From25/11 on28/11/2020 Théâtre de Liège en ligne

Mark O’Connell / Dead Centre

IMPACT 2020 becomes 100% DIGITAL!


Mark O’Connell’s book was a publishing phenomenon, and the winner of the 2018 Wellcome Prize. It is now almost brought to the stage by Dead Centre. To Be a Machine (Version 1.0) is a socially-distanced early release of a future project from one of Europe’s most innovative theatre companies.

The book is an exploration of Artificial Intelligence, Transhumanism, and the community of people throughout the world who are leading the race to cast off the drawbacks of our bodily existence and solve the modest problem of death.

Theatre is the most live of all art forms, a place where the body takes centre-stage and we witness each other breathing, laughing, crying, living; but at this point of 2020, it has been cryogenically frozen throughout the world – forbidden for the foreseeable future. But will it be missed? It is, after all, often accused of being dead – fake, rehearsed, irrelevant. Performed by a robot to a gallery of ghosts.

In this live-streamed work, Jack Gleeson (Game of Thrones) will attempt to re-model the communal theatre experience for a newly distanced world. In a performance that is both virtual and embodied, audience members will upload themselves into the theatre, as we all work together to re-evaluate live performance, discover what – if anything – we have lost, and try to allow spectators and performers to stare into each others’ eyes once more through a screen.

This adaptation was first presented as a live-audience-upload-experience, as part of Dublin Theatre Festival in October, 2020, streamed live from Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland.


When you book your ticket, you will immediately receive a confirmation e-mail. At the end of the day, you will receive a second e-mail with instructions on how to “download” yourself into the public. You will do this by recording a short video of yourself. This video will be used in the performance. After downloading your video, you will receive a link to watch the performance on the day of the performance you have chosen.


“We may be in for the deadening gloom of a winter of virtual productions but this exciting online show transcends dehumanising platforms and proves that, when it works, it works masterfully.”
★  ★  ★  ★   Sunday Times

“Theatrical innovators Dead Centre take virtual life as both the form and subject… It does, improbably, offer some sense of communion.”
★  ★  ★  ★   Sunday Business Post

“The show to make you mourn live theatre while also getting excited about the potential for using digital technology with inventiveness, style and intelligence.”
★  ★  ★  ★   The Stage





In English with French surtitles


Performed by Jack Gleeson
Featuring Mark O’Connell as himself

Adapted by Mark O’Connell and Dead Centre from the book by Mark O’Connell

Technical Direction and Video Design Jack Phelan
Set Design Andrew Clancy
Lighting Design Stephen Dodd
Sound Design and Music Kevin Gleeson
Costume Designer Saileóg O’Halloran

Production Manager Seán Dennehy
Stage Manager Martina Kavanagh
Sound Assistant Jenny O’Malley
Video Assistant Laura Rainsford
Camera Operator and ASM Maeubh Brennan
iPad ASM Grace Halton
Assistant Costume Designer Ellen Kirk
Make-up Effects Eugenia Genunchi
Chief LX Sebastian Pizarro Oliveira

Software Developer Zac Davison
Graphic Design Jason Booher
The Arm Dylan Tonge-Jones

Producer Natalie Hans
Directed by
Bush Moukarzel and Ben Kidd

IMPACT 2020, Théâtre de Liège presents To Be a Machine (Version 1.0), a Dead Centre co-production with Dublin Theatre Festival. In partnership with The MAC, Belfast. Developed and supported by Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin as part of the European ARTificial Intelligence Lab project. Co-Funded by the Creative Europe. Supported by the Arts Council.



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