Video still for Operation Black Antler

Go undercover for one night to infiltrate a protest group on the fringes of society. What will you do when the power is in your hands?

Operation Black Antler is an immersive theatre piece that invites you to enter the murky world of undercover surveillance and question the morality of state-sanctioned spying.

In Operation Black Antler you are given a new identity as part of a small team; you are briefed and then sent into an undercover operation. You must meet, build empathy with and ultimately try to win the trust of someone whose political and moral views may be the polar opposite of our own. What will you do when the power is in your hands?

Operation Black Antler by Blast Theory

For 40 years British police officers have been undercover inside protest groups. Scandals such as Wikileaks, the Snowden affair and the revelations about the Special Demonstration Squad show that secret forces within the state have little respect for law.

Co-created with critically acclaimed immersive theatre company Hydrocracker, Operation Black Antler seeks to explore this moral corruption as well as the wider ethical questions of when surveillance is justified.

 

Operation Black Antler The Guardian Review

More Reviews for Operation Black Antler

 

Thought provoking and superbly performed immersive experience with a political charge

The Stage

 

The genius of Black Antler is it doesn’t tell us what to think 5/5

Morning Star

 

★★★★★ Uncomfortable at times and outright disturbing at others… This truly gripping piece of theatre will have you gripped

Manchester Evening News

 

★★★★★ The cleverest and most challenging I have ever taken part in

North West End

 

★★★★★ As the show gets going, I become fully immersed, at times even forgetting that the situation is make-believe, which is a real credit to some of the fantastic actors… As the show ends, we wish we had more time. The beauty of Operation Black Antler is in the complete unknown

Northern Soul

 

★★★★ Being outside your comfort zone is what Black Antler is all about… Unique, slightly surreal and unafraid to tackle taboos, it’s an experience you’re unlikely to find again

Manchester Confidential

 

This reviewer’s advice is simple: go along for the ride!

The Reviews Hub

 

It is like a shot of adrenaline straight to your moral compass

Circles and Stalls

 

A fascinating thrill ride that is very impressively put together and performed

British Theatre Guide

 

It is the power and subtlety of Operation Black Antler that ensures we really do become deep swimmers in a very murky world

Live Art Alive

 

This project is of enormous importance and an extremely high standard… Exceptionally rewarding not to mention surprising

Audience Bulldog

 

A site specific play which asked poignant questions even more relevant today than when it was written on whether it is right to infiltrate and to survey

About Manchester

 

An immersive drama about police surveillance and political extremism, topics that are both sensitive and relevant

Mancunian Matters


For more information on the development of Operation Black Antler, read a blog by Blast Theory artist Matt Adams. You can learn more about the themes explored in Operation Black Antler in Undercover with Rob Evans and Paul LewisLiberty Human Rights: No Snooper’s Charter, Police Spies Out Of Lives.

Operation Black Antler is a work by Blast Theory and Hydrocracker. Co-commissioned by Ideas Test and Brighton FestivalOperation Black Antler has been developed with support from Arts Council England and in partnership with Dramatic Resources.

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  1. Stuart Richardson
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    An interesting insight into undercover activity . I just felt very uncomfortable at role playing a individual with right wing views to gain the confidenceof an actor acting right wing views . Perhaps in hindsight I should have expressed my true colours of one who is politically a left wing Socialistand challenged the actor Portraying Micky . I am aware that historically the events are very near the truth when Brighton was threatened by the activities of Combat 18 at several Brighton Pride events .Thanks to undercover surveillance no harm happenedand the police dealt with the offenders . The venue was very convincing and so were the costmes, so much so that I did forget I was talking to actors . Micky wearing a Lonsdale top , in Germany a lonsdale top underneath a MA1 jacket will get you arrestedespecially if it just shows the letters NSDA . Rachel wearing a Fred Perry shirt . Football shirts , the far right ran a well organised campaign of violence in many football stadiums .