The Machine at the Studio Theatre

Third Angel have been producing work which encompasses performance, theatre, live art, installation, film, video art, documentary, photography and design since 1995. They have now taken up residence at the Crucible Theatre, and tonight is their third ever performance of The Machine.

Theirs is the first ever English language production of Georges Perec’s innovative and mischievous 1968 radio play. Essentially a deconstruction of Goethe’s poem, The Rambler’s Lullaby II, The Machine uses the playful and innovative medium of a computer program in its dissembling and reconstruction.

What on paper could have gone horribly awry ends up working beautifully. System Control activates the operations designated by the programs in a certain sequence and examines their progress. On stage, System Control is joined by three Processors to examine and dissect the bones of the text. As they start to unravel, a formatting error in the original translation of the text (which was astutely left-in) allows System Control to follow suit as the production reaches its finale.

The Machine is a thought-provoking, intelligent and humorous piece, which challenges us to reassess the way we view written texts; simultaneously intellectually stimulating and entertaining.