BWW REVIEW: H.G. Wells' Original Time Travel Story Is Retold In A One Man Show Of THE TIME MACHINE.

BWW REVIEW: H.G. Wells' Original Time Travel Story Is Retold In A One Man Show Of THE TIME MACHINE.

Friday 13th April 2018, 7:30pm, The Playhouse, NIDA Theatres

Directed by Gareth Boylan, the audience is transported back to the Victorian age of explorer clubs and scientific lectures in Frank Gauntlett's adaptation of H.G. Wells' THE TIME MACHINE. Asking the audience to consider humanity's presumption of privilege and superiority, this work poses questions whilst provoking imagination.

BWW REVIEW: H.G. Wells' Original Time Travel Story Is Retold In A One Man Show Of THE TIME MACHINE.
Mark Lee as The Traveller (Photo: Robert Catto)

The NIDA Theatre's playhouse serves as a perfect modern interpretation of the steeply raked lecture halls of Victorian English colleges and scientific clubs where Mark Lee's Traveller addresses a gathering of scientists and explorers. To help confirm the context set designer Derrick Cox flanks the sides of the stage with red velvet curtains topped by filament lamps and carved timber furniture and a mobile blackboard dress the small space. The rear wall leaves space for projections of John Kratovil's charcoal and pastel drawings which help set the scene and illustrate the Traveller's memories of his trip from the 19th century to 802,701 A.D. In addition to the setting, Christine Mutton's costuming which includes cravat and brocade waistcoat helps remind audiences that they have stepped into a different time. Michael Waters sound design and Martin Kinnane's lighting design help to reinforce the story and provide some variety to the monologue that does require a bit more variety at times. Whilst Lee is animated and enthusiastic as he recounts the Traveller's experience he is hampered by the reality that the text is a little dry at times causing focus to wander a points in the 75 minute performance.

BWW REVIEW: H.G. Wells' Original Time Travel Story Is Retold In A One Man Show Of THE TIME MACHINE.
Mark Lee as The Traveller (Photo: Robert Catto)

The underlying message of the work however remains insightful as it forces the audience to consider how we treat new worlds and the unknown. All to often explorers have gone in to new environments and assessed what they see with the prejudice of their own culture without considering that other civilisations can exist in ways that may appear different to theirs. The consideration that the creatures that the Traveller has encountered as being dangerous without fully understanding who they are is reminiscent of western explorers reactions when they came across civilisations of people that looked different to them. There is the implied understanding that the Traveller has caused chaos in a society that he has dropped in to, judged it and left and it serves as a reminder to take caution when interacting with other cultures to not damage them or expect them to conform to our expectations. The message is similar to contemporary science fiction in many ways, particularly Doctor Who's theme of protection and understanding and has a relatability to the current world as we seek tolerance and understanding.

BWW REVIEW: H.G. Wells' Original Time Travel Story Is Retold In A One Man Show Of THE TIME MACHINE.
Mark Lee as The Traveller (Photo: Robert Catto)

For those interested in the classic story or an intrigue in adventure and mystery, THE TIME MACHINE is an interesting theatrical experience where you get to consider yourself as one of the Traveller's peers during a lecture on his findings.

THE TIME MACHINE

11 April - 2 May 2018


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From This Author Jade Kops

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