Dead Centre (Ireland)

To Be a Machine (Version 1.0)

Following their 2019 triumphs with Hamnet and Chekhov’s First Play, Dublin- and London-based theatre company Dead Centre return to the HKAF with its live online theatre adaptation of Mark O’Connell’s To Be a Machine. Game of Thrones star Jack Gleeson portrays a character based on O’Connell as he explores the world of transhumanism. The play offers a thought-provoking meditation on humanity’s attempts to address the ageless conundrum of death, with the audience “uploaded” to the theatre, where they observe the play as avatars on iPads.
“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


A unique online theatre experience with Game of Thrones star Jack Gleeson, filmed in front of an “uploaded audience”.

To Be A Machine (Version 1.0) is an adaptation of Mark O’Connell’s Wellcome Prize-winning book by Dublin- and London-based theatre company Dead Centre.

The collective was established in 2012 by artistic directors Bush Moukarzel and Ben Kidd, and producers Mags Keohane and Natalie Hans. Dead Centre created the double-OBIE award-winning Lippy in 2014, and will also be familiar to local audiences for the critically acclaimed productions Hamnet and Chekhov’s First Play which it brought to the HKAF in 2019.

To Be A Machine (Version 1.0) is an exploration of transhumanism, a movement whose aim is to use technology to fundamentally change the human condition, to improve our bodies and minds to the point where we become something other, and better, than the animals we are.
In the midst of a global pandemic transhumanists promise a path to a disease-free digital hereafter where human consciousness survives the death of the body.

Irish actor Jack Gleeson, best known for playing the role of Joffrey Baratheon in HBO’s Game of Thrones, plays a character based on O’Connell. We follow him on his journey from cryonic storage facilities to basement biohacking labs as he meets the prophets of our techno-future. Even the audience’s human form is transcended. The unique online show “uploads” audience members watching from home to the theatre in Dublin, where their avatars form an audience of iPads observing Gleeson as he performs.

Live-stream performance from a theatre in Dublin, Ireland


Jack Gleeson


Mark O'Connell


Mark O'Connell and Dead Centre from the book by Mark O'Connell


Bush Moukarzel and Ben Kidd

Important Notes

After you book your ticket, you will be invited to record a short video of yourself, which is then uploaded to make you part of the virtual audience in the performance. Please check your email on the instruction of recording this video. The performance accommodates a certain number of uploaded videos on a first come, first served basis. However, ticket buyers who are not able to upload the video will still be able to view the performance. You will receive a link to watch the show on the day of the performance.
For ticket booking and details, please refer to the HKAF website.


Performed in English
Approx 50 mins with no interval

Ticket sales will be suspended at HK time 00:00 one day before each performance (For example, for the 23 Mar 9pm performance, the cut-off sales time would be 22 Mar 00:00)