The tour of my solo show, Augmented stopped halfway through in March 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Toby Bennett filmed what turned out to be the final performance at Salisbury Playhouse. Gateshead International Festival of Theatre (GIFT) streamed the film of Augmented on Saturday 2nd May. The Festival was wonderful, connecting people around the world and filling us artists and creatives with hope. The audience response online to the streaming of Augmented was wonderful, with people posting photos of scenes and lines as they watched. Augmented got a five star review from A Younger Theatre reviewer, and the Guardian review called the the show a “fascinating insight into communication and expectation, and makes you pay more attention to the noises of the everyday.”
A Younger Theatre reviewer wrote: “Woolley’s performance is emotionally intense but truthful. She shares a deep connection with her audience in the small space and forces them to confront their own prejudices against those who navigate the world differently.”
The streamed show had captions available and audio description at the click of a button and many audience members were glad they could watch from home – because not everyone has the energy or reseources to go to festivals. Is this the future for the performing arts?
“This production is clever. The simple but effective set from Laura Hopkins and Khadja Raza features a white split backdrop, onto which are projected colours, images and the creative captions expertly printing themselves onto the screen. Woolley uses minimal props, (a chair, a book, a hat) and the split backdrop is used as a telephone, a rainpipe, a piano. Josh Pharo’s captions go way beyond practical and become, at times, beautiful. The words dance across the backdrop like a shape poem and give emphasis to Woolley’s speech. ” (A Younger Theatre)
Writer and Performer Sophie Woolley
Director Rachel Bagshaw
Assistant Director Esther Dix
Designers Laura Hopkins and Khadija Raza
Lighting and Projection Design Joshua Pharo
Movement Direction Rachel Drazek
Audio Description Michael Achtman
Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. The original R&D was funded in its development by Unlimited, celebrating the work of disabled artists, with funding from Arts Council England. Originally developed with Ovalhouse. Supported by the New Wolsey Theatre. Augmented is sponsored by Advanced Bionics.