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Mysterious & visceral. Interactive theatre meets mini-break as audiences play detective in the bedrooms & corridors of a real hotel.
Mysterious & visceral. Interactive theatre meets mini-break as audiences play detective in the bedrooms & corridors of a real hotel.
86 backers pledged £3,151 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Black Tonic 2015: Our theatre thriller in a hotel is back project video thumbnail
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Our Black Tonic 2015 Kickstarter has ended & we made our target!

Black Tonic 2015 has been several years in the making, and now thanks to your support we can finally get this show back on the road! We can't wait!

Thank you to all our backers who pledged to the campaign - you are amazing & we love you very much! And to all those lovely people who have shared, liked and tweeted about our Kickstarter. We've been blown away by your generosity and all the good will around this project.

If you missed backing the campaign whilst it was live, you can still pledge towards the campaign over here on our website.

Thanks for making this happen,

Katie, Thomas & Seb | The Other Way Works

And some more thank you’s…

Thanks to all those who gave us advice about creating a Kickstarter campaign (Annette Mees from Coney, Ian Francis from Flatpack, Blast Theory’s excellent guide, amongst others).

Thanks to Chris Keenan from Prime Objective for working with us to make our pitch video.

Thanks to Seb Harding for his incredible design skills which have made this campaign look so stylish, and for the social media tsunami he unleashed.

Thanks to Thomas Wildish for all the behind the scenes support and for crunching the numbers behind the campaign to make sure we actually come out of it in profit!

Thanks to our excellent Board Members for putting their weight behind us: Delia Garratt, Chris Unitt, Sarah Ellis and Catherine Allen.

And to all those others who have helped this happen that I’ve missed out here.

We’ve announced a stretch goal for the final 2 hours of the campaign…

Thanks to our amazing backers we’ve reached our £3,000 target and can get Black Tonic 2015 back on the road! Black Tonic will be a unique theatre adventure in the bedrooms and corridors of a hotel for 4 people at a time.

If we raise £3,500 we will produce a full filmed version of the production, and send a password-protected link to the video to ALL our project backers.

We’re in the last couple of hours of the campaign, so spread the word fast!

Our hotel-based interactive thriller Black Tonic is coming back for 2015!

A theatre adventure in the bedrooms and corridors of a hotel for 4 people at a time, Black Tonic explores the chaos caused by a disrupted body clock.

We are already well underway with re-working the show and getting it ready for performances this autumn in Birmingham, Bristol and Bradford.

We're really excited about bringing Black Tonic back for more people to enjoy. We want you to be a part of making that happen.

We set Black Tonic in a hotel because it represents a microcosm of our increasingly 24hour society. This kind of existence is much more prominent now than in 2008 when we first made the show, and so the subject matter we explore feels even more relevant in 2015.

Black Tonic offers a glimpse into the lives of the invisible workforce whose erratic shift patterns service our round-the-clock society.

The negative effects on health of a 24hour lifestyle - for those enjoying it, as well as those working to enable it - is only just starting to be reported in mainstream media. This BBC News article gives you a flavour.

We worked closely with scientist Professor Debra Skene when developing the original production, and her research underpins the show’s plot, characters and situations.

Black Tonic’s protagonist is Lena, an eastern European hotel chambermaid who works a typically disruptive pattern of shifts to service the needs of hotel guests. It is these workers in the lowest-paid service jobs, who often lack influence, who fare the worst. Although people in more prestigious careers such as Doctors work unsociable hours, their shift patterns are carefully managed to minimise negative effects to their health.

The excellent work of Professor Skene, and others like her, highlights the serious increased risks to health for those who work unsociable shifts long term, and challenges the assumptions that a 24 hour society is to be aspired to.

We think this is a little-discussed, but vitally important issue facing our society now, and hope that audiences of Black Tonic will be inspired to explore it further based on experiencing the show.

Because the subject matter feels even more relevant now - and because we know that audiences want to see it - we’ve decided to bring back Black Tonic in 2015.

