hcmf//: Jennifer Walshe's 'Personhood' (UK Premiere)

17 November 2023 19:30

Lawrence Batley Theatre

Image © Signe Fuglesteg Luksengard

Oslo Sinfonietta with conductor Christian Eggen and soloist Andreas Borregaard (accordion).

Aedín Cosgrove: scenography
Úna Monaghan: sound engineer
Jennifer Walshe: music / text / direction / video
With additional video by Ragnar Árni Ólafsson.

Stemming from Jennifer Walshe’s fascination with identity, the online world and how we inhabit digital ecologies, PERSONHOOD sees her collaborate with leading contemporary orchestra Oslo Sinfonietta, memorably expressive accordionist Andreas Borregaard and scenographer Aedín Cosgrove. In a time when our every moment is under surveillance, mined and commodified by technology we have extended our consciousness into, what does it mean to be a person? This overwhelming, profoundly original piece is an investigation into our very notions of ‘personhood’.

For hcmf// 2023’s opening concert, Borregaard is subject to a range of tests and procedures carried out by the other musicians on stage. As he plays the accordion, he performs obscure choreographies and is scored on them; how well can he fall over? Move objects? Drink strange-coloured movies? This taps into Walshe’s interests in the performer’s body as an essential and co-creating factor beyond operating instruments, brought into play through movement, dance, touch, song, shouts, screams and more – a discourse she refers to as ‘The New Discipline’.

Borregaard will also be forced to watch films laden with subliminal messages, created by Walshe and guitarist/composer Ragnar Árni Ólafsson. These testing experimentations render the stage an artful laboratory, where a live exploration of who Borregaard is forces the onlooking audience to ask questions of their own individuality, self-worth, presence, and identity.

Produced by hcmf// supported by Culture Ireland and Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.

PERSONHOOD is commissioned by Oslo Sinfonietta, Andreas Borregaard, Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival and New Music Dublin; supported by Arts Council of Ireland.

PERSONHOOD is part of the Sounds Now project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.


Jennifer Walshe - PERSONHOOD (2021) 50’ [UK Premiere]


Tickets* £33 // Concession £27 // Under 30 £7

Advance booking is required.

*£2 of the ticket price paid for this event goes to the Lawrence Batley Theatre Building Improvement Fund

Booking via hcmf.co.uk.



Lawrence Batley Theatre

Queen’s Square, Queen’s Street
West Yorkshire, HD1 2SP

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