People and partners

Principal Investigator

Dr Joanna Bucknall

Dr Joanna Bucknall


  • Immersive, interactive & participatory performance practices
  • One-on-one performance
  • Practice research methodologies
  • Performance documentation
  • Performing heritage & legacy
  • Gamification & play in performance

Dr Charles Leddy-Owen

Charles Leddy-Owen is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Portsmouth. His core research interests relate to nationalism, racism and attitudes towards immigration. He has published several academic journal articles relating to these topics and is currently writing a book on nationalism, inequalities and politics in England (to be published by Routledge). Charles is trustee and volunteer legal adviser for migrant advocacy and support group Friends without Borders (who are also partners in Corpus Quod) and, alongside his academic expertise regarding immigration, will be applying this experience and knowledge to the development of the project with regard to its aim of increasing engagement and empathy with asylum seekers' experiences. 

Dr Fred Charles

Dr Fred Charles is a Principal Academic in Games Technology at Bournemouth University. His main research interests focus on Computational Intelligence applied to Computer Games including Artificial Intelligence combined with Human-Computer Interaction.

For the last 15+ years, he has been involved in research on Interactive Storytelling which led to the development of several interactive systems which have won several awards. He also has significant experience within that time in teaching and research supervision at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in Computer Science and Computer Games.

Fred completed a PhD in Computer Science, entitled “Intelligent Virtual Actors in Interactive Storytelling”, which had an emphasis on Artificial Intelligence techniques but also covered areas of Computer Graphics and Human Computer Interaction applied to Computer Games Technologies. He has a BSc in Computer Science, followed by a Master’s degree in Computer Aided Graphical Technology Applications. His research interests include: Artificial Intelligence, Human-Computer Interaction, Narrative Systems, Interactive Storytelling, Virtual Reality, Computer Games.

Stand + Stare

Run by Lucy Telling & Barney Heywood, Stand + Stare create immersive and interactive experiences. The company's roots are in performance and immersive theatre, but its work is now usually automated – either interactive exhibitions or installations that immerse people in a story or stories, or apps that allow people to record their own stories. Stand + Stare's work is characterised by a relationship between the physical and digital – real things, such as objects that can be handled or books that can be flicked through, augmented to give people a route into the stories within them.

Stand + Stare often use documentary or archival material and have worked with a wide range of contributors from older people living in care homes in Bristol, to classical musicians in New York, to Shakespearean scholars in Stratford-upon-Avon. The company are always interested to work with a new archive or group of interviewees because essentially, the team are fascinated by people’s stories and always seeking the best way to tell them – which could, for example, employ a new type of technology. Over the past five years, the company has worked regularly on projects with the University of Bristol, including various AHRC funded projects.

A research project such CorpusQuod gives the company the opportunity to test out technologies or combinations of tech that it may not have used previously. This is not always possible in a commercial job if time and budgets are tight. Stand + Stare have found that a good way for us to test and learn new applications is often as part of University-led research projects such as this. Past experience has proved that these projects enable Lucy and Barney to grow and develop as artists and a company, which has measurable value in terms of increased business as a result. This project would allow them to continue their on-going exploration into immersive environments. As a small business Stand + Stare is aware of the need to constantly move forwards, understand and - where relevant - make use of new and emerging technologies to come up with new ideas and formats. Being part of a project like this will help them keep ahead of the curve.


twitter: @stand_stare 


The Lab Collective

The Lab Collective are Joe Thorpe, Natalie Scott, Neil Connoly, Amy Fleming and Antigoni Spanou. They create live performance which transcends traditional forms to produce visceral, interactive experiences for the audience. Treading the line between theatre, installation and game, The Lab Collective empowers the audience to collaborate in their performances. The company has worked in a variety of traditional and non-traditional performance spaces, exploring and playing across disciplines to generate innovative theatrical experiences. The Lab Collective’s work consists of four strands:

  • Interactive, one on one installation
  • Mid scale socio-political performance, which explores current social questions
  • Large scale immersive performance for festivals and alternative sites.
  • Practitioner training in Interactive and Immersive performance

During the CorpusQuod project, the Lab Collective will be providing their expertise in creating interactive and immersive performance at key points in the process, helping to shape research into a viable live product, which has the potential to reach communities and organisations across the UK - serving multiple purposes as a training tool, as well as live entertainment. This project also represents a significant benefit to The Lab Collective, as they grow not only as an organisation, but also as practitioners who are pioneering new methodologies and training for interactive and immersive makers and performers. In-depth research in the field is something the collective feels is incredibly important, not only to them, but the growing sector of Immersive Performance and applied technologies in the wider cultural ecology of the UK.

Immersive experiences (in terms of VR, AR, and live performance) and are fast becoming a popular and increasingly important part of the UK’s cultural ecology, with a broad commercial appeal and significant investment from both the subsidised and corporate sectors. VR, AR and live Immersive experiences are largely separate forms, and the Lab Collective believe that this project offers the opportunity to engage in how they can interact to create a brand-new form - which is an exciting prospect for a burgeoning industry.


Twitter: @labcollective

Thomas Buchanan

Thomas Buchanan provides expertise in crafting compelling experiences with emerging technologies. The studio’s practice is characterised by its consideration of people and its critical approach to designing new experiences with objects, environment, and space.

The studio has worked across a wide range of industries and sectors. It has harvested clouds in the Scottish Highlands for Innis and Gunn to make SkyPA; created useless objects, Chindogu, for Yo! Sushi; explored new ways of engaging with news, with Trinity Mirror, funded by Google DNI; developed a mind-controlled beer pouring robot for brands including Marriott, TEDx, and Twitter Live; designed a concept store for the revolutionary fashion brand, UNMADE; and developed internet-connected objects for audiences in Immersive Theatre.

Based in Bristol, UK, the studio has an international reputation, having worked in Korea, China, India, Japan, USA, and across Europe.


David Hill is founding director of acclaimed cultural development agency ArtReach and has 35 years’ experience in cultural management and theatre and arts event direction, combining senior management and chief executive experience through commercial, subsidised arts and community arts sectors. ArtReach was established in 1996 as a cultural consultancy and has evolved to deliver four key areas of work:

  • Festival and event development, direction and delivery
  • Public art commissioning
  • Arts and heritage consultancy
  • Capital project development for the cultural sector

ArtReach has delivered many exceptional artistic projects and strategic consultancy, including - the Three Cities Create and Connect Festivals project in the East Midlands (2005-2007), and the commissioning of the Mexican international artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer to create Under Scan, which was presented in Trafalgar Square in 2008. 

In 2010 ArtReach created Night of Festivals ( as a multi art form festival to celebrate the values of freedom and democracy through artistic innovation. Night of Festivals has subsequently had 15 different editions in many locations, including London and the Leicester. In the organisation created its first Journeys Festival (in Leicester) to platform the talents of refugee artists and to share refugee experiences through great art.

The festival has now become Journeys Festival International ( with annual delivery in Leicester, Manchester and Portsmouth. This builds on an ongoing role for ArtReach in helping create and support the national Platforma (refugee artist) initiative.

ArtReach has previously worked with Dr Joanna Bucknall as part of experimental research and performance activity tested at Journeys Festival International in Portsmouth. As it continues to evolve and develop the Festival, the company is constantly looking for new ways to share the key themes and issues and to interact with participants and audiences.