We have already raised 95% of the money we need to tour Black Tonic in 2015. We are launching this Kickstarter campaign to raise the final £3,000.

Our cast will need new costumes, our props need to be re-made with up to date information, and technology has moved on a lot since 2008 so we need to update our kit.

Your pledges will fund the props, costumes, and technology infrastructure that are essential to bring Black Tonic back to life.

The 2015 version of Black Tonic will feature a number of improvements on the original: a re-worked script that has been polished up by the show’s writer Clare Duffy; improved production values (set, props, costume, technology) thanks to your pledges here on Kickstarter; a completely re-designed scene at the heart of the show with a very special mysterious card game for audiences to play (with a bespoke technological interface built in collaboration with Watershed in Bristol and game consultancy from Holly Gramazio).

Seb Harding, our Projects Assistant, has put his degree in Illustration to excellent use and has designed some beautiful hotel-themed rewards, to thank you for backing this project.

The Tea Towel, Limited Edition Framed Print, and Card 3D Model Hotel Kit all feature his original hand-drawn illustrations created just for this Kickstarter.

Here’s a run-down of what’s on offer:

TEA TOWEL

A limited edition ‘Black Tonic 2015’ Tea Towel, printed on 100% unbleached cotton, and featuring a stylish black & white architectural graphic of a hotel from an illustration by Seb Harding. The clever design shows the full hotel image even when the Tea Towel is folded in half.

DO-NOT-DISTURB DOOR HANGER

The quintessential hotel accessory, ours is double-sided, printed on thick glossy A5 card and features our hotel maid icon designed by Seb Harding. You’ll need a pair of scissors to cut it out.

MODEL HOTEL KIT

Embrace your inner Blue Peter presenter with this intricate Model Hotel Kit digitally printed on thick 300gsm A3 card. Our Black Tonic model hotel is inspired by classic 20th century architecture and can be easily assembled with just a pair of scissors, a ruler and some glue. Designing models like this is Seb Harding’s specialist area, and he’s excelled himself here. Model size when constructed: 12cms x 16cms x 6 cms. (Picture is a mock up and will differ slightly from the final version).

LIMITED EDITION FRAMED PRINT

A limited edition signed and numbered print of Seb Harding’s hand-drawn Black Tonic hotel, digitally printed on high quality paper stock. Framed in a contemporary matt black metal frame (41cms x 30cms). A unique memento of the show and a welcome addition to any home.

HOTEL SET

Relax in style and recreate that hotel feeling in your own home with the Hotel Set which includes a Black Tonic branded cotton towelling bathrobe, hotel-style slippers, and a Black Tonic Do-Not-Disturb Door Hanger.

PRIORITY BOOKING

Tickets for our productions regularly sell out quickly.

Black Tonic will be touring to Birmingham, Bristol and Bradford in September and October 2015. With just 30 pairs of tickets available for each city, demand is likely to be very high.  

We are able to offer our Kickstarter backers in the SUPERIOR KING reward tier access to Priority Booking for one pair of Black Tonic show tickets. Priority Booking will open shortly after this Kickstarter campaign ends, and allocation will be on a strict first-come-first-served basis, we will contact you with further information at the end of the campaign. A maximum of 5 pairs of tickets will be available to purchase for each city.

A PAIR OF TICKETS TO SEE BLACK TONIC

For our JUNIOR SUITE, PENTHOUSE SUITE, SIGNATURE SUITE and PRESIDENTIAL SUITE backers entry to the show is guaranteed with a pair of tickets pre-purchased for you to see Black Tonic in the city of your choice (Birmingham, Bristol or Bradford) during the tour in Autumn 2015.

A NAME OF YOUR CHOICE FEATURED IN THE SHOW

An extraordinary opportunity to have the name of your choice written into the Black Tonic production. This could be your own name, or the name of a loved one. Depending on the name (e.g. the gender, and likely age, etc) it may be used for an incidental character, or feature prominently in the documents that make up the rich set-dressing that audiences are invited to explore during the show.

