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Museum Of Austerity

Enter a radical new documentary artform and witness the human stories of Austerity Britain in this arresting mixed reality installation.

‘The remaining emptiness of the museum hall when you take your glasses off is remarkable. We have been looking at ghosts’ Volkskrant
‘Hi-tech meets humanity in this devastatingly powerful look at the impact of Austerity.’ The Stage
‘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 documentary project elevates an urgent issue that is often so widespread and insidious it’s impossible to feel its magnitude without the power of collective testimony’ Cultured
‘These stories grab you by the throat and don’t let you go.’ Cultureel Pers Bureau

Museum of Austerity is more than an exhibition; it’s a blend of theatre, history and humanity. A place to reflect on the past and reimagine the future. 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. 

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. 

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

Running Time: 45 mins in total including headset familiarisation

Wheelchair Accessible

Audio Description 


Age: 18+

Content Warning:

Museum of Austerity contains material that some people may find distressing or find challenging to engage with. Go to the website for more information. 

Click here for full visitor information

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


London Film Festival

6 - 17 Oct 2021

International Documentary Film Festival

17 - 28 Nov 2021

HOME Manchester

8 - 11 Nov 2023

Live Theatre, Newcastle

17 - 21 Apr 2024

Bristol Old Vic

12 - 15 Jun 2024

Galvanising Workshop, Gulbenkian Kent

26 - 29 Jun 2024


Creative Team


Mo Ahmed, brother of Sophie (Faiza) Ahmed


Peter Carré, father of Stephen Carré


Imogen Day, sister of Philippa Day


Nichole Drury, daughter of Moira Drury


Jill Gant, mother of Mark Wood


Helen Marston Hullah, sister of Diane Hullah


Dave Smith, brother of James Oliver


Gill Thompson, sister of David Clapson


Alison Turner, daughter-in-law of Errol Graham
Very special thanks to interviewee Joy Dove

Director & Co-Editor

Sacha Wares

Specialist Advisor & Co-Editor

John Pring


Adrian Lee

Costume & Physical 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

Costume Supervisor & Stage Manager

Shannon Martin

Stage Manager

Alice Wood

Costume Supervisor

Kinnetia Isidore

Stage Manager

Shane Thom

Dog Handler

Robert Stuhldreer


Tim Jones & Jenni Roditi

Mixed Reality Production

All Seeing Eye

Dimensions Studios: Managing Director

Steve Jelley

Dimensions Studios: Head of Production

Adam Smith

Dimensions Studios: Producer/Technical Director

Sarah Pearn

Dimensions Studios: Operations Director

Kim Curtin Post

Dimensions Studios: Producer

James Hardwick

Dimensions Studios: Production Coordinator

Emily Coyne

Dimensions Studios: DIT

James Gadd & Toby Hyder

Dimensions Studios: Studio Technician

Bradley Cox

Dimensions Studios: Sound

Jack Cook

Dimensions Studios: Senior Lead Volumetric Technical Artist

Adrianna Polcyn

Dimensions Studios: Volumetric Technical Artist:

Sami Ling

Research Partner

Disability News Service

Volumetric Capture Partner

Dimension Studios

Executive Producers

Toby Coffey, Kevin Fitzmaurice, Sophie Scull & Richard Twyman

Producers, ETT

Lauren Hamilton, Ellen Larson, Isadora Dooley Hunter, Maya Wilson, Peter Holland, Meg Fozzard & Andrew Hughes

Producer, National Theatre Immersive Storytelling Studio

Benjamin Smith

Executive Producer, Trial & Error

Sacha Wares

Production Management

The Production Family; Dominic Seeber (HOME, Manchester)

Tour Lighting

Rob Pell-Walpole

Production Electrician

Daniel Taylor

Associate Installation Designer

Luke Smith

Scenic Construction



Benjamin Smith, Stephen Allen, Brad Hackett, Theo Hung

Wellbeing & Access

Family Liaison

Megan Cronin (original production)

Artist Wellbeing Practitioner

Lou Platt

BSL Introduction

Ramon Woolfe, Deepa Shastri (original production)


Vicky Berry and Jenny Skene

Audio Description


Access Consultancy

Rachel Bagshaw, David Bellwood, Daisy Hale, Richard Tilling, Rai Waddingham, Dr. Jay Watts

Workshop Leaders

China Mills (Healing Justice London), Imogen Day, Gail Ward

Thanks to:

Kate Baiden, James Baldwin, Richard Butchins, Ellen Clifford, Sophie Coombes Sue Emmas, Helen Fallows, Graeae Theatre Company, John Horan, Julia Horan, Tim Johanson, Melissa Johns and DANC, David Kaskel, Nicolas Kent, Mac at 26 Leake Street, Michael Morris, Jem Moorshead at Scenery, Salvage, The Park Plaza County Hall Hotel, Purni Morrell, Ian Rickson, Nina Salomons, Ajax Scott, Raz Shaw, Nick Starr, Richard Tilling, Dan Tucker, Claire Wardroper, Healing Justice Ldn, Dominic Seeber, Daniel Taylor, Theo Hung and Bakehouse

At the National Theatre:

Kirsten Adam, Sophie Barrett, Richard Booth, Richard Eustace, Gavin Gibson, Simon Godfrey, Paul Handley, Lee Harrington, Shane Hover, Kate John, Tony Kelly, Huw Llewelyn, Gary Pell, Dave Tuff, Marc Tritchler, Charlotte Bevan.

Additional content credit:

Audio clips broadcast by Parliament TV, from the Proceedings of the UK Parliament on: 22nd June 2010; 28th June 2010; 2nd December 2014; 27th October 2015; 3rd February 2016 ; 5th February 2020; 30th September 2020.

Additional content credit:

Incidental guitar music and paintings, by Mark Wood, included in Mark Wood's narrative, by arrangement with Jill Gant.

Additional content credit:

Helen Marston Hullah interview by Norman Thomas.


Shango Baku
Jenny Bolt
Gerard McDermott
Katie Matsell
Zoe Matthews
S.J. O’Kane
Lindy Pieri
Naima Swaleh
Elliot Pritchard