Toasterlab’s Involvement

Toasterlab was lead producer on this original production in partnership with York University, Single Thread Theatre, and Flipside XR.

Overview of Discipline, Context, Intention

Aionos was an innovative mixed-reality production that fused the captivating worlds of Ancient Egypt and Star Wars. Audiences embarked on an immersive journey through time and space, playing a pivotal role in helping an Egyptian queen mend a broken heart and recover an ancient artifact. Created by Toasterlab, with a concept by Debbie Deer Productions and consulting by Ari Tarr, Aionos offered multiple ways to experience the adventure. Participants could attend in-person at ZOO’s Playground, stream the production live, or dive into the heart of the action using a VR headset. This groundbreaking experiment blurred the lines between virtual and physical worlds, inviting audiences to witness a unique blend of ancient history and futuristic fantasy.

The show involves cast on two continents working to create an experience for people in-person, an interactive online experience on a Discord server, an immersive online experience in VR using Flipside Studio, and streaming for those who prefer just to watch from afar… all at the same time.

We’ve partnered with York University in Toronto to research what audiences think about this hybrid approach. The purpose of this research is to compare experiences of audience comfort in the viewing of hybrid theatrical productions which make concurrent use of meditate viewing options, consisting of virtual reality and online screen-based streaming, in addition to its in-person presentation. Through the surveying of attendees at these performances, we look to understand how audience members at hybrid events experience the different presentation modes.


Audiences coming to ZOO Playground for the IRL experience require no special preparation and can enjoy the show as part of their packed Fringe calendar. Those attending remotely via live stream will be provided with instructions after booking on how to access the stream from the device of their choice. VR attendees be on-boarded and provided with clear direction and support to join the show on their own Quest 2 headset using a free app.

Performance Runs

Aionos was presented as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Aug 4 – 27, 13:05 every day but Monday at ZOO Playground and online. The audience participate in three modes:

  • In-Person – The familiar theatrical experience. Purchase your ticket, arrive at the theatre, pick your seat, and enjoy the show!
  • VR – Feeling adventurous? Strap on a VR headset, download the App, and accept an invite to join us in VR from anywhere!
  • Livestream – Join our livestream to view the show broadcast to your desktop! Interact with the chat for a more social experience.

Cast And Crew


  • Anubis /// Shaharah Gaznabbi
  • Set(h) /// Milton Lopez Marhemberg
  • Thoth /// Dave Harack
  • Azizi /// Lawrencia Effiah


  • Hatshepsut /// Aisha Lesley Bentham
  • Flight Attendant /// Derek Manderson
  • Tourists /// Emma Ly, Atrin Moayeri, Sirene Qureshi


  • Anubot /// Derek Manderson
  • Sethboth /// Jacob Loat


  • Stage Manager /// Sophia Katzell
  • VR Director /// Lawrencia Effiah
  • Stream/VR Manager + ASM /// Tyler Graham
  • Developer/Digital Artist + ASM /// Jacob Loat
  • Video/Sound Design /// Ian Garrett
  • Technical Supervison / Lighting /// Gavin McDonald


  • Technical Manager /// Garshab Siassi
  • ASMs /// Priscila Gonzalez, Derek Manderson
  • Creative Consultants /// Debbie Deer, Ari Tarr
  • Special Thanks /// David Jansen