Butterfly Theatre and Immersive|LDN are combining their expertise and experience in all aspects of immersive theatre to bring a series of Immersive Acting Courses that are a much-needed industry game changer. These courses will bring professionally trained, conventional theatre actors into a different world of acting, as well as giving an opportunity for newcomers to the industry, to get a taste of immersive theatre acting, in a real, functioning west end immersive theatre venue. All courses are part-time and built on a new method of actor training -The Gonsalves Method which is rooted in The Meisner Technique, and has been developed exclusively over 10 years by Butterfly’s immersive industry professionals. It is led by Aileen Gonsalves – RSC Director and Artistic Director of Butterfly Theatre.

Dates: Every Monday from Monday 17th Jan – Monday 21st Feb

Duration: 6 Weeks – Total Course 48 Hours (2 flexible extra evenings – 3 hours each) for script analysis/one to one feedback

Time:  Mondays 9.30am-5:30pm at Immersive LDN in Mayfair

Cost : £450.00 – Book Here 

Eligible For: Graduate level professional actors – must have a relevant
degree or equivalent professional experience

Entry Requirements: – A CV and short statement about why you want to
take part in the course will be required upon booking so we can establish your
level of experience. Please send to If you are unsure about your eligibility for the course or which course is the right choice for you, then please do get in touch, we’d be happy to help!

Acting is fun, exhilarating, heart soaring and electrifying  – but only if it’s truthfully connected, alive and moment to moment. Immersive theatre also requires specific skills – stamina, playfulness and bravery. You need to be able to engage with an unpredictable audience standing a foot away, pull them into a different world and hold them there, and touch their hearts by being authentically connected with them, as the story unfolds around you. All of this you will explore in this unique course. The Gonsalves Method will give you everything you need to do this reliably and consistently across all kinds of immersive productions. Come and be at the start of the revolution – theatre that makes everybody feel something real.

Dates: Monday 17th Jan – Monday 21st Feb

Duration: 1 evening a week for 6 Weeks – Total Hours 18

Time:  Mondays 6pm – 9pm at Immersive LDN in Mayfair

Cost:  £240 – Book Here 

Eligible For: Curious people new to acting – no previous experience required

Entry Requirements: – A short statement about why you want to take part in the course will be taken upon booking. If you are unsure about your eligibility for the course or which course is the right choice for you, then please do get in touch at we’d be happy to help! 

If you’ve never done any acting and want to dip your toe into the fantastic world of immersive theatre, this course is for you. You already bring your unique, authentic self but we can give you skills in truthful connection, voice, stagecraft, script analysis and improvisation that will help empower you as an immersive performer. We will train you to see clearly and respond honestly from your point of view. You will be introduced to the The Gonsalves Method’s simple, methodical Five Conditions including Objectives and Emotional Preparations as well as other skills like Laban’s Movement ‘Efforts’ to help you create character. You will need to be brave, be prepared to commit and trust your fellow actors, in order to dive into this world of magical storytelling immersed with an audience. The journey starts here…

Dates: Sunday 23rd Jan – Sunday 27thFeb

Duration: 1 evening a week for 6 Weeks – Total Hours 18

Time:  Tuesdays 6pm-9pm at Immersive LDN in Mayfair

Cost: £300 – Book Here 

Eligible For: Experienced immersive actors wanting to learn a new
method that will provide a consistent process to work from and ownership
of your work. – must have relevant experience performing in immersive
productions professionally.

Entry Requirements: – A CV and short statement about why you want to
take part in the course will be required upon booking so we can establish your
level of experience. If you are unsure about your eligibility for the course or which course is the right choice for you, then please do get in touch at, we’d be happy to help!

This course is for the experienced immersive actor already out working in the industry. We understand how you work and we’ve got something to offer you that can make your job more fulfilling. In this intensive weekly evening class you will learn the fundamentals of The Gonsalves Method which will give you power and autonomy to develop your craft and your own process. It will give you a new way to approach the common issues of immersive theatre such as engaging with the audience truthfully, mastering direct address, and managing those unpredictable audience reactions whilst staying authentic. You will learn the challenging skill of using tactics and how to build on those crucial moments of connection. Also, how to more effectively ‘use what is at your disposal’ including the audience and their reactions. You know and love this medium: now gain ownership of your process and become a creative equal in the creation of the work.

Why do I need this training?

Immersive Theatre is the new way of doing theatre and is more popular now than ever before. From Punchdrunk to The Great Gatsby, more and more companies are creating immersive productions and are constantly developing new ideas and better ways of immersing audiences into storytelling.

Immersive theatre comes with added risks that differ from conventional theatre, due to the increased proximity and interaction with the space and the audience. It requires skilled, brave, reliable and open minded actors. For this reason, immersive companies look for immersive experienced actors when casting their shows. This training will give you all the skills you need in order to be a great immersive actor, will enable you to build on skills you already possess and gain confidence to use them in this new fast-growing area of theatre.

