Derby Theatre is absolutely thrilled to have won Digital Project of the Year at The Stage Awards 2023 with Odyssey as part of Plus One. Dr Bruce Wiggins and students from MSc Audio Engineering and BSc Sound, Light and Live Event Technology provided the novel, live immersive multi-speaker audio system. The system used software that has come directly from Bruce’s research into Ambisonic audio.  Derby Theatre Project ‘Odyssey’ involved an audience in VR and able to explore scenes created for the live show.

It was clear from the outset that this project would be a great experience for the young people involved in the production. We were keen to make the experience for the audience as immersive as possible while keeping them free to hear both the real and the virtual space around them.  A system didn’t exist that could achieve this live, so we had to really think outside the box. The students really enjoyed the challenge and achieved excellent results on a really tight schedule demonstrating great problem-solving skills and working well with the composer, director and VR team.

Plus One is a creative partnership project delivered by Derby Theatre with QUAD, Déda, Baby People and The Mighty Creatives that provides free opportunities to take part in cultural events and a range of creative workshops and projects.

Odyssey is a virtual reality live audio experience for audiences which was created over a four-month period working with young people across the city of Derby, specifically with care-experienced young people and families.

The Stage said: “Of all the digital projects that emerged last year, the judges believed Derby Theatre’s Odyssey stood out for the way it used an immersive digital VR experience to make the arts more accessible to a previously under-served group of participants across the care sector.”

More information about Plus One and view the Odyssey film.

Photo of the installation on an immersive audio system at the Derby Roundhouse.

Photo of staff and students working on an immersive audio installation at the Derby Roundhouse.

Photo of staff and students working on an immersive audio installation at the Derby Roundhouse.

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