The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is to stage an innovative production exploring how audiences could experience live performance in the future.

Entitled Dream, the production is inspired by Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and offers audiences a unique opportunity to directly influence the live performance from wherever they are in the world.

A collaboration between the RSC, Manchester International Festival (MIF), Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF) and Philharmonia Orchestra, the performance makes use of the latest gaming and theatre technology, together with an interactive symphonic score that responds to the actors’ movements during the show.

The live performance is set in a virtual midsummer forest. Under the shadow of gathering clouds at dusk, lit by the glimmer of fireflies, Puck acts as the guide. Audiences are invited to explore the forest from the canopy of the trees to the roots, meet the sprites - Cobweb, Mustardseed, Peaseblossom and Moth - and take 'an extraordinary journey into the eye of a cataclysmic storm'. Together with Puck, they must regrow the forest before dawn. When day breaks, the spell breaks...

The 50-minute online event will be a shared experience between remote audience members and the seven actors who play Puck and the sprites. Audiences can choose either to buy a £10 ticket to take part - at key points in the play directly influencing the world of the actors - or view the performance for free.

The ten Dream performances are scheduled so that audiences across the world can join the event.

RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran said: “What’s brilliant about Dream is the innovation at play.  An audience member sitting at home influencing the live performance from wherever they are - that’s exciting. It’s not a replacement to being in the space with the performers, but it opens up new opportunities. By bringing together specialists in on-stage live performance with that of gaming and music, you see how much they have in common. For instance, the RSC's deep understanding of scripted drama combined with Marshmallow Laser Feast’s innovation in creative tech brings thrilling results.

“The story is king, whether you are a gamer or an audience member. Stories haven’t changed, but the way we engage audiences with them has. Shakespeare was our greatest storyteller, and it’s brilliant that we get the opportunity to use one of his plays to discover what could be possible for live performance.”

Performances take place from Friday 12 to Saturday 20 March. To find out more and purchase tickets, visit: dream.online