1884

Promotional art for 1884. A vibrant orange, pink and cream design featuring an outline of the African continent and ‘1884’ in large letters. There is also a silhouetted house, radio tower and group of people.

An anti-colonial game-theatre show

Enter the fictionalised world of Wilhelm Street in this immersive game-theatre show inspired by the legacy of the 1884 Berlin Conference and overlooked anti-colonial resistance movements.

Welcome to Wilhelm Street!

★ ★ ★ ★

‘Fun, clever and beautifully crafted, this interactive show is a biting satire on the Scramble for Africa’
Time Out

 

Make yourself at home. As you settle in with your new family, you won’t only pick out furniture – you’ll forge new traditions and memories that you hope will last a lifetime. Somewhere nearby, though, there’s a meeting going on. A very important meeting. Run by very important people. Making very important decisions about your lives. But you and your family are not allowed inside…it’s nothing you need to worry about.

1884 is a thrilling immersive game-theatre show inspired by the legacy of the 1884 Berlin Conference, an often-overlooked historical turning point for the African continent and the world. Created by Rhianna Ilube in collaboration with Coney and a group of artists, historians, activists and game-makers, the experience invites you on a fun, fast-paced, thought-provoking journey through the corridors of history you might not know. Over the course of two and a half hours, you’ll join with friends and strangers to form small family groups, collaborating on playful activities and making choices  to build your community and make your house a home. But when rules begin to be imposed, it’s up to you how to respond…

How is history recorded, and who is left outside of the room where history is written?

1884 played at Shoreditch Town Hall in April 2024 and Brighton Festival in May 2024. Future performances TBC.

★ ★ ★ ★

‘Fun, clever and beautifully crafted, this interactive theatre show is a biting satire on the Scramble for Africa’

Time Out

★ ★ ★ ★

‘Incredibly inventive…might be the most unique piece of theatre I have ever seen’

The Arts Dispatch

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

‘Very clever and thought-provoking…unlike anything I’ve experienced before’

Theatre & Tonic

★ ★ ★ ★

‘Theatre-making with a strong and effective political purpose’

Reviews Hub

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

‘Leaves players with a lingering sense of warmth and hope’

A Young(ish) Perspective

★ ★ ★ ★

‘An easy yet profound way to spend your evening’

Theatre Weekly

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

‘Builds a sense of belonging and solidarity among audience members’

The Peg

★ ★ ★ ★

‘Never a dull moment…a marvel of production’

North West End UK

Watch the trailer

Play anywhere

The 188.4 FM Experience is an interactive online game available to play anywhere. Join the Resistance by playing a series of games to debunk the myths and find out the truth about the 1884 Berlin Conference. Afterwards, you’ll be able to record or type your own reflections in a virtual memorial.

The 1884.FM Experience Graphic, with a radio tower icon on a red background.

Image gallery

Photos from the April 2024 run of 1884 at Shoreditch Town Hall. Credit: Alex Brenner.

In conversation

1884 creatives Rhianna Ilube and Tsitsi Mareika Chirikure answer all your burning questions about how the show came to be and what you can expect.

Cast & creatives

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Rhianna Ilube

Writer & project director

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Rhianna Ilube is a playwright, theatre-maker, facilitator and events curator. Her work often explores themes of activism, identity and history through interactive storytelling and co-creation methods. Alongside theatre, Rhianna is a film programmer for BFI Flare and has previously worked as an activist youth facilitator for The Advocacy Academy. In 2020, she co-founded A History of Everyone Else, an online web-series exploring untaught histories of the British Empire. Her award-winning debut play, Samuel Takes A Break, premiered at The Yard Theatre in February 2024.  

About Rhianna
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Tatenda Shamiso

Performance director

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Tatenda Shamiso is an award-winning writer, director, dramaturg and musician with origins from Zimbabwe, Belgium, the United States and Switzerland. A self-proclaimed “silly little guy with loads of Black trans joy,” he has written, directed and performed in productions at the Royal Court, National Theatre, Young Vic, Almeida, Bristol Old Vic and a variety of fringe spaces throughout the UK. He trained at Goldsmiths, where he returns as a guest lecturer in their Theatre and Performance Department. Currently Tatenda is the Associate Director of For Black Boys […] at the Garrick Theatre, alongside developing new writing for stage and screen.