THE ULTIMATE MINI-BREAK

This is one for the (theatre) lovers amongst you. A very special weekend (or mid-week) break for 2. You won’t just get to see the show in the hotel, you’ll get to stay the night too.

This deluxe package includes: A pair of tickets to see Black Tonic in the city of your choice (Birmingham, Bristol or Bradford); an overnight stay for 2 in a standard double or twin bedroom at the hotel we are performing the show in (a slick 3*/4* city centre business hotel); a 2 course dinner for 2 with a welcome drink at the hotel restaurant; and breakfast for 2 the morning after. (You will be responsible for any spend at the hotel during your stay additional to what is specified here. Travel is not included)

PRIVILEGED ACCESS TO THE CREATIVE PROCESS + MEET THE COMPANY

An exclusive invitation for 2 people to meet the Company over a luxury Afternoon Tea in the city that you see the show. This is your chance to chew over the ins-and-outs of creating and performing in this innovative production with the actors, whilst nibbling delicately on cucumber sandwiches and petit fours.

You will both be granted privileged access to our Rehearsal process, with an invitation to attend a half-day of rehearsals in Birmingham in the lead up to the tour (Week of 7th September 2015). A brilliant opportunity to see behind the scenes of the creation process, and ask questions of the creative team.

(Afternoon Tea and Rehearsal venue tbc. Travel not included)

The Other Way Works is a theatre company based in Birmingham, UK.

We create playful theatre that immerses our audiences in the story.

The intimate scenarios we create allow our audiences to explore places and perspectives anew, provoking them to change the way they see the world.

Our performance work can be found in hotel bedrooms, on bandstands in parks, and even in your own living room.

Since we formed 10 years ago we’ve been commissioned by and co-produced with venues across England including mac Birmingham; Camden People’s Theatre, London; Black Country Touring; and Contact Theatre, Manchester. We’ve presented work in partnership with many venues and festivals including Mayfest, Bristol; Pulse Festival, Ipswich; Oxford Playhouse; The Lowry, Salford; Curve, Leicester; artsdepot, London; and Wales Millennium Centre.

We were the winners of the Hello Culture Award in 2014.

#BackBlackTonic  |  @otherwayworks  |  Facebook

Black Tonic Credits

Devised by The Other Way Works. Text by Clare Duffy. Directed by Katie Day.

The Autumn 2015 Tour is in partnership with Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Watershed Bristol, Theatre in the Mill Bradford.  Funded by Arts Council England, The Sir Barry Jackson Trust, and you excellent folks who are backing this Kickstarter.

The original production was commissioned by Camden People’s Theatre; funded by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award, Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council and The Sir Barry Jackson Trust; supported by Contact Theatre and CPT. Our thanks to the original cast. 

Kickstarter film by Chris Keenan | Black Tonic 2015 Producer: Thomas Wildish | Project Assistant: Seb Harding

Risks and challenges

We are fully confident that we will deliver the tour of Black Tonic to an excellent quality standard within our stated timescales. We have over 10 years of experience of creating and touring innovative, site-based productions.

Although there is risk involved in all artistic endeavour, because we successfully mounted the original version of Black Tonic and toured to 3 cities in 2008-2009, we know that we can make our 2015 tour a cracker.

We are not in a position to confirm which hotels the show will take place in, as we are currently in negotiation with our hotel partners. These conversations are where they should be at this stage in the planning process. We will announce which hotels we are performing in when our arts venue partners put tickets on sale to the general public.

Ensuring that the project actually has the funding it needs to deliver it is of course a key concern. The good news is that the re-development and Autumn 2015 Tour of Black Tonic has already received 95% of the funding needed to deliver the project, with this Kickstarter helping us complete our budget. We have been awarded a substantial grant through Arts Council England’s ‘Grants for the Arts’ funding scheme, and have also received a grant from the Birmingham-based The Sir Barry Jackson Trust. Backing from these funders demonstrates that the project is high-quality, properly costed, effectively managed, and offers an interesting cultural experience for audiences across England.

