Forest Sounds: Immersive theatre/artist call-out

Forest Sounds are a company of artists based in Sheffield and we make immersive theatre. We made a play call The Church of Jim and we're performing it at Alphabetti Theatre in Newcastle on the 1st of December, and then at Theatre Deli in March 2018. And we want two artist/companies also performing, at these events, and for future shows

What’s the idea?

We want to build The Church of Jim into something like a festival of immersive theatre. A mid to large scale performance event that features lots of other immersive, interactive, playful contemporary theatre works together, with a clear artistic vision. Why? Because the kind of event we're imagining - and you're hopefully now imagining too - is the kind of thing that tricks audiences into getting involved with contemporary theatre, and will compete with average friday night activities. We want to be ambitious: to take over buildings, experiment with new audience-performance relationships, and probably have a party at the end of it.


Currently we can guarantee a box office split for both performances. That’s not exactly enough for a holiday to Japan. Bu we we also have a Grants For The Arts Application that's currently being reviewed. The decision will be announced early in October. If it's accepted, all 3 companies will be paid £1760, along with funding for travel and set.

Successful funding of this project also provides fantastic mentoring from some industry leaders for artistic and professional development. And also a paid producer, for us to get further shows and development time booked.

If the Application isn’t accepted, we'll be going ahead with the show at Alphabetti, and submitting another G4A for our show at Deli, and onwards.

It's not ideal, but we have faith in the viability and importance of this project. And, going forward in the next few years we want to find more ambitious companies/artists who are interested in working with us.

Important note: if your involvement is contingent on funding: we get it: let us know, apply anyway, back out if you need to. If funding doesn’t come through this time, we could work together next time, and we wouldn’t want anyone to miss out.

So what's The Church of Jim?

The Church of Jim is immersive theatre meets absurdist comedy. In the play, the audience are the newest members of an illegal church in a world where the seas have vanished, the Earth no-longer supports life and a mysterious, highly technological regime attempts to control all memory and thought. It’s not a good situation. However this Church desperately pursues a theology in which something called ‘Jimness' holds the key to humanity’s survival.

As a performance, The Church of Jim is a homage to the power of communal gathering, Using the church service as a template, the show employs prayer, song, meditation, poetry, and audience participation.

To-date The Church of Jim has been performed at Theatre Deli, Bank Street Arts, Wardrobe Theatre, Artsdepot and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The easiest way for it to be conveyed is to check out the promos, trailers and the video of the full show on our youtube channel: Or come and see it. We’ll be performing at Rebuild Festival in Sheffield on Thurs Oct 26th.

The Church of Jim

Is it good?

We think so. We asked these people too:

The Church of Jim is a bizarre and wonderful theatre offering that leaves you delighted and disturbed.” - Sarah Sharp, Programmer and Producer, Theatre Delicatessen North

weird, wonderful and somewhat outrageous … with a genuine intention for positivity and community … from terrifying and bizarre, to beautiful and hypnotic.” - Samantha Williams, State of the Arts

"It felt a bit like an hour and half of a warm cuddle, I don’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. Lovely experience of what it feels to have and explore faith of any kind, as well as a brief insight into persecutions some face. Let us know the date of your next sermon, I'll see you there". - Amanda Munro – artsdepot Programming & Participation Assistant

"Our Artistic Director saw the Church of Jim's debut in Sheffield and immediately decided to look into a way to get the show to Rebuild festival. The cast were stupendous and the piece was the perfect combination of humour and intelligence which has the entire audience swept along with it. Praise Jim!" - Sara Hill

Who are Forest Sounds?

We’re a company of artists who have performed all over the country, and internationally. We’ve been making work as Forest Sounds since 2014 and we came together in Forest Sounds from a diverse range of artistic backgrounds to make work that engages with political, social, and technological ideas in serious and playful ways. We have made work for Moor Theatre Deli, Artsdepot, Wardrobe Theatre, Edinburgh Fringe, DINA Venue, DNweekeND and a number of festivals.

What are we looking for?

*What fits in with a post-apocalyptic interactive church service… Good question. You tell us. In the past we’ve done shows with extra performers telling people their fortunes; had the venues’ staff members staging an intervention. But maybe you have a hyer-capitalist performance lecture, and we can sneak the audience out of to see the Church of Jim, afterwards. Maybe you’re working on a clown piece where you dress up like your grandma and then shatter into a thousand pieces (figuratively) and there’s loads of cool lights, and it doesn’t obviously narratively or thematically match… but it’s mad enough to work. If in doubt, get in touch and let’s shoot ideas around.

Why in Northern England*?

We want to build a artistic and touring network in the North where we have the majority of our connections. And to strengthen access to high-quality experimental theatre here. Sorry.

*Cheshire, Cumbria, County Durham, East Riding of Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, Northumberland, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear and West Yorkshire, plus the unitary authority areas of North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire.

In what sense do you mean ‘in’?

In the usual sense.

When’s it all happening?

16th Nov - Artists confirmed

17th Nov - Collective meeting - in person or Skype

20th Nov - 25th Nov First week of rehearsal at Alphabetti Theatre (Newcastle)

27th Nov - 30th Nov Second week of rehearsal at Alphabetti rehearsal

1st December Alphabetti performance

March - Two weeks of rehearsals at Theatre Deli (Sheffield)

March - Performance at Theatre Deili

Ya need to have these dates free. Deli is pencilled in, but can be negotiated.

Just to say

We’re open minded about what kind of work can go together. We’ve made work that’s new-writing, installation, new-media, audio-tour, as well as devised theatre. We’re not just envisioning immersive theatre pieces. They don’t have to be interactive; it might even be a stretch to call it ‘theatre’. But what we do want to do is form strong and lasting collaborations that strengthen all the work, and us, professionally, and as practising artists.

So how do you get involved?

Send us up to 600 words of text and any links and attachments that’ll be useful for us to see.

In order to get the right people and work for this we need to know:


Don’t chew off your head hitting the word count if you’re under or over. We’ve tried to make this document comprehensive and friendly so that submitting a proposal is easy and something you can have fun with. If you can do art-speak, that’s cool, we can too. It’s concise. But where possibly, tell us what the audience is gonna see.

If you have any questions, give us an email, a call or a text. Details below.


Midnight of 13th November! (One minute before November 14th).


If you’re anything like us you seem to spend half your life doing applications. Sometimes it can’t be helped. But if applications aren’t your strong suit cos: you’re dyslexic or working 60 hours this week; or you’ve just made the perfect thing but your camera broke so you don’t have any photos; or you’ve just read this and it’s a day before the deadline; or you send it off and you’ve forgotten something; just give us a call or an email. Ideally we’ll like to have *something* written down, but we can take notes over the phone. We’re nice. And accessibility is important.


+447981598197 (Andy Owen Cook - like all seven billion of us: I’m busy. So if I don’t answer, send me a text.)