It’s always fun to feel like you’re being let into a secret. Even more fun when you feel like you’re one of a select few who’re really going to be ‘in the know’. And that’s how I felt watching, nay, being a part of The Time Machine.
H G Wells was a member of The London Library and Creation Theatre have, I was told by the Director of the library, written The Time Machine to be site specific and make full use of the building. That, I can say for sure, they did.
From the start you are accompanied by a Time Traveller (Rhodri Lewis) and whisked into rooms, around corridors, darting through volumes of dusty old books, into the basement holding every copy of The Times since publication, to the reading room to every crevice not normally seen. And this, do remember, is a private library, where all the greats were members – you are literally in literary heaven treading in the footsteps of so many luminaries.
The Time Machine was published in 1895, a fact I could scarcely believe given it was all about time travel. And this, is the main thrust of the night. Jonathan Holloway has adapted the father of science fiction’s best-seller into such a relevant immersive piece, it was as though it was written yesterday, or rather, tomorrow.
I don’t want to give any spoilers, but this production is astoundingly and unnervingly prophetic. But given H G Wells foresaw the advent of aircraft, space travel and biological engineering, it’s perhaps not surprising.
What is more surprising is the interwoven details of truth and lies and fact and fiction. Many times you will find yourself questioning – did that really happen? And lodge it to be checked after.
Creation Theatre have created a thought-provoking and bang-up-to-date production that is so zeitgeisty it feels like the zeitgeist itself.
Reviewer: Samantha Collett
Reviewed: 11th March 2020
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★