Sandpit: Ghosts, Toast and the Things Unsaid

Sandpit in Partnership with ACMI, Google’s Creative Lab and Grumpy Sailor

Ghosts, Toast and the Things Unsaid


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29 Oct – 20 Nov 2016

An intimate virtual reality experience that explores the thoughts we don't share, the desires we keep covered and how they affect our relationships.

Ghosts, Toast and the Things Unsaid invited audiences into the lives of two characters, Maude and Steve, and into the kitchen where they fell in love and grew old together over 50 years. In the intimate, two-person experience, audiences chose the ghost they inhabit, then entered into the memory of their character to journey through time, discovering what went wrong in their relationship. The work was a meditation on our propensity to keep secrets, the words that go unheard, and what this means for our relationships.

ACMI Director and CEO, Katrina Sedgwick, remarked on the ability for virtual reality technology to bring live performance experiences to a broad audience. “As VR becomes a new tool for artistic expression we are excited about how leading practitioners who work in live performance can harness it and speak to audiences in new ways on this rapidly evolving platform," said Katrina.

“Through our expanding commissioning strategy, along with our co-working space ACMI X, ACMI is supporting artists from across the creative industries to explore cross disciplinary collaborations and embrace new technologies to speak to audiences through the moving image."

Ghosts, Toasts and Things Unsaid was on show at ACMI from 29 Oct to 13 Nov, 2016.

About the creators

Ghosts, Toast and the Things Unsaid has been commissioned in partnership with Google’s Creative Lab, and produced by creative agency Sandpit in partnership with Grumpy Sailor, the technology build partner for this commission. The exhibit at ACMI is based on a play co-developed by Google's Creative Lab and Sandpit which was first performed at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, where it won the award for ‘Best Interactive’ at the festival. ACMI’s commission incorporates a 360 ̊ video recording of the live performance into a 16 minute VR experience.

Sandpit’s Director, Dan Koerner, said the ACMI commission has given his company the ability to tell a made-for-theatre story in a new way. “At Sandpit we love telling stories using a huge range of tools. The ACMI commission to make Ghosts, Toast and the Things Unsaid into a VR film has been a great example of this; moving from digitally augmented live performance to virtual reality with a great team of performers, composers, designers and developers. The project has allowed us to use technology to fully immerse audiences in a way that is surprising and we hope, quite moving.”

The exhibition opened as part of Melbourne International Games Week (MIGW) 2016. MIGW is Asia Pacific’s largest digital games platform for entertainment, serious games and gamification and links a range of business, education and entertainment games events. For more information, please visit


Our commissions support the creation of new works by providing artists with the time and resources to nurture and develop ideas, to pursue cross-disciplinary collaborations and to work at a scale that would not otherwise be possible.

Zanny Begg, The Beehive, 2018; courtesy the artist. Photograph by Philippa Bateman, featuring Koco Carey