Support the Augmented tour Crowdfunder!

Hello! It’s been a while since I posted.  This post is about my launch of the Augmented crowdfunder yesterday.

promotional image of sophie woolley Augmented show. She wears a red dress and has a placid enigmatic expression and sound waves zoom onto her head.
Photo by Justin Munitz

I’ve created a show called Augmented, which tells all about going deaf (in adulthood) and having a cochlear implant. There was nothing in culture which reflected my experience, so I decided to make a show to share the complexity and build bridges between hearing and deaf culture.

Augmented is the inaugural show for my new company, Augmented Productions and produced by Told by an Idiot’s leading producer, Jenni Grainger. The show is in association with Told by an Idiot, a company with a history of touring innovative and provocative new work for the last 26 years.

It’s easy to find YouTube videos of deaf people being ‘switched on,’ but what happens to them after that? Do they become assimilated into ‘hearing culture’? Or are implants not that good?

Having been hearing, deaf and now ‘cyborg,’ I can see the world from three perspectives and I invite you to support my work in sharing my unique perspective.

Augmented is a moving and entertaining solo show, directed by Rachel Bagshaw (Associate Director at London’s Unicorn Theatre).  It features stunning creative captions by award winning Josh Pharo, and design by award-winning set and costume designer Laura Hopkins, with an amazing sound track by Adrienne Quartly.

Arts Council England is supporting the tour and their financial contribution has allowed me to secure some brilliant tour venues all over the country, however there are areas of the budget that still require funding, including: Financial support to stretch our marketing further to ensure the show is seen by everyone, including the scientific community, professionals working with deaf people and children, deaf and disabled people.

I also want to have accessible Q&A sessions after three of the shows on tour and there are additional costs for these which are outside of the production budget. These Q&A sessions are crucial because the show provokes many questions from deaf and hearing people, and provides a platform for sharing our stories, hopes and fears about the future for deaf and hearing society.

I would really love for the show to be seen in London and a well known venue has offered me space to showcase the production in London for three dates. We need additional financial support to make this a reality.

I’ve raised the financial backing from the Arts Council and also Advanced Bionics (who have given me £1000 in sponsorship, which is awesome).

I have just £3000 to go to reach my final target of being able to achieve all I would like to achieve. If you can invest any amount, I would be hugely grateful.  

The Augmented tour dates are, (London TBC):

5th/6th/7th March 2020 Manchester Royal Exchange

10th/11th March 2020  Birmingham Rep

13th/14th March 2020 Salisbury Playhouse

18th-21 March 2020 Plymouth Theatre Royal, Drum

25 March 2020 Cambridge Junction


Augmented Productions launches, supported by Told by an Idiot

As my Clore fellowship ends, I’m proud to announce that I’ve set up a new company called Augmented Productions (named after my forthcoming play, Augmented).

logo for augmented productions

Augmented Productions is over the moon to be partnering with the amazing, brilliant and funny Told by an Idiot for a year-long associateship. Over the next year the two organisations will play together, and grow together, with Told by an Idiot offering Augmented Productions vital support in our inaugural year!  This is going to be SO GOOD.

“I am thrilled that Augmented Productions will be joining us as our first associate company. The brains behind Augmented is Sophie Woolley, a unique writer, performer, and experimenter, who was a crucial part of our project with the Barbican ‘Let Me Play The Lion Too’.Sophie will surprise and challenge us with her playful and provocative work, and it marks a new and exciting development in the journey of both organisations.” – Paul Hunter, Artistic Director Told by an Idiot

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Augmented, the show, is supported using public funding by Arts Council England. Supported in its development by Unlimited, with funding from Arts Council England. Originally developed with Ovalhouse. Supported by the New Wolsey Theatre.

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Augmented R&D photos

Here are some photos (by David Monteith-Hodge) from my Unlimited and Ovalhouse supported writing R&D of Augmented. At the end of the month I shared the script with some invited guests at Poplar Union, to get their feedback.

Thank you to everyone who came to give feedback on the work at this early stage and to palantypist Norma MacHaye for the sharing captions and Martin Fox-Roberts for Q&A interpretation. And thank you all the artists who came to play with me over the last two months, Lucia Tong, Adrienne Quartly, Lee Affen and Martyn Garside and to producer Kendall Masson, dramaturge Sarah Dickenson, director Rachel Bagshaw. I feel very fortunate to be working with such skilled, talented, lovely people. It was great to finally leave my house and work in actual venues – a month at Ovalhouse with extra time and space at Poplar Union, Sheffield Crucible and New Wolesy Theatre.

If you would like to come and give feedback on the next R&D (where I work on performance ideas) you can book to see the public scratch performances for a fiver in advance at Ovalhouse 12-14 July. Every date has live palantype captions. (When the show goes into full production in 2019, the subtitles will be designed as part of the show.) On 13 July there will be an after show discussion which is palantyped and BSL interpreted by Jacqui Beckford.


Sarah Dickenson, Rachel Bagshaw, Sophie Woolley


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Augmented wins Suitcase Day Prize at Pulse Festival.

Sophie is handed a giant cheque for one thousand pounds by James McDermott, a white, blond performer with a goatee. He also hands her an old suitcase covered in show flyers.
2017 winner, James McDermott, hands over the Pulse prize suitcase.

I performed a 20 minite scratch of my one person show, Augmented, at Pulse Festival and won a grand and a loan of an old suitcase!

“The Suitcase Prize challenges theatre makers to think in an environmentally and economically sustainable way. The 10 participants compete to win £1,000 by presenting a 20 minute scratch which can be transported on public transport! Yes, literally in a suitcase!”

Sophie holds up a giant cheque for one thousand pounds. She smiles broadly.

Thank you to everyone who has attended our sharings and contributed feedback.  Thank you to Unlimited for funding the writing R&D and to Ovalhouse and Poplar Union. The script will go through several more drafts.

The full length scratch performances are on 12-14 July at Ovalhouse. Tickets are a fiver in advance and eight quid on the door. The performances are palantype captioned and in the downstairs accessible theatre. Your feedback at these performances will help me create the full production in 2019.

Told by an Idiot

Sophie and Jean are in costume. Jean is faking a heart attack and Sophie is helping her.
Jean St Clair, Sophie Woolley, Photo by Laura Granelli

I learned loads whilst working with Told by an Idiot’s Paul Hunter and Stephen Harper. And from the other eleven actors in the ensemble too. There were extra sessions with Lisa Hammond, Wardrobe Ensemble, Little Soldier and Rachel Bagshaw. I discovered I like playing with half masks. A lot.

We did three improvised Let Me Play the Lion Too performances at The Barbican, along with a panel discussion, due to be broadcast by Sky Arts next March, in a short film presented by Sally Philips.

Every day was fun, exciting, risky and inspiring.


More photos and information about the project here.