Digital review: The Time Machine (Original Theatre)

The novel by HG Wells plays with the idea of how trime travel might work, and Steven Canny and John Nicholson‘s script has a definite sense of the Mischief Theatre‘s Goes Wrong work without really exploring the limits of how sci-fi can head into comic improvisation.

Filmed at the New Wolsey Theatre, Original Theatre have now made this available as part of their new membership model, with Dave Hearn (a Mischief alumnus), Amy Revelle and Michael Dylan doing their best to take a series of mishaps loosely based on the novel into a two-hour show.

Orla O’Loughlin’s direction gives a sense of period and pace, but rather like all scientific endeavours and machines, it runs out of steam a bit and heads into (family-friendly) disaster.

The audience seem amused as they are more involved by the second half, and the characters turn their hamminess and sillness up to the top of the dial.

Bringing in Cher, Meghan and Kermit as briefly supporting characters, and with a good mix of long, medium and close-up shots, this is a very professional piece of digital theatre – unsurprisingly as Original have really placed themselves at the forefront of online performance.

Just forget about the novel and various film adaptations of The Time Machine, as this show has, and enjoy the play within the play structure and the various bizarre twists and turns this takes without actually showcasing the machine which takes Wells through time at all.

Any show that mixes Riverdance, Richard E Grant, and a bit of rudeness has to have something going for it. It is just a shame that this is all over the place once it gets going.

Watch the trailer here:

To join the membership programme of Original Online (£8.99 per month) go here. The old model of 48 hour rental per production for £5.99 is also available.

The Time Machine will be available for two years to 22 Jun 2025: tickets here.