My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Review: Goliath – VR experience at the Wales Millennium Centre

Goliath is showing at the Wales Millennium Centre until 22 October 2022 and is free

Bocs at the Wales Millennium Centre. Credit: Rhys Gregory / Wales 247

Goliath is one of the first VR experiences being shown in Bocs, the Wales Millennium Centre’s brand new immersive theatre space that’s a first for Wales.

Earlier this year, the centre unveiled Bocs (Welsh for ‘box’) and launched with a season of programmes including 360° films and projections, as well as extended reality (XR) experiences – including augmented reality, mixed reality and virtual reality (VR). Goliath arrives following Ripplies of Kindness, a communal VR experience that tells the story of the Amiri family who fled from Afghanistan to Cardiff. 

Bocs at the Wales Millennium Centre. Credit: Rhys Gregory / Wales 247

David Massey, Senior Producer (Digital Experiences) at the Wales Millennium Centre hopes Bocs will help inspire other Welsh artists to get involved in this new type of storytelling.

Goliath: Playing with Reality

The latest production at Bocs tells the story of Goliath, a man who spent years isolated in psychiatric institutions but finds connections in multiplayer games.

Narrated by Tilda Swinton, Echo is the voice that visitors will hear throughout the experience and who will guide you through the many realities of Goliath

Created by Anagram, the team that brought you The Collider and Door into the Dark. Winners of the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival Storyscapes award, the 2019 Sandbox Immersive Art award, and part of the Best VR in 2019 at the Venice International Film Festival. Goliath: Playing with Reality has also been nominated for an EMMY in the Outstanding Interactive Media: Innovation category at this year’s 43rd Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards, taking place this Thursday (29 September).

As part of the story, you will get to experience the complex nature of schizophrenia through the eyes and voice of Goliath. It takes on a whole new dimension of storytelling, as you find yourself pulled into the story, quite literally. Whether you have tried VR before or not, this is a whole new experience created by Goliath’s poignant story. Yes it is interactive and fun at times with its gestures and game playing, but Goliath’s story is a powerful one, which will send you on a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s easy to see why this format has been chosen, especially with Goliath’s love of video games. What is great about this experience is that each individual’s interaction with the story will be different.

The interactions although limited, get you involved, and I feel this added touch point allows you to engage with the story in a way that you wouldn’t have done otherwise.  The voice of Tilda Swinton is recognisable as you might expect of a famous British actress. However, it’s the combination of this factor along with the technology i.e. a headset with surround sound, which makes it even more captivating.

The VR headsets in Bocs. Credit: Rhys Gregory / Wales 247

The experience is quite intimate with enough space for 8 people per session with hourly times lots. If you’re new to VR then you’ll be pleased to learn that this is a guided experience and full instructions will be given.

Visitors are invited to take a seat on one of the stools pictured. A member of the team will assist you with the headset and controls – which are a bit like a video game. It’s very simple to use and if you feel anxious or daunted by it then don’t be. If you feel uncomfortable at any point, you can raise your hand and someone will assist you.

Credit: Rhys Gregory / Wales247

Not only is this a wonderful storytelling experience being provided by the Wales Millennium Centre, but Goliath is also free to attend, all you need to do is book online. This is a tremendous opportunity for Wales and we hope the first of many events to be run in 2022 and 2023.

Opening times: 
Mon – Sat 11am – 7pm
Sun 11am – 4pm
The experience will run once every hour.

Running time: 25 minutes

Age guidance: 13+
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

Warnings: Strong language. Contains themes surrounding schizophrenia.

Goliath is showing at the Wales Millennium Centre until 22 October 2022 and is free. Book your tickets here.