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V&A announces Alice in Wonderland-themed VR experience

v&A VR experience curious alice

The V&A and HTC VIVE Arts have announced an innovative partnership taking audiences on an immersive and mind-bending VR journey to the world of Alice in Wonderland with ‘Curious Alice‘.

The virtual reality (VR) event will preview the V&A’s upcoming Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser exhibition, which opens on March 27, 2021.

The public event, which coincides with the release of tickets on sale for Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser, will take place on October 22 at 2pm (BST) or 9pm (CST).

The preview will be guided by the show’s curator Kate Bailey, and will be free to attend. It is the first live VR event hosted by the V&A.

“From rabbit holes to mirrors, flamingoes to hedgehogs”

“Alice’s impossible journey through a fantastical universe becomes possible in this exciting new creative platform,” said Bailey.

“From rabbit holes to mirrors, flamingoes to hedgehogs, wonderland is the perfect world for VR and the V&A is delighted to be pioneering our first ever VR event.”

It will be accessible to global audiences with or without a VR headset, and audiences can join via VR platform ENGAGE using a Windows PC or Android device, or via the V&A’s YouTube.

The event was created in collaboration with the V&A, HTC VIVE Arts, immersive games studio PRELOADED and producers ENGAGE.

First live VR event hosted by the V&A

v&A VR experience curious alice
V&A / Kristjana S Williams

Using ENGAGE, participants can join the event as avatars and interact with each other in VR as they enjoy a bespoke environment and the fantastical landscapes of Wonderland.

The V&A and HTC VIVE are also offering a special, at-home version of ‘Curious Alice’, which will also be released on October 22, available to download through VIVEPORT.

‘Curious Alice’ will feature enriched animation, additional scenes and narrative elements, including the white rabbit as a personal companion.

In addition, ‘A Curious Game of Croquet’ will be a VR experience within the exhibition itself when it opens in March, and is located in the ‘Staging Alice’ section.

Visitors can take ‘A Curious Game of Croquet’

v&A VR experience curious alice
V&A / Kristjana S Williams

Visitors will use VIVE Cosmos headsets as they are transported ‘Down the Rabbit-Hole’ before emerging into ‘The Queen’s Croquet Ground’.

“The unprecedented circumstances in 2020 have demonstrated how technology can inspire and connect us,” said Victoria Chang, director of VIVE Arts at HTC.

“Virtual reality as an immersive, experimental medium is the perfect complement to the concept of Wonderland and we hope audiences at home will enjoy their journey into the exhibition.”

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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