Live comedy game show WIFI Wars is coming to Norwich

WIFI Wars is comign to Norwich. Picture Steve McNeil

WIFI Wars is comign to Norwich. Picture Steve McNeil - Credit: Picture Steve McNeil

Playing with your smartphone during a live comedy gig is usually considered as bad manners and could even make you the butt of the joke.

Steve McNeil and Rob Sedgebeer, the team behind WIFI Wars. Picture Steve McNeil

Steve McNeil and Rob Sedgebeer, the team behind WIFI Wars. Picture Steve McNeil - Credit: Picture Steve McNeil

But that kind of tapping away on your phone is exactly what is encouraged at WIFI Wars, a live comedy game show which is coming to Norwich for the first time on Friday.

Hosted by comedian Steve McNeil and developed by Rob Sedgebeer the show allows the audience to play giant versions of popular games including Whack-a-Mole and Pong using controls which are beamed to their phones.

With the 400-strong audience split into teams, the technology works out what the majority want to do in the game and that's what happens on the big screen, with one team eventually becoming victorious.

And Mr McNeil, who also hosts Go 8-Bit on Dave, said it gets very competitive.

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'What ends up happening very, very quickly is that they end up shouting at each other whether it is meant to go up or down and all getting on at each other about what to do,' he said. 'People get very angry when their teammates are not doing great.'

The show was first performed as part of the Royal Institution's 2015 Summer Programme after Mr McNeil and Mr Sedgebeer's appearance on their 2014 BBC Christmas Lectures and it has since gone from strength to strength.

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Earlier this year the pair set a new world record for the number of people playing Pong at the same time when they pitted 286 game fans against each other.

And the games have moved on since Pong with Mr Sedgebeer now creating technology for 3D first-person shooter experiences and more modern games, all of which is bringing a wide variety of people to the shows.

'We often get grandparents bringing their grand kids,' said Mr McNeil. 'It is a real mix of genders, ages and ethnicity and we do really get a lovely mix of people as everyone seems to love playing games.

'The nice thing is if they are older they are remembering Pong when they had it but then seeing 300 kids getting excited about Pong is just an incredible thing.'

• WIFI Wars is at the Norwich Playhouse on Friday November 11.

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