Alarum Project

Alarum by Natalia Buckley and Caper

Created by Natalia Buckley and Caper a with 0 Comments

Alarum; and chambers go off.

Alarum is an ambient display that shows the changes in sound levels and motion around the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Whether a quiet moment between performances, the hustle and bustle of the wigs and wardrobe department in the run-up to curtain-up, or the hush of the auditorium as the house lights go down, the theatre has a pulse of its own. Specially built sensors placed at key locations around the site measure light, sound and motion, animating the display with every change they detect. What you see here is happening right now in the theatre.

By exploring the changes in sound and light around the site, we can measure the heartbeat of the building. And by displaying those changes live on the internet, we can connect people around the world with Shakespeare, his plays and the main theatre in the town of his birth, every minute of the day.

Follow the process of making Alarum through Natalia’s blog and Caper’s blog

Alarum was thought out by Caper and Natalia Buckley and the creative team are:

Caper ( is a creative agency, founded by Rachel Coldicutt and Katy Beale. We run innovation programmes and create digital campaigns for a range of clients, including cultural organisations, media companies and luxury brands.

Rachel was previously Head of Digital Media at the Royal Opera House, and Alarum, the first of our three commissions, built by Natalia Buckley, draws on her experience there: the frenetic churn of backstage activity in a large theatre is often completely hidden from the audience, while the peaks and troughs of front-of-house activity have a rhythm entirely of their own. A theatre without people is simply an empty space, and Alarum is an attempt to convey the movement of staff, actors and audiences in a meaningful way.

Kat Sommers

I’m a digital producer, writer and wrangler of content, with a background in am dram that has seen me carry many a spear. The closest I get to treading the boards nowadays is poking around the green room and wings of a famous theatre from the comfort of my own home, which, coincidentally, is exactly the kind of thing that got me into the internet in the first place.

Natalia Buckley

I’ve been called a technologist, designer, developer, maker, and even a data artist. It boils down to making things out of the internet. In fact was the first child in Poland to access the web (probably) and a first one not only to have their own website, but one they’ve made themselves (definitely). I mainly break things, but somehow always manage to fix them before anyone notices.

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