Review: The Machine Stops at the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth

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Introducing the world premiere production of EM Forster’s classic short story: The Machine Stops, directed by Juliet Forster and adapted by playwright Neil Duffield.

The adaption blissfully outlines the dangers of our society and our reliance on technology.

Forster, best known for his science fiction novels, wrote this prophetic short story in 1909 and it has never been more poignant.

It is set in a post-apocalyptic world where the remnants of the human race have retreated to the sanctity beneath the surface.

Kuno is one of the few that questions their reliance on the giant machine that provides for them ‘eternally’. Can the human race remember what it means to be human?

Although the production itself was held in a relatively confined area, the simplicity of an adaptive set was shown to be a strong point in an engaging and energetic narrative.

The restricted area helped create an atmosphere that felt both futuristic and alien. The actors and crew appropriately captured the essence of the short story by using an enthralling soundtrack and interesting characters and lighting in order to perfect this dystopian world.

With hints of ironic humour and star trek-esque costumes the show was enjoyably stimulating and presented timeless ideas that will resonate in the future.