From the 30 November 2022, visitors to the town of Senglea will be able to embark upon a totally unique immersive experience. ‘It Happened here: Stella’ tells the story of a young woman who lived in the town during the post-war period as she tries to get to grips with how her life has been turned upside down.
Conceived, written and directed by local theatre veterans Malcolm Galea and Philip Leone-Ganado, this story is exciting in the way that it’s experienced. The piece is presented as a mobile phone app which was developed by game designer David Chircop. After downloading it for free, people go to the main church in Senglea to activate the first scene which they hear through their headphones. After that, they’re free to explore the town and the story as they wish, with new locations unveiling different parts of the narrative.
The result is a haunting and altogether beautiful immersive adventure that’s steeped in the rich history of the town. People can start the story together, follow different paths, and meet up at the end to discuss their experience. The project was inspired by walking simulators: video games where players walk around a location to piece together a story. The only difference is that instead of sitting behind a screen, players walk in real life – all the while exploring the beautiful town of Senglea and learning about its tempestuous history through the story’s troubled characters.
'It Happened Here: Stella’ was developed for Science in the City with the support of the Arts Council Malta, the Malta Chamber of Scientists and the Senglea Local Council. The story was built up following a number of interviews with lifelong residents of the town.
The project will be launched on the 30 November 2022 at 10:00 at the Senglea Local Council. Following that, it will be permanently available for locals and visitors alike to experience through their mobile phones.