The presentation and marketing of performances of Black Tonic is well supported by our arts venue partner organisations, with the following dates already confirmed:
Birmingham Repertory Theatre: week commencing 14th September 2015
Watershed, Bristol: week commencing 28th September 2015
Theatre in the Mill, Bradford: week commencing 5th October 2015

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About $15

    LAUNDRY CUPBOARD -
    We’ll send you a neat little thank-you video + We will credit you on our website in our list of project backers.

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    22 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £25 or more About $38

    DELUXE DOUBLE -
    Bring that hotel vibe into your home with a Black Tonic ‘Do-not-Disturb’ door hanger + Put your feet up and let someone else dry up for a change using the deluxe Black Tonic Tea Towel + A thank-you video + Credit on our website.

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    Pledge £30 or more About $46

    SUPERIOR QUEEN -
    Move over Monopoly, its time to bag yourself some prime hotel real estate Black Tonic style.
    You’ll be the owner of your very own hotel (even if you have to make it yourself and its made of card - its a Model Hotel Kit!) + Do Not Disturb Door Hanger + Tea Towel + Thank-you video + Credit on our website.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £35 or more About $54

    EXECUTIVE KING -
    A one-stop-shop for recreating that hotel feeling at home. Relax in style with your HOTEL SET in a Black Tonic branded cotton towelling bathrobe, hotel-style slippers, and pop a Black Tonic Do Not Disturb Door Hanger on your bedroom door + Thank-you video + Credit on our website.

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    Limited 4 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £60 or more About $92

    SUPERIOR KING -
    Upgrade to Superior King and start getting treated like royalty, with access to Priority Booking for a pair of Black Tonic show tickets (5 pairs of tickets per city will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis) + A Limited Edition Framed Print of Seb Harding’s hand-drawn Black Tonic hotel + A copy of the Script signed by the Writer and Creative Team + Your name credited in our printed Programme to recognise your support + Model Hotel Kit + Do Not Disturb Door Hanger + Tea Towel + Thank-you video + Credit on our website.

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  6. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £75 or more About $115

    JUNIOR SUITE -
    Tickets are very limited (30 x pairs per city) and backing the campaign at this level guarantees you'll get to see it, as it includes a pair of tickets for the show in Birmingham, Bristol or Bradford during the tour in Autumn 2015 + Hotel Model Kit + Do Not Disturb Door Hanger + Tea Towel + Thank-you video + Credit on our website.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £150 or more About $231

    PENTHOUSE SUITE -
    Now you’re living the high life! Entry to the show is guaranteed with a pair of tickets for you to see Black Tonic in Birmingham, Bristol or Bradford during the tour in Autumn 2015 + An extraordinary opportunity to have the name of your choice written into the Black Tonic production + Signed copy of the Script + Model Hotel Kit + Do Not Disturb Door Hanger + Tea Towel + Thank-you video + Credit in the programme & on our website.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £500 or more About $769

    SIGNATURE SUITE -
    The Ultimate Mini-Break for 2 awaits you. Go on - treat the Bridget Jones/Mr Darcy in your life! Enjoy an overnight stay at one of the 3 hotels on our Black Tonic tour + A pair of tickets to see Black Tonic that evening + Dinner for 2 at the hotel including a welcome drink + Breakfast the next morning + Signed copy of the Script + Model Hotel Kit + Do Not Disturb Door Hanger + Tea Towel + Thank-you video + Credit in the programme & on our website.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,538

    PRESIDENTIAL SUITE -
    As befits your rank, as President you are granted privileged access to the Black Tonic show, its Creative Team, and the creative process behind this innovative production. You’ll get a pair of tickets to see Black Tonic in Birmingham, Bristol or Bradford during the tour in Autumn 2015, but that’s just the start. You and your ‘plus one’ will get the chance to attend a half-day of production rehearsals in Birmingham in the lead up to the tour + an exclusive invite to meet the Company over Afternoon Tea around the time you see the show + Signed copy of the Script + Model Hotel Kit + Do Not Disturb Door Hanger + Tea Towel + Thank-you video + Credit in the programme & on our website.

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Funding period

- (30 days)