Everything you learn here will put you on the front foot and in charge of your process, confident in your ability, to be truthful and spontaneous in any acting context for the rest of your career. This will undoubtedly make you stand out.

Why is Immersive acting different to ‘conventional’ theatre acting?

It is more exposing. You cannot hide, the audience are close up, unpredictable and will talk back.

You have to interact with them which very much puts your performance is in their hands. You really do have to be truthful and connected to both them and your fellow actors. You have to move the audience around the space and seamlessly move in and out of text and improvisation. It requires spontaneity, bravery, flexibility and a grounded method that will back you up in all situations.

What will I gain?

You will walk away from this training feeling empowered to tackle any type of immersive show. Confident in your ability to engage authentically with your audience. You will discover how to use everything at your disposal and own the different spaces. Learn how to be ‘in the moment’.

You will gain and practice the skills to think fast, be flexible, be authentically responsive and be consistently present. Increase your boldness, playfulness and bravery. Expand your ability to take risks, trust your fellow actors, talk directly to an audience and most importantly, trust yourself and your process as an actor.

Other benefits of training with us include:

– Becoming part of the Hartshorn-Hook and Butterfly Theatre communities

– Inclusion on our website graduate page for industry professionals seeking trained immersive actors.

– First invitations to audition for Hartshorn-Hook and Butterfly Theatre productions.

– Access to ongoing weekly Gonsalves Method drop in evening classes

– Discounted workshops and Sunday Masterclasses

– Discounts on food and drink in the The Lucky Club

– Invites to Hartshorn/Hook and Butterfly open dress rehearsals.

Who is Aileen Gonsalves?

Aileen has worked in theatre for over 25 years. She is an incredibly
experienced and established theatre practitioner having directed and taught in many of the UK’s top theatre institutions. She has a wealth of experience
gained from directing at the RSC internationally since 1997. She is also an
associate director with Kali Theatre.

Her Immersive, site specific theatre company Butterfly Theatre perform in
extraordinary locations across Europe. They specialise in truthful and
connected live, immersive performance. All Butterfly actors are trained in The
Gonsalves Method, an acting process developed by Aileen herself.

Her teaching experience includes; Head of Acting MA at ArtsEd – 2011-15,
Head of Acting at Drama Studio London and she also regularly teaches at
RADA and UWL. She teaches Masterclasses in The Gonsalves Method in
New York, Europe and the Middle East as well as across the UK and online.

Aileen’s book Shakespeare and Meisner that she co authored with Dr Tracy
Irish for the Bloomsbury Arden Performance Companions Series explores
The Gonsalves Method and its use by Aileen’s Theatre Company Butterfly
when working with Shakespeare.

What is the Gonsalves Method?

A practical, methodical acting process rooted in the Meisner Technique that has been developed by Aileen Gonsalves over her extensive career. It has been used in many immersive productions in very different environments over the past 10 years. It empowers the actor to see clearly and be responsive moment to moment. It creates authentic performances that make the audience feel real emotion, due to the actor feeling something real and being truly connected with everything and everyone around them.

What industry professionals say about working with Aileen:

Insightful, generous and provoking. Aileen’s way of working manages to be both life affirmingly inspiring and down to earth practical. Rigorous and intensive theatre-making with a big smile.

– Ian Wainwright, Project Producer, Royal Shakespeare Company.

You can always rely on Aileen to bring a mischievous and enquiring mind to any project. She’s a real force of nature.

– Kevin Fitzmaurice, Producer, Secret Cinema

 To experience Aileen’s method is to be given tools for life! It’s no exaggeration to say that she is one of the foremost performing arts innovators of our age.

– Dr Chris Laoutaris, Lecturer at the Shakespeare Institute and author.

‘Let it matter, speak with how you feel are just some of the things Aileen has instilled in me that have seen me through in the arts and in life.

-Yasen Atour, Actor, – Witcher, Ben Hur, Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation, The State, Marcella,

Your Tutors

All our tutors are working professional actors, directors and teachers. They have extensive experience across the industry and in immersive work specifically. They are all trained in The Gonsalves Method and have been practicing it (both as actors and directors) and teaching it over the past 10 years. They all share a passion for the process and the empowerment it gives all actors.

“Having used it for so many years, we know it works and now we want to share its benefits with other committed, like minded actors. We want to help them grow as performers and share with them skills that they can use not only in immersive work but also across their careers, in order to raise the standards of truthful authentic theatre across the board.”

How do I apply?

You can book a place on any of our courses by going to (insert ticket page).
For the Specialist and Intensive Acting courses, a CV will be required, and for
all three courses, including the Foundation course, a short statement about
why you want to take part in the course will be required, upon booking.

This is so we can establish your level of experience and suitability for the course. If you are unsure at all about which course is the right choice for you, then please do get in touch with us at we would be happy to help!

Talk to us

You can book a meeting or a telephone call with our team where we will be happy to answer your questions regarding our courses, and find the right option for you. To book a meeting please first email us at