Latest Press Releases


A unique team of UK creative industry specialists will pool their expertise to discover the next stage of immersive performance experiences for audiences around the world. The £16 million investment is a key element of the Audience of the Future programme. This is part of the government Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, which is delivered by UK Research and Innovation and that was announced by government in March 2018 in the Creative Industries Sector Deal. 

The project involves 15 specialist organisations and pioneers in immersive technology including leading British arts companies, global technology giants and top British universities. Together they will use their knowledge and expertise in theatre and performance, the music industry, video production, gaming and the research sector to shape how audiences will experience live performance in the future.  The first year of Audience of the Future will focus on collaborative research and development with the intention of delivering an immersive live performance on multiple platforms in 2020.

Over two years the group will work together to explore what it means to perform live using emerging technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). They will uncover the future opportunities of real-time immersive performance that are connected across multiple platforms, creating opportunities for the UK cultural sector to change the way audiences experience live performance by making it more immersive. 

Audiences will no longer be bound by their location. Using devices such as mobile phones, Extended Reality (XR) headsets and streaming into live performance environments, or even in the home, wherever they are, audiences will experience live performance like never before.

Led by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) the consortium includes De Montfort University · Epic Games · i2 Media Research Limited · Intel · Magic Leap · Manchester International Festival · Marshmallow Laser Feast · Nesta · Phi Centre · Philharmonia Orchestra · Punchdrunk · University of Portsmouth· The Space. 

This significant new collaboration will uncover the potential of real-time immersive performance connected across multiple platforms, creating opportunities for the UK cultural sector to change the way audiences experience live performance in thrilling new ways.

Talking about the collaboration, RSC Artistic Director, Gregory Doran said,

“Some of the best brains in the creative industries and research sector will work together in this unique collaboration looking at the future potential of live performance and what that means for the industry, the creative sector and audiences around the world. 

‘Every partner has something different to offer through their work with immersive technologies and live performance, and the potential to deliver an experience for audiences that has never seen before is hugely exciting.”


For further information: RSC Head of Communications 07966 295032


Notes to Editors:

Immersive Performance Experiences for the Future is brought about through a unique consortium of cultural industry specialists including:

De Montfort University · Epic Games · i2 Media Research Limited · Intel · Magic Leap · Manchester International Festival · Marshmallow Laser Feast · Nesta · Phi Centre · Philharmonia Orchestra · Punchdrunk · Royal Shakespeare Company · University Of Portsmouth · The Space.

The Institute of Creative Technologies (IOCT), De Montfort University is concerned with the transdisciplinary practice and theory of creative technologies, bringing together technologists, creative practitioners and researchers to develop truly innovative practice. They create opportunities to discover and document new knowledge in the field of creative technologies, synthesising research with digital computing, creative practice, science and engineering.

Epic Games Founded in 1991, Epic Games is the creator of Fortnite, Unreal, Gears of War, Shadow Complex, and the Infinity Blade series of games. Epic's Unreal Engine technology brings high-fidelity, interactive experiences to PC, console, mobile, AR, VR and the Web. Over the last five years the Unreal Engine has become an important tool outside the world of video games.

i2 media research, based at Goldsmiths University of London Is an expert consumer insight, user experience research and strategy consultancy delivering rigorous research. They have completed over 250 commissions in the commercial, public and third sectors.

Intel makes the most amazing experiences of the future possible. Intel's innovations expand the reach and power of computing in personal devices and enterprise servers, the Cloud, make the Internet of Things smart and connected, and help ensure the security of our digital lives. The work of the company’s more than 100,000 employees transforms businesses, propels new discoveries and improves human experiences.

Magic Leap Magic Leap’s mission is to harmonize people and technology to create a better, more unified world. Magic Leap is a team of creatives and technologists building a lightweight, wearable computer that seamlessly blends the digital and physical worlds. Headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with offices in Los Angeles, Sunnyvale, Seattle, Austin, Dallas, Zurich, Wellington and Tel Aviv.

Manchester International Festival (MIF) brings together artists to create forward-thinking work staged in a rich tapestry of venues across Manchester. MIF is launching the Factory, an ultra-flexible space which will introduce the world’s most exciting artists to audiences of up to 850,000 a year as dance, theatre, music, opera, visual arts, and popular culture work incorporating the latest technologies will come together in ground-breaking combinations.

Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF) is an award-winning studio creating ground-breaking immersive experiences, including the acclaimed In the Eyes of the Animal (Sundance New Frontier 2016, Wired Award for Innovation in Experience Design) and other mixed reality works including: A Colossal Wave (SXSW Art Programme 2018), and Treehugger (Tribeca Film Festival Storyscapes Award 2017 & VR Arles Award 2018).

Nesta - a global innovation foundation, backing new ideas to tackle the big challenges of our time. They use knowledge, networks, funding and skills – working in partnership with others, including governments, businesses and charities. They are a UK charity, working globally.

The Phi Centre is a multidisciplinary cultural organisation that cultivates all aspects of creation, development, production and dissemination. Phi is at the intersection of art, film, music, design and technology. Headquartered at the Phi Centre in Montreal, Canada, Phi was created by Director and Founder Phoebe Greenberg.

Philharmonia Orchestra a world-class symphony orchestra for the 21st century. It is a digital pioneer, using technology to reach new audiences and build new revenue streams. It has created award-winning web sites, an iPad app, and immersive experiences. They applied the idea of ‘Stepping inside the Orchestra’ to VR, creating three pieces. Beethoven’s Fifth, commissioned by Google in partnership with NASA, won a Raindance Film Festival Award for Best VR Music Experience.

Punchdrunk and Punchdrunk International has pioneered a game-changing form of theatre in which roaming audiences experience epic storytelling inside sensory theatrical worlds. Blending classic texts, physical performance, award-winning design installation and unexpected sites, the company's infectious format rejects the passive obedience usually expected of audiences. Punchdrunk International produces artistic works created by Felix Barrett and the Punchdrunk International creative team. The Company produces a selection of Punchdrunk’s commercial productions for national and international audiences. It also creates innovation-led partnerships with selected organisations on a bespoke basis.

Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) creates theatre at its best, made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world. We produce an inspirational artistic programme each year, setting Shakespeare in context, alongside the work of his contemporaries and today’s writers.  

Everyone at the RSC - from actors to armourers, musicians to technicians - plays a part in creating the world you see on stage.  All our productions begin life at our Stratford workshops and theatres and we bring them to the widest possible audience through our touring, residencies, live broadcasts and online activity. We have trained generations of the very best theatre makers and we continue to nurture the talent of the future. We encourage everyone to enjoy a lifelong relationship with Shakespeare and live theatre.  Registered charity no. 212481

The Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries (FCCI), Portsmouth University encompasses teaching, research and innovation in the Creative Arts, Technologies and Performance. It has purpose built technical facilities, lab and performance spaces, and a specialism in Virtual and Augmented Reality, Motion Capture, Film, TV and Broadcast. Research focuses on the convergence of these technologies and their creative application.

The Space launched by ACE and the BBC, is a digital and broadcast development agency supporting the UK arts, cultural and heritage sectors to realise their strategic digital ambitions.





You might also like