Pilot Theatre

Eight hours ago teenager Emma McCoy vanished. Can you find her before time runs out?

Who can you trust when it comes to matters of state security? Eight hours ago teenage special operative Emma McCoy vanished. Now you and a partner must help find her.

You are ushered into an incident room where you are met by Commander Harris. She explains that eight hours ago, one of her youngest key research operatives at the Digital Espionage Division, Emma McCoy, disappeared. So far there are no active leads. All the team have is an unregistered virtual reality game discovered on a memory stick in her backpack. As time counts down, one of you works at the control desk, the other in virtual reality. Working together you crack codes, track phone calls and uncover evidence. As the pressure from Commander Harris mounts, it becomes clear that playing the game has consequences. Who indeed can you trust? And in the final analysis will you be a hero, or a traitor?

Intended audience: Our target audience is young people aged 13-25. The themes of state security, citizenship and surveillance are of real relevance in the current political climate and Traitor brings its audience straight into the centre of the action. Traitor in VR will allows us to reach more young people and audiences with an agile touring model that is also available on demand so that venues and festivals have the opportunity to book Traitor throughout the year.

Creator’s Statement

Traitor has been an incredible creative journey for the team at Pilot Theatre, from first seeing the story come to life as a sell out immersive theatre production in early 2017, to having the opportunity to develop the story in VR. Virtual Reality is the perfect medium for Traitor, a thriller that deals with themes of citizenship, ethics and surveillance. Pilot aim to deliver impactful work that engages and enthrals teenagers and young audiences and using virtual reality for this story lends itself to achieving exactly this.

Technical summary

We have chosen to combine real-time rendered VR with real world props interfaced with the VR using Arduino to create an experience that encourages a social use of immersive technology and encourages communication. The VR player will be using an HTC Vive whilst the real world props will be programmed and built by us for the second player. We want to create an experience where  the virtual reality headset and equipment are fully integrated into the world of the performance.

Prototype platform: HTC Vive

Final experience platform: HTC Vive

Distribution method: Location-based (physical)

Primary production type: Hybrid — real-time rendered VR with Arduino in real life objects

Team profile

Pilot Theatre has extensive experience of making immersive theatre, including shows housed in eighteenth century cells, cold war bunkers and schools after dark. Pilot is also a renowned touring theatre company working both nationally and internationally. The company produces work that speaks to young people and that is powerfully relevant  to their lives right now.

For Traitor, Pilot has been working with Matt Stuttard Parker and Rebecca Saw. Matt is an independent VR developer with his company MSFX and lecturer in Game Development at Aston University. Rebecca is a developer who explores interactive narrative, blending the virtual and real world. Traitor has been adapted from the original production by Esther Richardson, Cecilie Lundsholt and Richard Hurford.

Project team details:

Lucy Hammond — Creative Producer

Matt Stuttard Parker — Lead Developer

Richard Hurford — Writer

Rebecca Saw — Assistant Developer

Past work:

2017, “Traitor” (the original theatre show)

2016, “The Machine”

2015, “A Restless Place”


Profile video

Contributing organisations

Other Funded Projects

Immersive Histories

Read more

When Something Happens

Read more

Common Ground

Read more


Read more