About IEN

Summit 2022 - Site Specific Venues and Placemaking

The live immersive experience sector has undergone extraordinary growth over the last 10 years as creative companies have developed interactive experience concepts from fringe experiments to global companies with multi-million pound turnovers.


The Immersive Experience Network is being set up as a catalyst to support creators making new work, developing new audiences and growing financially sustainable creative companies. Our strategy is built around:

Building Community • Facilitating Knowledge Sharing & Education for creators
• Commercial Data Collection, Analysis and Publication.

About IEN

Our aim is to develop the organisation in close collaboration with our members, seeking their input and feedback at every stage. For example our working title for this group was The Immersive Entertainment Network until we received feedback from members that our new title felt more representative.

Our vision is that The Immersive Experience Network will be a social enterprise that is supported by a combination of our members, external funding and private investment.

We’re working towards making the Immersive Experience Network a Community Interest Company (CIC) that will allow us flexibility to raise finance but also focuses the organisation on investing revenues back into the community.

The founding team share a passion for the immersive genre and a desire to foster a collaborative community, we are actively recruiting people who share this vision and who may be interested in supporting us with funding, private investment or professional support as advisors or board members. If you are interested in joining us then get in touch.

The team

  • Dr Joanna Bucknall

    Dr Joanna Jayne Bucknall is a performance maker and scholar. She is a lecturer at the University of Birmingham in the department for Drama & Theatre Arts, where her specialist areas include immersions and interactivity in performance, embodied performance documentation, practice-as-research methodologies and gamification of performance.

    She is the producer and host of the podcast series, Talking about Immersive Theatre, (TAIT). She is the artistic director of Vertical Exchange Performance Collective (VEX), co-artistic director of KeepHouse Performance and an has been an Associate Artist at the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth.

    Dr Joanna Bucknall Headshot
  • Lucy Kean

    Lucy is our Community Manager, running our social media and outreach strategies, and is also a freelance actor, producer, theatre-maker, and facilitator. Lucy has dived into the world of immersive from the very beginning of her career, starting from her BA Drama dissertation at the University of Exeter, and now works with various companies, such as Wide Eyes Immersive and Colab Theatre, as a performer and behind the scenes. Lucy is excited to continue to build the network by meeting new companies, and to learn more about the entire landscape of immersive through her role.

    Lucy Kean Headshot
  • Natalie Scott

    Natalie is a Director and Creative Producer of immersive experiences and Interactive Performance. She is an Artistic Director of The Lab Collective and since 2010 has been creating work in abandoned office blocks, greenfield festival sites, studio spaces and site specific locations in both the third and commercial sectors.

    Some examples of her directing work for the Lab Collective has included Vector (British and Berlin Science Festival and NIA Space), Incoming/Exodus for Latitude, CPT and Barbican Open Labs and The Candidate for Theatre Delicatessen. Natalie believes that training is key to creating safe and ethical performance spaces and has developed professional training programmes for interactive and immersive makers and performers for The Lab Collective. Natalie has also worked for Punchdrunk, Emergency Exit Arts and Outdoor Arts UK, and as a creative director for Dank Parish at Boomtown Fair.

    Natalie Scott Headshot
  • Andy Barnes

    Andy Barnes is the director of Entourage, an event production consultancy who specialises in delivering large scale ambitious projects for brands, agencies and immersive producers.

    Entourage were the production delivery partners for Secret Cinema from 2016 – 2020 with Andy taking the Production Director role on shows including Moulin Rouge, Blade Runner, Romeo + Juliet, Casino Royale and Stranger Things. They have also supported the installation and opening of Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds – The Immersive Experience, Monopoly Lifesized, Wishmas and Bridge Command.

    Andy Barnes Headshot
  • Sheena Patel

    Sheena is an Experience Designer and Creative Producer with over a decade’s experience across experiential campaigns and immersive productions.

    She co-created and produced Time Run (voted one of the best escape games in the world TERPECA 2018) and Sherlock: The Game is Now (Visit London’s ‘Best New Tourism Business’ 2020). As Director of YonderBeyond, she supports brands, independent companies and agencies such as Flavourology, Bearded Kitten, Bompas & Parr and Hotel Wonderland to consult on, devise or deliver new immersive experiences  Other titles and brands she has worked on include Money Heist, Peaky Blinders and Disney.

    Sheena Patel Headshot
  • Nicole Jacobus

    Nicole is a Project Manager working in the immersive and live events sectors. Previously, she was a Markets structurer at Citi, and combines her analytical experience with a creative approach in her work. Nicole holds a degree in physics from the University of Oxford, where she was also a production manager, set designer and performer for a number of theatrical projects.

    As a newcomer to the immersive sector herself, Nicole is enthusiastic about creating the Immersive Experience Network as a platform for industry visibility and new connections. Alongside Project Management, Nicole is also a science communicator promoting science engagement for live audiences.

    Nicole Jacobus Headshot
  • Owen Kingston

    Owen is the Artistic Director of international award winning company Parabolic Theatre – pioneers of immersive and interactive performance. He is also a writer and director with over 20 years experience working in the theatre and film industries. Parabolic shows are known for their extreme levels of interactivity, and for adapting shows on the fly in response to their audiences.

    Owen is passionate about interactivity within theatre and innovation within immersive performance. He sees it as a truly 21st Century art form. Recent examples of his work include the Offie nominated “For King and Country”, Offie finalist “Crisis? What Crisis?” and 2022 Immie winner “The House of Cenci”.

    Owen Kingston Headshot
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