Jimmy Carrtoon

Carr to play a 'virtual' gig

Jimmy Carr is to be the first major comedian ever to perform a virtual reality gig, Chortle can reveal.

A digital likeness of the comic will be made for a live concert in the Second Life online world next month.

The virtual community has more than 2million people, who live, interact and trade – using real money - in this parallel universe. And punters whose digital alter egos attend the February 3 gig will be able to interact as they would at a normal show – including heckling.

Before the show, Carr’s face and body will be scanned into a computer, making a virtual-reality avatar able to mimic his actions on stage.

So as he performs in front of 50 flesh-and-blood punters at a secret location in London, the show will be streamed in real time to the online ‘venue’, using animatronic technology from digital agency Fusion Unity to replicate the exact experience of seeing him live.

Online audience members will even be able to pick up free virtual T-shirts, free virtual tour programmes.

Only 200 Second Lifers will be chosen to be in the audience, as staging as shows in the virtual world are subject to the same costs and logisitics as a real gig. And a competition run through Carr’s MySpace page will select the 50 guests for the London show.

A spokesman for Carr said: ‘This show will be a world-first for a comedian of Jimmy's profile and underlines his commitment to trying out new technologies. Jimmy has really got into MySpace recently and so this is a nice experiment to see how Second Life works and to try something fun.’

In August, Suzanne Vega became the first major recording artist to perform live in Second Life. The virtual world has also hosted a Duran Duran gig and Radio One’s One Big Weekend.

The Second Life population is growing at 38 per cent a month – and more than a third of its residents are British.

Carr, who recently won best stand-up show at the British comedy awards, is currently topping the comedy download charts. Two of his shows are now available from Chortle’s digital store.

Published: 21 Dec 2006

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