Adapted by Neil Duffield, The Machine Stops premiered in the York Theatre Royal Studio in May 2016, before embarking on a national tour.
York Theatre Royal and Pilot Theatre’s co-production of the show will be available to watch online from Tuesday 23 March to Monday 5 April 2021.
The 1909 short story by E.M. Forster is set in a futuristic, dystopian world where humans have retreated far underground and individuals live in isolation in ‘cells’, with all bodily and spiritual needs met by the omnipotent, global Machine.
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Director, Juliet Forster, said: “Over this last year, I have thought about this piece many times as the world around us seemed to grow more and more like the incredible world that E.M. Forster imagined. Things like human contact and human touch becoming something that’s almost taboo, things that are really striking and even more relevant now.”
‘The Machine Stops’ stars Caroline Gruber as Vashti, Karl Queensborough as Kuno, Maria Gray as Machine/Attendant and Gareth Aled as Machine/Passenger.
It features a soundtrack composed by electric music pioneer John Foxx, and analogue synth specialist, Benge. The production was directed by York Theatre Royal’s creative director Juliet Forster, and was designed by Rhys Jarman, with lighting design by Tom Smith and movement direction by Philippa Vafadari.
Esther Richardson, artistic director of Pilot Theatre, said: “When we produced The Machine Stops in 2016, it already seemed an eerily prescient piece of work.
“It’s fantastic that, having spent the last year in different forms of isolation and on screens, we have the opportunity to share this great production, which will now sing with new meaning, meeting a new audience in a new context.”
The filmed recording was edited by Ben Pugh and will be released online with permission granted by the E.M. Forster estate.
The production will be available to view for free, but the option to donate will be available which will be split equally between York Theatre Royal and Pilot Theatre.