Sensoria festival explores myths and fantastic planets

Sheffield's nationally acclaimed Sensoria Festival returns for its 13th edition, presenting a heady mix of live performances, film screenings, installations, exhibitions plus music and film industry activity across the city.

Wednesday, 25th September 2019, 11:51 am
Updated Saturday, 28th September 2019, 8:57 am
Portrait of Cillian Murphy by Chris Saunders

Opening on Friday, September 27, and running through to the following weekend this year’s Sensoria is on the themes of of Myths and Legends and Fantastic Planet and spans cult and classic cinema, future gazing artists, the latest live scores, exhibitions, installations and on-stage collaborations.

As always Sensoria supports Sheffield talent and will showcase its DIY scene with live bands and short films in an event called Sheffield ‘Til I DIY at Foodhall on Friday, October 4.

It will also Shine A Light on the work of Sheffield photographer Chris Saunders. An exhibition at Trafalgar Warehouse will comprise many of the creative or artistic people he has photographed over the years, ranging from comedian Bill Hicks, captured in 1992, up to muralist Rob Lee photographed a few weeks ago.

World famous film directors, actors, musicians, authors, and comedians on view include David Lynch, Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory, Doris Lessing and Richard Hawley along with aspects of Sheffield’s art scene which he has been photographing for the last couple of years.

It is on view at Trafalgar Warehouse, on Trafalgar Street, on Saturday, 11am to 4pm, Sunday, 11.30am to 4pm and Monday, 11am to 2pm. Electronic musician Holly Herndon will give her only northern performance this autumn on Thursday at The Foundry, Sheffield University Student’s Union.

Orkney composer and multi-instrumentalist Erland Cooper promises a sublime Sunday courtesy of his nature-inspired music and field recordings. His Sheffield debut will be at the University of Sheffield Drama Studio on Sunday when there is support from the Modern Fairies project featuring Ben Nicholls, Barney Morse Brown, Lucy Farrell and Fay Hield.

Breaking Reverie, an immersive sonic light sculpture by Heather Lander with music by Michael Begg, is aninstallation in the pop-up shop on Barker’s Pool from Friday to Monday from 11am to 2pm (Saturday, 11am-4pm, Sunday 11.30am – 4pm).

In the Upper Chapel on Wednesday, Philip Thomas gives a performance of the experimental piano music of Morton Feldman complemented by rare screenings of documentary profiles of visual artists Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, both featuring music by Feldman.

The film programme includes Hollywood musical Dreamgirls at Abbeydale Picture Huse this Saturday, The Heart is a Drum, a documentary that follows the poignant story behind the Motorik beat created by German drummer Klaus Dinger, and Show Me the Picture: The Story of Jim Marshall, celebrating the legendary US photographer, both at the University Drama Studio on Tuesday.

Industry events will also include SensoriaPro, a unique, informal gathering of composers, filmmakers, music publishers, music supervisors and festivals, at Sheffield Town Hall, on Friday, October 4.

Sensoria helps to promote a national profile for Sheffield music with a range of digital resources ( and Sheffield Music Map), and bursaries such as Beats Working Music Journalism in memory of Sheffield Telegraph’s Martin Lilleker.See