VW has found a new use for all those Phaetons it is finding difficult to sell – in Britain, one is being used as a mobile theater. The Phaeton in question is set to continue its supporting role in what VW describes as “one of the major successes of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2005.” (The Edinburgh Festival is the world-famous arts festival held in the Scottish city every September; the “Fringe” is the vast collection of low-budget productions that now threaten to overwhelm the Festival itself). The production of A Mobile Thriller will now “take to the streets of the U.K. as it embarks on a tour of several major cities following its festival success.”
VW explains that the theatrical production enables audiences to experience two parallel and intertwined plays, performed to an audience of three while they travel by car through the city at night. The Phaeton was initially used for the production at the Festival, and will now continue its role on the U.K. tour.
A Mobile Thriller is performed and produced by Hush productions, a new generation British theatre company, run by producer James Erskine and director Carrie Cracknell, “committed to challenging theatre convention by placing audience experience at the center of their work.”
The play undoubtedly played to full “houses” in Edinburgh, but when three people constitute a full house, the number of playgoers involved is hardly likely to set box-office records.
However, Volkswagen’s Head of Luxury Cars in Britain, Adam Chamberlain, possibly visualizing the sales possibilities of thespian activities taking place in Phaetons in all Britain’s major towns, commented: “We are delighted to be able to support such an innovative production, and hope the audiences will enjoy both the performance and their surroundings.”—Ian Norris