RESEARCHERS from Essex University are leading on an innovative study to explore the social impact of virtual reality theatre.

A team from the uni, led by Dr Abigail Webb and Dr Rebecca Warren, are working with LIVR, an online library for immersive theatre content on the research.

They hope to find out how immersive theatre, or shows viewed from home on VR a headset, impacts on viewers.

Rather than as a replacement for live theatre shows, virtual reality could be an easily-accessible way for venues to reach more people, particularly those who are unable to attend shows in person.

Colchester's Mercury Theatre is watching the results of study closely as it is looking to expand its digital offering.

A spokesman for the team said: "We have collected data from a range of audiences, including regular theatre goers and those who attend theatres occasionally.

"But, we are especially eager to reach audiences who in recent years have been unable to reach theatre auditoriums, due to physical or mental health related issues, or perhaps because they are a carer."

If you are interested in taking part, fill in the eligibility survey at