Design

A Nice Evening with the Family is a larp based on several Nordic plays. Here, you will play a character of one such play. Before the larp starts, you will read your play with your co-players. You will interpret your character and the play, place it in a contemporary context and create a plan for what will happen during the game.

The plays function as guides, not as blueprints. This means that we will not perform the plays from scripts with a predetermined dialogue. Instead, the plays are used as starting points for the games, as well as help during it. You will seek motivations for your character’s actions in the play, but will not be slave to a script. Your experience is always the most important.

They plays are all tied together by the 60th birthday party of Helge Klingenfelt, from “The Celebration”. All characters are guests or staff at this party. Additional connections, between the characters of the different plays, are also embedded. Thus, you have some relationships which lie outside your play. Read more here.

We strive to tell an emotional, touching and intense story. We believe that by using classical plays, written by some of the best Nordic playwrights, we can achieve that. The story is set. Now it is up to you to get the most drama and feeling out each interaction.

Schedule

Day 1:

18:00 – 20:00 Arrival & Dinner
20:00 – 24:00 Pregame

Day 2:

9:00 – 15.00 Pregame
15:00 – 01:00 Game
01:00: Off-game and chill out

Day 3:

10:00 – 12:00 Postgame
12:00 Departure

Pregame

During the pre-game, we will do workshops in order to prepare you for the game. You will work in mainly three kinds of groups. These consists of your play group, the cross groups and the entire ensemble. All workshops will be lead by a Game Master.

In the play group, you will read and analyse your play together with your co-players. The play group will thus collectively analyze and create an action plan for each of the characters within the play. The purpose of these action plans is to figure out the characters will, way and development throughout the play. You should be able to use your action plan within the game. Because you have developed the plans together, your co-players will be able to seek out meeting places and scenes for your characters to explore in accordance with it. This is a story you tell together.

In the play group, you will also work on your character. This will give you a feel of the character, its role within the play itself, as well as its goals and relations. We will also work with safety in the group, since this is a story you tell together. At the end of pregame, you should feel a significant amount of trust towards the other players and in your relationship to them. Also, you should have formed an understanding of the emotional core of your character. Thus, you will have formed a base for your character’s actions within the game.

In the cross groups, you will meet some of the players from the other plays, and create a relationships to their characters. The cross groups could consist of your cousins, friends, a gentlemans club, a workplace or something else that bind these character together.

Finally, we will also work pre-game with the entire ensemble of about 40 players. The story is told together by everybody, so we would also want to create an atmosphere of safety and trust within group as a whole.

The game

When the game starts, you are your character. You are at Helge’s 60th birthday, and that is where the plot of A Doll’s House, True Women, and all the other plays will happen. Just as in any contemporary dinner party, there will be drinks, food, dancing and so on.

To help you pace your game and decide when to play out dramatic turns and actions, we have divided the game into three acts. The first act starts with a strict facade. Then, as the game progresses, the facade will fall. In the end, all secrets, pain and conflicts are out in the open.

During the game, we want to explore the inner thoughts and feelings of the characters. We may also want to revisit past events, that have shaped the present actions, or different possible futures of each character. We will do this by applying different meta techniques, assisted by your Game Masters (who do the scenes with you). By this, we create a deeper understanding of your character, its life and its choices. This is “metagame” — the playing of scenes that are not taking place in the real-time reality of the game. Metagame takes place in the characters’ thoughts, or perhaps between the fictional world and ours.

Moreover, the game will not be realistic in the sense of “this could actually happen at a birthday party”. This is a bourgeois dinner party where characters will die, lies will be exposed and life-changing decisions will be made. All this will happen while life goes on and the craziness feels real. It is therefore imperative that the characters are played as they are written in the play — do not feel bound by what “would have happened” in “the real world” in a similar situation. These plays are not the real world, nor were they intended to be when they were written.

Postgame

When the game is over, we will have a debrief session. This will happen within the play groups, where you get to articulate your feelings and reflect on the topic of the game. This is an important part of the larp and since the game explores sensitive issues, we want you to reflect, grow and learn from your experience. Sharing your thoughts with your group is an important part of this.

Game Masters

Each playgroup will have one Game Master. The Game Master will follow you through pregame, game and postgame. During the pregame, the Game Master will be your coach — help you to analyse the plays and characters, build an action plan and think about the dramatic structure. Your Game Master will help you get a flying send-off into the game. During the game, they will be “around”, as support and to lead the metagame. Postgame, the Game Masters will help you round off the experience together.