Immersive Everywhere – led by Olivier Award-winning producers Louis Hartshorn and Brian Hook – and Butterfly Theatre are combining their expertise and experience in all aspects of immersive theatre to launch the first bespoke Immersive Acting School. Courses will launch in January 2022 at West End venue Immersive LDN, the home of The Great Gatsby and Doctor Who Time Fracture, and are built on a new method of actor training –The Gonsalves Method, which is rooted in The Meisner Technique, and has been developed exclusively over 10 years by Butterfly’s immersive industry professionals. It is led by Aileen Gonsalves – RSC Director and Artistic Director of Butterfly Theatre.

There are 3 part time courses on offer that will run over a 6-week period. A Foundation Immersive Acting Course (for non-professional actors), A Specialist Immersive Acting Course (for Graduate level professional actors) and an Intensive Immersive Acting Course (for experienced immersive actors).

These courses will bring professionally trained, conventional theatre actors into a different world of acting, as well as giving an opportunity for newcomers to the industry, to get a taste of immersive theatre acting, in a real, functioning west end immersive theatre venue.

A free taster day will be held 2 – 4.30pm on Monday 13 December for prospective students – sign up here

Aileen Gonsalves said, “Immersive Theatre is the new way of doing theatre and is more popular now than ever before. From Punchdrunk to The Great Gatsby, more and more companies are creating immersive productions and are constantly developing new ideas and better ways of immersing audiences into storytelling.

Immersive theatre comes with added risks that differ from conventional theatre, due to the increased proximity and interaction with the space and the audience. It requires skilled, brave, reliable and open minded actors. For this reason, immersive companies look for immersive experienced actors when casting their shows. This training will give you all the skills you need in order to be a great immersive actor, will enable you to build on skills you already possess and gain confidence to use them in this new fast-growing area of theatre.”

Louis Hartshorn and Brian Hook said “we are so excited to be partnering with Aileen and Butterfly on this unique new venture. When we launched Immersive LDN in 2019, it was the first West End venue dedicated to developing and staging theatre-led immersive experiences, and we think it’s the perfect environment for the new and existing generations of immersive acting talent to hone their craft. We can’t wait to welcome them in, and to support them in their professional development and future careers”

Those joining the Immersive Acting School will also enjoy the following benefits:

– Becoming part of the Hartshorn – Hook and Butterfly Theatre communities

– Inclusion on our website graduate page for industry professionals seeking trained immersive actors.

– First invitations to audition for Hartshorn-Hook and Butterfly Theatre productions.

– Access to ongoing weekly Gonsalves Method drop in evening classes

– Discounts on food and drink in The Lucky Club

– Invites to Hartshorn-Hook and Butterfly open dress rehearsals.

Olivier Award winning producers Louis Hartshorn and Brian Hook, who are currently co-producing the immersive production of DOCTOR WHO TIME FRACTURE – launched a new company in 2019, IMMERSIVE EVERYWHERE, entirely dedicated to developing and staging theatre-led immersive experiences, and IMMERSIVE | LDN was the first of their network of venues, housing cafes, bars and rehearsal and workshop spaces to help the development of new work.

Butterfly Theatre Company specialise in immersive theatre with a focus on truthful, authentic and moment to moment performance. They perform live, site-responsive theatre shows in a host of unusual, extraordinary and beautiful locations across the UK, Europe and beyond. They have a particular specialism working with Shakespeare, making his work authentically connected, relevant and accessible. Butterfly’s work includes immersive productions in underground caves, castles and ancient woodlands, a unique performance amidst Luke Jerram’s art installation Withdrawn in leigh woods, Bristol, commissioned by the National Trust, and a special collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican, which immersed Shakespeare scenes with a stunning, live soundtrack inspired by his work. For more info:

Aileen Gonsalves trained as an actor at the Central School of Speech and Drama and has worked professionally across the industry for over 25 years, in theatre, film, television, radio and education. She has worked extensively at the RSC across her career.  Assistant Director to Tim Supple on Midnight’s Children, Greg Doran on All’s Well That Ends Well and also with Greg she was the associate director on the groundbreaking motion capture production of The Tempest in 2017. She also directed The First Encounters The Tempest for The Swan and UK tour. She has been the RSC International and National Youth Ensemble director since 2008, as well as an RSC education associate practitioner.

Aileen teaches her new method of acting The Gonsalves Method at various drama institutions nationally and internationally. She was Head of the MA in Acting at ArtsEd Drama School 2011-2015, Head of Acting at Drama Studio London 2018-19, as well as teaching actors and directors at RADA and UWL. She is also Associate Director of Kali Theatre. Aileen co-wrote Shakespeare and Meisner with Dr Tracy Irish, a new book published by Bloomsbury for the Arden Performance Companions series.

“To experience Aileen’s method is to be given tools for life! It’s no exaggeration to say that she is one of the foremost performing arts innovators of our age.”

Dr Chris Laoutaris, Lecturer at the Shakespeare Institute and author.

IMMERSIVE | LDN is a 32,000sq ft historic building in the heart of Mayfair, which was home to the Queen Victoria’s Rifles Association until 2017. It includes three floors of immersive theatre and event spaces designated for performance, live gaming, events, escape rooms and private parties. For information about programming and venue hire visit

VENUE SOCIAL @ldn_immersive