Naomi Ackerman, Evening Standard

A free “virtual theatre” is launching in Nine Elms. London-based start-up LIVR claims to be the world’s first VR theatre, offering users a “360-degree experience” of high-quality filmed stage performances.

They hope to “make theatre more accessible to all” and currently host more than 150 off-West End shows, comedy and performances to watch at any time.

The service usually costs £5.99 a month but from next month will be available for free on Wednesdays at an eight-seater “virtual theatre” in Rose Community centre on the Savona Estate, Battersea.

Nearly 100 local children and young people have already trialled the eight donated Pico Interactive headsets – usually worth over £1,000 – at a pilot day.

Steffi Sutters, Wandsworth Council’s Cabinet member for Community Services and Open Spaces, said: “I’m thrilled that theatre shows are coming direct to local residents through this incredible virtual reality experience. As arts and culture grows in Nine Elms, it’s fantastic that we can bring performing arts into the heart of the community and I hope as many Nine Elms residents as possible sign up to put a headset on and watch a performance. We’re really looking forward to starting regular VR viewing nights.”

Martin McGourty, Director at LIVR, said: “We’re excited to help enable such a great initiative and to be working with amazing organisations so early in our growth.

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