About Tatenda
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Tsitsi Mareika Chirikure

Writer/game-maker

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Tsitsi Mareika Chirikure is an organiser, environmentalist and African literature advocate. She is the co-founder of the collective Isusu Ffena which hosts events centred around African and Afropean perspectives in art, philosophy, activism and beyond. Tsitsi is a Bosch Alumni Network member and a Baden-Wuerttemberg Scholarship alumni. She works as a producer at Radical Ecology (RE), an organisation that works across art, research, and policy to advance environmental transformation in response to the planetary crises of our time. At RE she is currently working on a project on the theory of invasive ecology and its intersections with hostile migration policies in the UK and Germany.

About Tsitsi
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malakaï sargeant

Writer/game-maker

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malakaï is an artist, educator, and producer from pre-gentrified north-east London. They create and interrogate through an unapologetically Afroqueer lens, doing bits in the spaces between literature, audio, installation, theatre + live performance. Their writing is often non-linear, employing unconventional forms that disrupts notions of time and space; orbiting around ideas of creolisation, Black interiority, hood surrealism and magic within carceral geographies. They’ve had poems commissioned by the RSC, Apples & Snakes, Spread the Word and Nationwide, whilst as a theatre

About malakaï
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Chloe Mashiter

Writer/game-maker

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Chloe Mashiter is a writer, performer, creative technician and game designer specialising in live gaming. Their work spans any format that sees people gathering to play together – from interactive theatre to larps, megagames, ARGs and tabletop role-playing games. Chloe is currently part of the team behind Bridge Command, a sci-fi show combining digital gaming, live performers and interactive sets, opening in March 2024. They are also currently developing This Time (Travel) Will Be Different, a participatory show about self-advocacy, community care and reflection through the lens of time travel, for Voidspace Live in June.

About Chloe
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Jyuddah Jaymes

Performer

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Jyuddah most recently finished a run of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play CHOIR BOY at the Bristol Old Vic directed by Nancy Medina which directly followed his performance as Tybalt in Rebecca Frecknall’s ROMEO AND JULIET at The Almeida. He can also currently be seen alongside Matthias Schoenaerts, Noomi Rapace and Nicholas Pinnock in new spaghetti western series DJANGO based on the cult 1966 Sergio Corbucci film for Sky and Canal+, as well as the third season of Andrew Davies’ adaptation of Jane Austen’s SANDITON on ITV/Masterpiece (PBS) where he reprised his season 1 role of Otis Molyneux. Jyuddah also recently completed filming opposite Josh Hartnett in high-octane Feature FIGHT OR FLIGHT for dir. James Madigan as well as for George Kay’s Idris Elba-lead thriller HIJACK for Apple TV+, directed by Jim Field Smith. Prior to this, Jyuddah was cast as legendary Olympic athlete Jesse Owens in George Clooney’s new feature BOYS IN THE BOAT for MGM.

Other credits include playing lead character Aubrey in the second series of BBC Drama CLIQUE, created by SKINS’ writer Jess Brittain, Sky Comedy series BRASSIC, the second series of CRIMINAL for Netflix, and a guest lead in ITV’s GRANTCHESTER. Jyuddah’s professional theatre career began with Kwame Kwei-Armah’s first show as Artistic Director of the Young Vic – a musical version of TWELFTH NIGHT in which he played Sebastian, swiftly followed by THE AMERICAN CLOCK at The Old Vic directed by Tony Award winning director Rachel Chavkin.

About Jyuddah
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Ewa Dina

Performer

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Ewa is a Nigerian-born, Sheffield raised and now London-based human who trained as an actor at Rose Bruford. Since graduating, she has gone on to work as an actor, director, facilitator & poet. Music and movement are integral parts of Ewa’s process; she is a confident mover.  Ewa wants to create and be part of stories that help us to expand our empathy and humanity. She likes to lead rooms with compassion and flexibility to reflect this. Ewa is associate director at Nouveau Riche, 1/4 of No-Table Productions and Resident Director for Tina London. As a facilitator, Ewa has worked for Company Three, The Institute of Contemporary Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, amongst others.

About Ewa
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Chusi Amoros

Performer

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Chusi is a Peruvian dancer, circus/theatre-maker, performer and facilitator. She has trained in Advanced Theatre Practice (MA at RCCSD) and is a founder of 27 degrees, a theatre company specialised in immersive site-specific shows. She is currently an Associate Artist at Jacksons Lane Theatre, where she is developing her latest show Human, which combines aerial dance with live animation. With 10+ years of facilitating workshops for participants with special needs, accessibility is always at the core of her work. She also runs a youth circus programme in disadvantaged areas of North London.

