Following its successful run at HOME Manchester last November, ETT (English Touring Theatre) today announces further dates for theUK tour of Museum of Austerity. The mixed reality installation – a co-production with National Theatre Immersive Storytelling Studio,and Trial & Error Studio – will open the spring 2024 tour at Live Theatre, Newcastle on 17 April and run there until 21 April before touring to No 1 Smithery Studio, The Historic Dockyard from 16-18 May and culminating with a run at Bristol Old Vic from 12 – 15 June.

Winner of Best Immersive Production at International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, Museum of Austerity combines the skills of director Sacha Wares with the in-depth knowledge of Disability News Service editor John Pring to tell the human stories of Austerity Britain. The creative team is completed with Composer Adrian Lee, Costume and Installation Design by 2024 Olivier Award Winner Miriam Buether, Sound Design by Gareth Fry, Original Lighting Design by Prema Mehta, Movement Direction by Leon Baugh, Assistant Direction by  Hana Pascal Keegan and Casting Direction by Amy Ball.

Running alongside the production on tour, there will be a programme of exhibitions and workshops led by Healing Justice LDN and local partnering organisations. The first workshop Rage, grief and justice: Disabled people’s resistance to austerity will run at Live Theatre, Newcastle on 19 April.

Director and founder of Trial & Error Studio, Sacha Wares said today, “Inspired by war photographers of the past who used early cameras to capture distant battlefields, Museum of Austerity employs mixed reality technologies to record the invisible, devastating violence of austerity. Museum of Austerity is an artwork I wish we hadn’t had to make, but which needs to be seen.”

Founder of Disability News Service and Co-Editor of Museum, John Pring said, “Museum of Austerity has found an innovative and powerful way to tell these terrible stories in a way that exposes the horror of what happened to so many disabled people during the austerity period. This is a ground-breaking piece of work, and I’m relieved that this tour will allow more people to view the exhibition and understand how the actions of the Department for Work and Pensions led to widespread poverty, acute distress and even the deaths of countless benefit claimants. I hope the audience will think about the harm done, and how no-one associated with these actions has ever been held accountable for what happened and is still happening today.”

Richard Twyman, Artistic Director and CEO, and Sophie Scull, Executive Producer of ETTsaid, “We’re happy that ETT’s dedication to innovative storytelling and ground-breaking XR technology continues to travel the country, meaning this extraordinary and vital work will be seen across the UK’s regions. We’re honoured to have co-produced this important work alongside Trial & Error and The National Theatre Immersive Storytelling Studio and are in awe of the dedication and hard work of the artists at the centre of Museum of Austerity, particularly co-creators Sacha Wares and John Pring, and the families whose stories are told through the piece for their commitment to the project.”

An ETT, National Theatre Immersive Storytelling Studio, and Trial and Error Studio co-production


Age guidance – 18+

17 April – 15 June

Creative team:

Director and Co-Editor: Sacha Wares; Specialist Advisor & Co-Editor: John Pring; Composer: Adrian Lee; Costume and Installation Designer: Miriam Buether; Sound Designer: Gareth Fry; Original Lighting Designer: Prema Mehta; Movement Director: Leon Baugh; Assistant Director: Hana Pascal Keegan; Casting Director: Amy Ball

Witness the human stories of Austerity Britain in this arresting mixed reality installation. 

In 2016, the UN found that “grave or systemic violations” of the rights of disabled people were taking place throughout the UK. Wearing a mixed reality headset, you will enter a striking, holographic gallery that lays bare the consequences when state safety nets fail. 

 Museum of Austerity is more than an exhibition; it’s a blend of theatre, history and humanity.

 “It is impossible to look away from the shimmering figures that emerge in what appears at first to be an empty room. And that is the point.” THE GUARDIAN

This powerful installation combines the skills of theatre/XR director Sacha Wares with the in-depth knowledge of John Pring, editor of Disability News Service.

Museum of Austerity was nominated for Best Digital Innovation at the UK Theatre Awards, previewed at the London Film Festival in 2021 and won International Documentary Festival Amsterdam’s (IDFA) Best Immersive Production in 2021. 

An ETT, National Theatre Immersive Storytelling Studio & Trial & Error co-production. Supported by CreativeXR, a programme developed by Digital Catapult and Arts Council England. A Genesis Kickstart Fund project, supported by the Genesis Foundation Co-Commissioned by BFI London Film Festival – LFF Expanded

Sacha Wares is a critically acclaimed theatre director and founder of Trial and Error Studio. Her theatre credits include Sucker Punch, My ChildRandom (Royal Court Theatre), Guantanamo – Honour Bound to Defend Freedom (Tricycle Theatre), GameBoy (Almeida Theatre), GenerationsWild Swans (Young Vic), and Trade (RSC). She is founder of Trial and Error Studio, Innovation Associate at English Touring Theatre, and Associate Director at the National Theatre’s Immersive Storytelling Studio.  Wares’ work as director for extended reality performance includes Adult Children (Donmar/ETT/Trial and Error/ScanLAB Projects) and Museum of Austerity (ETT/NT/Trial and Error). Sacha is an Innovate UK Award recipient for her pioneering research into multisensory accessibility for extended reality narrative. She is currently in production for a VR documentary about the artist Judith Scott.

John Pring is founder of Disability News Service. He is a disabled journalist, and co-creator of the Deaths by Welfare timeline, and was associate producer on an award-winning Dispatches documentary, The Truth About Disability BenefitsThe Department, his book about the Department for Work and Pensions, and how its actions led to countless deaths of disabled benefit claimants, will be published by Pluto Press this summer.



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Live Theatre, Newcastle

17-21 April

Box office: 01912 321 232 /

No 1 Smithery Studio, The Historic Dockyard, Chatham

16-18 May

Box office: 01634 823 800 /

Bristol Old Vic

12-15 June

Box office: 0117 987 7877 /

Rage, grief and justice: Disabled people’s resistance to austerity

Live Theatre, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Friday 19 April at 1pm