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Close up of a small packet of cigarettes held open in someones hand. The packets usual packaging has been changed to a green, textured outer and dark purple inner and it is full of a small set of cards.

Chewing The Fat: Play Act Cards (PAC) is a card game originally developed as a way to devise scenes with actors for our film work Idle Acts whilst on residency in Beeston, South Leeds in 2019. It was designed and configured in this form for HER-MIT Projects 'Fag Packet Gallery' March 2020 (interview here).


PAC is a card game that invites us to


step into someone else’s shoes


and improvise an exchange, event or happening from a different time, place and perspective. It is a micro role play where players can choose to alter, align or shift things depending on what arises. These prompts have been gathered from a neighbourhood in Beeston, but could be anywhere, or anyones.

chewing the fat:

play act cards

A set of colourful palm sized playing cards are scattered around a mushy pea green set of instructions tha read: Chewing the Fat, Play Act Cards in bold across a folded out set of instructions. The colour scheme is bright but muddy and the cards have words such as 'people' 'place' and 'line' on them as well as descriptions relevant to these such as 'postpersn who is always asking the time' and ' what do you think of the newbuilds?'. They also have digitally collaged images on the such as a cafe table, or a house window or toys usually found in 'everyday' urban life.
The open re-purposed 'fag packet' is pictured with its contents laid out nearby. There is a small pile of small cards. The one on top reads 'people' and has the icon of a window with a pair of shoes on the roof outside the window digitally collaged on to it. The mushy pea instructions from previous image are folded up small so that you can only read the word: 'Fat'. Another card is next to this that is a soft,muddy purple. It reads: 'character prompts' and has a little icon which is a digitally collaged fragment of a 80s pub carpet with a play mat on top. The kind that is like a giant square jigsaw. This is blue and red.

Types of cards include: 'people' - characters i.e. neighbours, friends, passersby, 'place' - locations for the improvisation to take place in,


'atmosphere' - suggests the vibe of the place, how it feels to be there


(derived from the characteristics of Ray Oldenburg's Third Place theory) 'line' - an opener to set the tone, spark conversation, to respond to, and 'discuss' - for after the improv to talk through what just happened.

Anyone can play the game, anywhere, all you need is another person to play it with. It lets you play around in scenes from your everyday life, and see what happens when people improvise.


We are looking to test the cards and what they can do with other groups before producing more. If you are interested, get in touch.

Special thanks to Natasha McAvoy of HER-MIT projects for the invite and producing this set of cards by hand!

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