Month September Day 23 Year 2016 Time 20:00
The Time Machine was originally a science fiction novel by HG Wells, first published in 1895. The story focusses on an English scientist and inventor living in Richmond in Victorian England and his story of building a machine that allows him to travel forwards or backwards in time.
Robert Lloyd Parry is the time travelling voyageur, recounting his adventures from the year 802,701 AD. First appearing from a strange box, dishevelled, wearing dirty long johns and threadbare socks.
He tells an 'unbelievable' tale about the future; about the simple, beautiful and graceful but frail Eloi and the Morlocks; nauseating inhuman spider-like savages who live underground. As his story unfolds, we learn that the Morlocks have trained the Eloi to march mindlessly into their underground caves were they are then devoured. The Time Traveller then goes on to suggests that the human race has evolved into two species: the upper classes have become the Eloi, and the downtrodden working class have become the Morlocks. However this is only part of the story of the two tribes relationship.
This one-man show relies on Parry’s energy, storytelling ability and physicality; to bring to life the story of the time he spent in the future. Performed with an air of disbelief and wonder, Parry gives the story a sense of unbridled enthusiasm and adventure, whilst delivering a stream of consciousness that feels both spontaneous, utterly natural and unrehearsed. Parry simultaneously walks his character along a thin line that hovers between madman and genius, whilst keeping an air of excitement and unease.
Parry is assisted in creating a wonderfully atmospheric world by the use of deceptively simple lighting and sound; the ticking of the clock makes his initial monologue powerful and intense, and like the clock, Parry is always moving; relentlessly giving energy and life to his character. Simple props are used inventively to add to the quality of the overall performance.
Parry is a compelling and totally gripping storyteller, creating a real and tangible sense of wonder, with exquisite vocal tone and pace, which in its self a masterclass in acting, and also manages, especially during the quiet and still moments, to hold the audience in the palm of his hand.
If I could use the Time Machine I would set the clock to:
Month September Day 23 Year 2016 Time 20:00 and go back to experience this wonderfully compelling and totally consuming show that, at its heart, sits a deeply engaging story.
Reviewer: Mike Neary
Reviewed: 23rd September 2016
North West End Rating: ★★★★