1884 (old – don’t use)

A group of 6 people sit at a table, smiling as they draw on a house blueprint plan.

An anti-colonial game-theatre show

Enter the fictionalised world of Wilhelm Street, and explore the dynamics of a little-known conference that irreversibly shifted the story of Europe, Africa and the world.

1884 is a new, interactive game-theatre show inspired by the legacy of the 1884 Berlin Conference and the lack of memorialisation of anti-colonial resistance movements.

In November 1884, representatives from 12 European nations, the Ottoman Empire and the United States met at an international conference in Berlin. While little known in the UK, the 1884 Berlin conference was a pivotal moment for the 19th-century European partition of the African continent.

In January 2023, a group of artists, historians and activists came together to learn about the conference and co-create an interactive experience in response to it. 1884 is the result. Taking place in a fictionalised modern scenario, the show takes audience members through the dynamics of the conference. The piece explores the consequences and memories of the people who were left outside of the room, and the ways in which anti-colonial resistance movements are excluded from public history.

Following two work-in-progress performances in January (Shoreditch Town Hall) and July (Talawa Firsts) 2023, 1884 is currently in development and is due to launch in early 2024.

‘Probably one of the smartest pieces of immersive theatre I have ever experienced. Anti-colonial in its true, radical essence.’

Previous audience

‘Black Mirror meets theatre meets a history lesson’.

Previous audience

‘I am super impressed by how sensitively this topic has been dealt with … Incredibly smart. Incredibly clever.’

Previous audience

‘Fun. Fast. Begins to make you question how societies form around violence.’

Previous audience

Image gallery

Photos of the presentation of 1884 taken at Talawa Firsts in July 2023. Credit: Alex Brenner.

Credits

Writer & project director Rhianna Ilube
Makers, writers and game designers Mareika Chirikure, Chloe Mashiter, malakaï sargeant
Performers Khai Shaw, Rachel-Leah Hosker
Sound designer Nicola T. Chang
Researcher Zoe Callow
Producer Marie Klimis

The development of 1884 has been funded by an Arts Council England project grant.