The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs

Mike Daisey

Gilded Balloon

From 01 August 2012 to 27 August 2012

Rating: ****

Review by Catherine Lamm

In The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, Mike Daisey gives us his homage not only to the legendary icon of the personal computer but his passion for all of the computer-based gadgetry. In the first couple of minutes we learn of his discovery as he burbles on; “my only hobby is technology”, “I love technology”, “I love Apple most”. He speaks of the operating system as religion.

Grant O’Rourke excellently helms this adventure and his is dead perfect for it. He makes this very much his own as he starts to delve into Steve Jobs’s history focusing on his relationship with Steve Wosniak in early days and John Scully in his battle with and for Apple.

Intertwined Daisey tells us about his pilgrimage to Shenzhen, China and the factories of Foxconn. Does Apple know about this factory the size of Edinburgh and the 13-year-olds that work there and the 16-hour days? Well, we know. Daisey challenges us to do something. “The rest of the story is in your hands”.

Most of what Daisey has written is public knowledge and public domain. Going back to The Jungle by Upton Sinclair and the endless exposés on film and television that have followed, Daisey asks us to take another look at our own position in the global community.

But we love our iPods and iPhones. We love to get them at a bargain. We even allow the billions as due the now grown-up kids who were the geeks and nerds just having fun during the industry’s infancy.

But Daisey’s relationship with truth and facts has recently been brought into question. So we might be allowed to be a little suspicious of what he tells us of his trip to China. But this is a theatre piece, so he is allowed poetic license. We should just be aware that this is theatre.