Alien Phenomenology: A larp about a silent alien encounter

26 May 2018

Sat 26 May, 5.30 – 9.30pm
SPACE Mare Street
£6/4 Sign up here

All welcome, no prior larp experience necessary

This larp is run by Hamish MacPherson and Sarah Jury and written by them both together with Nina Runa Essendrop. Within it, a silent encounter offers a brief window into the relationship between two or three beings, objects or sites. It might be about a healer and their patient, or two friends, perhaps one of those friends is not a human but a dog, or an ancient tree, or even an entire landscape.

This work exists on the intersection between somatic practice and larp. It is lightly structured and involves each player building internal narratives based on their physical interactions with an emphasis on playing out passivity and activity in these relationships.

Alien Phenomenology will use touch and other physical contact to explore care, consent, responsibility and vulnerability. There will be a three hour workshop to explore ways of touching and receiving touch, building trust and understanding and negotiating ranges and limits of such interaction. The workshop will be designed to build confidence with physical contact and players will remain in control of their levels of contact at all times. Writing will be used to help develop individual narratives, but any text produced will not need to be shared publicly. The larp will be played for about an hour and a half followed by a half hour debrief to discuss experiences and to help develop the larp.


No experience of larp is necessary (and indeed this is not a typical larp). Familiarity with movement, somatic or other physical practices is welcomed, but also not necessary. The larp is designed to be adaptable to all levels of fitness but if you have any particular requirements or questions please contact the gallery in advance. Please wear clothes you are comfortable moving in.

Key words: non verbal, partly abstract, physical, slow, somatic

Possible sensitivities: Lying down, passivity, negotiating consent, negotiating touch, silence

Larp is originally an acronym for Live Action Role Playing, but today it’s used as name in itself. It refers to an interactive activity where people immerse themselves in fictional worlds to experience how others might live. Larps are played by groups of 2 or more people facilitated by a games master whose role is to ensure the players feel safe, understand the rules, roles and fiction within the larp.

Nordic Larp is a school of larp design originating in the Nordic countries and is one which values immersion, collaboration and artistic vision. This larp event is of the Nordic school.


Sarah Jury is a curator, critical writer, nordic larp workshop designer and educator. She is co-director of research and practice project space Res., Deptford and is part of Keep it Complex collective.

Hamish MacPherson is a London-based artist who uses practices from choreography and dance to think about philosophy and politics. Hamish makes performances, installations, larps, workshops and other elements in artistic, academic and community contexts.

Sarah and Hamish have designed two larps together (Alien Phenomenology 2017, Let’s Play PMQs 2017) and since 2017 have hosted a meetup for people from across disciplines to discuss consent procedures in participatory performance.