example of a several experiments organised by Bulmers in which members of the public are ¬†asked to do something a little out of the ordinary, and are rewarded as a result.

This reminded me of a similar idea, taken to extremes in Danny Wallace’s book YesMan. The book tells the true story of how Danny’s life was changed by hearing the words ‘Say yes more’ on the bus. This inspired him to challenge himself to say ‘yes’ to everything: friends, strangers, adverts and emails.

If the book teaches us anything, it's that saying yes more will eventually lead to a film of your life, in which you are played by Jim Carrey.

What links the ‘Experimenters Wanted’ campaign and YesMan is the idea that taking more chances eventually leads to great results.

We’ve tried to introduce this idea through our minigames, but with a twist – some of the outcomes of taking a risk are really quite nasty. Out of a choice of three cakes, one has a tasty garlic topping. Inside the trick or treat box there are sweets, a handful of jelly or a hand waiting to grab the contestants. Why? Quite simply, because this isn’t the nicest of game shows, and every performance is more fun with free cake (even with chilli powder inside.)

Filed by at May 18th, 2012 under Creating the performance, Inspiration
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