Paradise Lost

On Sunday, I attended a performance of ‘Paradise Lost’ by the Basilique Performing Arts Company.  I’d been to their production of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ and was curious to see their newest effort.  I mean, John Milton isn’t exactly for the faint of heart!  🙂  I’d seen all kinds of comments and previews (including one by the DraxFiles), so I was really eager to witness it for myself.

I bought my ticket (something I debated about for some time).  It was a new experience for me to attend a show in SL where I had to purchase a ticket – especially at $1000L.  That seemed a little steep for a show I wasn’t sure I would enjoy.

But I took the plunge.  I got my ticket, my angel avatar, enabled RLV, and I was all set.  (The show uses RLV to change your avatar from angel to demon form and back at various scenes in the show.)  Canary Beck’s blog (find it here) gave some detailed instructions for how to set up your computer for the best experience (even if your computer isn’t that great, which mine isn’t).

On Sunday, I reviewed the set up instructions, put on my angel avatar, and headed for the show.  I was the first to arrive (which was a little scary!), but I found a seat and waited eagerly.  I planned to record the show, and at the beginning, as people started arriving, my FPS was hovering around 18 (not great, but not terrible).

The show started and I began to record.  From the beginning, I had troubles.  Lucifer’s angel form never did rezz in all the way for me.  As she changed into demon form, the avatar appeared to be missing pieces.  I tried doing a texture refresh – nothing.  I tried playing with my graphics settings, reducing the quality, etc.  As other demons began appearing in the scene, my FPS dropped to less than 5.

Ouch.

I quickly decided to quit filming and just try capturing some still photos.  After playing around with the graphics settings on the fly, I was able to get a decent view of the show.  I still had a few issues (the biggest one for me being that the ‘God’ avatar continually appeared like this:

Squat God

instead of like this:

Image source: canarybeck.com
Image source: canarybeck.com

I’m not sure what the issue is or how to fix it, although I’ve had the same problem at other shows.  A performer will wear a non-human avatar (like an elephant), and then when I see them next in another scene, their human avatar is deformed.  The only way I’ve been able to fix it previously was to tp out and back in to the sim – something that wasn’t an option with Paradise Lost, as the event is closed once it starts.

Computer issues aside, it was an amazing show!  The avatars were marvelously well-detailed and the scenery and lighting were gorgeous.  Paradise Lost begins with the fall of the angel Lucifer, the creation of the world and Adam and Eve.  It follows with the temptation of Eve with the apple and Adam and Eve’s fall from grace.  They are expelled from the Garden of Eden and must face the hardships of life.  An angel comes to Adam and shows him glimpses of the future, including Noah and the ark, the Last Supper, and the crucifixion of Christ.

It was truly ‘immersive’ theater – not only did my avatar change form during the show, the seats would disappear and the audience would be part of the chorus dancers, participating in the show.

A word of warning – if you are offended by nudity, this may not be the show for you.  I’m no prude, but watching the fornication of Adam and Eve (along with the angels and the audience) seemed somehow – wrong.  A crucial part of the story, to be sure, but I was still a little taken aback.

The show itself was amazing and, I think, truly ground-breaking in SL.  It will be interesting to see reactions from other audience members.

If you have the L$ – go see the show!

 

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