 

About Chusi
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Jacob Wu

Set designer

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Jacob Wu is a theatre designer and a scenographer from Hong Kong. He was trained in Scenography (MFA, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama), complementing his academic foundation in Set and Costume Design acquired in his hometown. Jacob’s work explores the intricate relationship between migration, diaspora and their living space. His work was staged at numerous venues, including the Museum of Home and the Crypt Gallery. His performative workshop Be Right Back explores from the lens of children in perceiving the uncertainties of a daunting world way larger than them; the piece was staged at the Stockholm Fringe Festival 2023 and won the Audience Choice Award. Apart from his previous residency as a set designer at Chung Ying Theatre Company, Jacob has crafted site-specific installations and assisted in the design of Giselle for the National Ballet of Japan (2022). Currently, Jacob serves as a Specialist Technician at Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL, where he works with students to hone their skills in model making and set design and supervises technical workshops.

About Jacob
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Mwen

Sound designer

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Mwen is a multifaceted artist, working as a theatre sound designer and composer, music producer, DJ, and live performing artist. Their creative practice blends the realms of music technology, electronic music, live sound, and performance. Theatre sound design and composer credits include ‘Cowbois’ (RSC & Royal Court), ‘Faun’ (Cardboard Citizens, UK Tour), Much Ado About Nothing (NYT, West End), ‘Dismissed’ (Soho Theatre), Rise (Kiln Theatre), Key Workers Cycle (The Almeida), and numerous others.
Mwen has performed on stages from Somerset House and Southbank Centre, to various UK festivals, including Glastonbury, and international tours. As a solo artist, Mwen’s compositions and productions have garnered airplay on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 6, XFM, NTS, Rinse FM. Their work has been supported by renowned DJs, including Rob da Bank, Mary Anne Hobbs, and Tom Robinson. Additionally, their music has been synchronised with TV and fashion films.

Mwen is interested in artistic works that explore themes of identity, resistance, solidarity and narratives of self. Currently based in London, Mwen is an active DJ on the city’s vibrant club scene. They also hold the position of in-house Ableton tutor at Hub16 Studios in East London and are a tutor at The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (ICMP).
Mwen is an artist in residence at the University of Birmingham’s Music Department on the 2023/24 Sounding Change Artist Residency Programme.

About Mwen
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Cheng Keng

Lighting designer

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Cheng Keng is a scenographer, lighting and video designer based in London. He trained at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, completing an MFA in Scenography. Credits include: The Littlest Yak(Marlowe studio), ChrisKirkpatrickmas(7 Dials Playhouse), Tiger(Omnibus Theatre), 555: Verlaine Eb Prison & Double Bill, ‘At the statue of venus’ and ‘La voix humaine’(Arcola Theatre), 1984(The Cockpit), Let Your Hands Sing In The Silence(Marlowe Theatre), These Words That’ll Linger Like Ghosts Till The Day I Drop Down Dead(The Pleasance), The Retreat(Finborough Theatre) The Zone(Taoyuan art centre), Pennyroyal(Finborough Theatre), Sankofa: Before the whitewash(Roundhouse), Beauty and the 7 Beasts (Brixton Jamm), Borders (Drayton Arms Theatre), Blue Island 99 (International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival), and Hello World (NTT, Taiwan). 

About Cheng
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Marie Klimis

Producer

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Marie Klimis is a writer, theatre-maker and producer specialising in immersive and site-specific performance projects; for the last ten years, she has brought art to the strangest possible spaces, from stations to public aquariums, museum lifts, church crypts or underground tunnels. Her producing credits for Coney include The Golden Key, an immersive takeover of the City of London; 1884, an immersive game-theatre show inspired by the 1884 Berlin Conference; as well as youth-led interactive projects in heritage sites, including English Heritage and The National Trust. As a writer and designer, she specialises in intimate immersive projects in unusual spaces, including I am Bird and The Paper Traveller, two choose-your-own-adventure projects in library spaces.  She a founding member and director of 27 degrees, a migrant-led collective specialised in socially-engaged immersive theatre. She has also published two novels, La Maison and Le Cercle des Professionnels de l’Inutile.

 

About Marie

Additional credits

Researchers Zoe Callow & Shirley Ahura
Stage Manager Brent Tan
Carpentry Gaetan Martin and Ian Pilditch

These performances of 1884 – along with other events in our Playful Heritage programme – have been kindly funded by Arts Council England.