VX Labs

A three-year programme that will bring innovation in theatre-making.

Theatre set of 2 grey patterned walls showing a window and a door with a light above it. Text reads VX Labs - Innovation in theatre-making. Underneath the image are the Vital Xposure and Arts Council England logos.

Photo of the Quiet Rebels theatre set. Designer: Simon Kenny

Timeline (2023)

Regional Consultations:

October – November

National Consultation / Survey:

November – December

Activities from 2024 onwards will be announced later

For questions or information about the programme, contact us on vxlabs@vitalxposure.co.uk

The Vital Xposure Laboratories (VX Labs) are a new, exciting three-year development programme, supported through an uplift in the company’s core ACE funding for 2023-2026, that will allow us to extend disabled-led practices researched over the years and bring innovation in theatre-making.

The VX Labs aim to bring together artists and regional partners across England to co-design an infrastructure for inclusive models of performance, creating new work and bringing new stories on our stages.

The VX Labs will create spaces to experiment and develop ideas, create a collaborative platform to build and debate, take creative risks, celebrate intersectionality from a disability perspective, access experimentation and an interrogation of the theatre making process to assist in removing barriers for artists from all walks of life in their creative practice and artistic product.

Through the VX Labs we want to be surprised with ideas, imagination, fresh processes in making and presenting theatre that we have not dreamt of yet!

Why do we want to deliver VX Labs?

We are delivering the VX Labs programme because we want to:

  • build strategic regional partnerships in and outside the arts sector;
  • grow sector knowledge and understanding of issues and themes particular to regional practitioners through artist-led conversations and consultations;
  • develop processes and practice;
  • share the learning and outcomes with the wider arts sector to inform innovative working practices and new partnerships.

Programme details

What will VX Labs do?

The VX Labs will act as an incubator for deeper relationships within the arts sector, resulting in a cross fertilisation of diverse artistic communities, disabled and non-disabled.

The process will include a series of workshops, discussion forums, development and sharing of resources, provocations with new themes or new methodologies.

The specific themes of exploration and the format of each activity will be informed by regional voices and developed through ongoing consultation and dialogue with artists and partners.

Over the next three years, the VX Labs will propose new accessible theatre forms and stories, and engaging our communities in a conversation about identity, social justice and culture.

Make VX Labs reflect your driving passions and interests!

In autumn 2023 we are running a series of consultation sessions with artists from all walks of life to find out current themes of interest in theatre-making and burning questions that artists’ communities have.

There will be a combination of online and in-person sessions in the coming weeks, as well as a national online survey later in the year: we want to bring as many voices as possible into the VX Labs mix!

Come along to a consultation session near you:

  • Thursday 12th October 2023, 2pm – 3.30pm, Arts at the Old Fire Station, Oxford, OX1 2AQ
  • Monday 16th October 2023, 6pm – 7.30pm, Key Theatre, Peterborough, PE1 1EF
  • Tuesday 24th October 2023, 7pm – 8.30pm, South West Region (online)
  • Wednesday 1st November, 1.30pm – 3pm, Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester LE1 7HA
  • Monday 13th November 2023, 1pm – 2.30pm, Interplay Theatre, Leeds, LS12 3LE 
  • Monday 13th November 2023, 6pm – 7.30pm, Live Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3DQ
  • Monday 20th November 2023, 1pm – 2.30pm, BOLD Elephant, London, SE1 6ES
  • Tuesday 28th November 2023, 2.30pm – 4pm, National / ONLINE

Each session will be facilitated by VX Labs Project Manager (Mandy Precious) and representatives from partnering venues. There will be approximately 15 – 20 people in total in each session.

Free to attend.

A fee will be offered for attendance: £75 plus travel (in-person sessions) / £50 (online sessions)

Access provisions will be made for everyone attending. Please indicate any access and dietary requirements upon booking to ensure we make suitable arrangements for you.

Join the online survey:

Following the online and face-to-face VX Labs consultation sessions to inform the future VX Labs programme and tailor it to what artists truly want, we have now launched an online survey to broaden the consultation and ensure we can bring as many disabled, d/Deaf and Neurodivergent voices as possible into the mix.

If you would like to take the survey, please sign up via the Eventbrite page, and the VX Labs Project Manager (Mandy Precious) will email you a link to the survey. The survey will take less than 30 minutes to complete and you can fill it out in your own time by Friday 15th December.

A fee of £25 will be offered for completion of the online survey.

IMPORTANT: signing up on Eventbrite does not guarantee payment of the fee; you will need to fill out the survey to claim the feeIf you have already participated in an online or face-to-face session, you cannot participate in the online survey.

If you have access requirements relating to filling out online forms or if Eventbrite is not accessible to you, please contact vxlabs@vitalxposure.co.uk.

Places for the online survey are limited to 25.

PLEASE NOTE: The survey has now closed.

If you are interested in getting involved or finding out more about VX Labs, you can contact Mandy, VX Labs Project Manager, on vxlabs@vitalxposure.co.uk

Project Manager
A black and white picture of an older woman with short grey hair, clear framed glasses, with her chin resting on her hand.

An experienced senior leader in the cultural sector, Mandy was a Senior Manager at Theatre Royal Plymouth for 8 years, strategically leading 50 plus community engagement projects of all sizes and budgets, and leading on EDI, place-making, Trusts and Foundations fundraising and evaluation. Following a long freelance career, she was AD/CEO at Burnley Arts Centre – where she managed the organisation from near collapse to financial stability, and a second capital build.

Her key interest is in socially engaged practice and co-creation, building projects from the ground up. Her experience includes Strategic Development; Fundraising and Fundraising Strategy; Business Planning; Producing; Event Management; Monitoring and Evaluation; Training and the development of strong Governance Practice.

She is currently a trustee of Trigger Stuff Ltd.

She holds a PhD in Education/Sociology which focussed on social class and what characterises the journeys of successful artists from a working-class background.

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