Bad news! A game of online authenticity played with guest performers in an interactive livestream.

  • Dates 18 - 22 Oct
  • Time 1:00pm, 11:00am (45 minutes)
  • Venue Digital Fringe
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Grainy black and red image of a female newsreader sitting at a desk. She is holding a stack of papers and gesturing. She is upside down in the image, against a blood red background, and her eyes have been covered in a black bar.

Image Credit: Séan Dowling

  • Created by: Counterpilot

  • Written by: Maxine Mellor & Nathan Sibthorpe

  • Design by: Mike Willmett, Jeremy Gordon, Freddy Komp

A plane is missing. A fire is spreading. That celebrity you love is being called out.

In BREAKING, a torrent of grim news bulletins are delivered by unrehearsed guest performers reading from an automated teleprompter. The performers patch in from their own homes, challenged to keep up with our onslaught of tragedy and satisfy your need to be informed!

As we try to overcome our own doomscrolling fixations, BREAKING plays with the performance of impersonal empathy, attempted composure, the futility of calming a nation, the unbelievability of apology, and the familiarity of incomprehensible bad news.

Created by the techno-troublemakers at Counterpilot (Truthmachine, Crunch Time), and co-written by the most mischievous of Australian playwrights, Maxine Mellor (Horizon, Anna Robi & the House of Dogs). BREAKING will be performed by a roster of brave actors from across Australia and around the world.


Wednesday 18th 1pm
Emily Burton
Riley Nottingham
Jon Haynes

Thursday 19th 1pm
Kyle Walmsley
Annie Louey
Claire Woolner

Friday 20th 1pm
Merlynn Tong
Rupert Bevan
David Woods

Saturday 21st 11am
Ashley Apap
Alistair Baldwin
Griffin Kelly

Sunday 22nd 1pm
Hannah Belanszky
Bron Batten
Stuart Daulman

This project received Cash to Create through the Fringe Fund, with thanks to Ricci Swart and the Pulse Giving Circle

About Counterpilot

Counterpilot is an award-winning collective of interdisciplinary artists based in Brisbane, Australia.

Together, we create interactive performance works - activating audiences with new technology, rich design, and transmedia storytelling. Counterpilot seeks to transform the familiar, juxtaposing rich fictional worlds against a backdrop of the everyday.

By subverting real social circumstances, we co-opt our participants as authentic performers. In this way we are harnessing what we believe to be the most exciting thing about theatre - the live audience. Our works enable participants to observe themselves responding in real ways to hyper-real situations.

We seek to provoke change through acts of trouble, mischief and low-key chaos. We play in the space between people, and we poke at the tensions that bind us.

Counterpilot is directed by Nathan Sibthorpe, with Core Creatives Christine Felmingham & Mike Willmett. Since 2022, we have been the Company-in-Residence at Metro Arts.


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