Performer Sophie stands on a stage area with no set, clutching the back of the office chair and looking upwards as if looking or listening to something high above her. The stage is warmly lit. Sophie's facial expression is excited. Behind Sophie the big screen shows large subtitles that say, "You think it is, but it's not! This isn't ordinary, this moment we're all in." Behind Sophie to her left, the performance sign language interpreter is signing, facing toward the audience.
Sophie performs a scene from Augmented at Battersea Arts Centre's Freshly Scratched showcase. Photo by David Monteith-Hodge

Sophie Woolley – Augmented

Sophie Woolley develops a one-person show about becoming a cochlear implanted ‘cyborg’ in collaboration with dramaturge Sarah Dickenson, director Rachel Bagshaw and accent coach Elspeth Morrison. She will also work with a sound artist and choreographer.

Augmented uses theatrical monologue and dance to explore cochlear implantation – both the effects it has had on the artist’s emotions, life, relationships and identity, as well as the wider, future implications of implant technology. Sophie aims to create a powerful, nuanced personal story of her experience of deafness and hearing.

Augmented seeks to challenge the stigma of implantation by owning and subverting the language and narratives used to describe it.

“If I went back in time to speak to the incredulous person I was before I decided to implant, Augmented is the story I would tell. What happens to a person’s identity when twenty years of progressive deafness is suddenly reversed? In the future, will hearing people try to be like me, rather than me trying to be like them?” Sophie Woolley


12-14 July 2018
1 June 2018


Kendall Masson