Friday, 21 September 2018

Theatre Review- The Time Machine from Gone Rogue


Today I have something a little different! This year I attended the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for the first time and was lucky enough to catch a few shows. It was pretty overwhelming how many shows there were and I honestly wanted to see them all but as I was only in Edinburgh for a week, I would have needed a time machine to see them all- which brings me onto the topic of this post! The lovely people at Gone Rogue offered me a free ticket in exchange for a review of their performance of The Time Machine, and as I already review classics, I thought it would make an interesting blog post! Now I’m clearly not a professional theatre reviewer. My experience with theatre includes seeing a few West End shows, getting a GCSE in drama and knowing practically every song from every musical, but as I’ve never properly studied theatre I don’t know many theatre technical terms so I won’t be using many of those!

The majority of the plays I saw over the week had a proscenium stage, so the first thing I noticed was the seating arrangement. I did do a little research on stage set-up, but the closest example I could find was a thrust stage. However instead of the audience surrounding three sides of the stage, it only surrounded two. The audience was on the same level as the actors and consisted of just two rows. I loved this layout as it created an intimate atmosphere, and made the audience feel included. The stage area was used completely, and the actors performed to every audience member, making everyone feel included. My only criticism of the staging was that there were a couple of times when I couldn’t see part of the stage due to another actor being in the way. There was one point where I couldn’t actually see the shadow puppets due to the time machine and The Time Traveller being directly in front of them from where I was sitting, which was a little disappointing.

The play took aspects from the book, but also from the 2002 movie adaptation. I was happy to see that the majority of the play was based on the book, and the Eloi acted like they do in the books rather than the much more human versions from the movie. However there were also quite a few scenes from the movie that had

been adapted, including The Time Traveller having a name (the same name he had in the movie) and the same driving force from the movie, which is that The Time Travellers fiancé has died and he is trying to find a way to change the past and save her. It was clever how they were able to merge the movie and the book, but as the play was only 45 minutes long, it made me wonder if the movie aspects were actually necessary.

Something that I loved was how the actors didn’t rely on props, and often acted as props themselves. I particularity loved the forest scene, as even though the actors themselves were acting as the trees, it was obvious that The Time Traveller was struggling through and tripping over fallen logs and branches. I did however love the main prop, which of course was the time machine. I loved how it looked so home made as if The Time Traveller had used anything he could get hold of to create his  machine. The costume changes and construction and dismantle of the time machine were done quickly, and there was always something happening on stage to keep the audiences attention. Something else I loved were the Morlock costumes. The sound of them and the red glowing eyes were especially creepy, especially when they started heading towards you!

Something I always love about theatre is when something goes wrong and the actors have to find some way to

fix it. As the actors go through multiple costume changes, there was one scene where one of the actors hadn’t quite got her shirt on right, and one of the other actors helped her out while staying in character. There weren’t too many funny scenes in the play, so this happy accident brought some humour into the play. I also loved how they were able to fix the problem by improvising, as it showed they were able to diverge from the script and then go straight back into it without affecting the plot.

I was overall impressed with this performance, and how it took us on a journey through time in just 45 minutes. These young actors are clearly talented, and I would highly suggest going to see the show if you get the chance. I was also able to catch another Gone Rogue show, a performance of The Trail to Oregon from Starkid, which was


As a huge Starkid fan, I was impressed with their performance, and the actor playing McDoon even gave Joey Richter a run for his money! Hopefully, I will be able to return to The Fringe Festival next year to see what else Gone Rogue have to offer!


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