H G Wells's The Time Machine

Laurence Owen and Lindsey Sharman
SeaBright Productions
New Wolsey, Ipswich

Fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe comes a musical retelling of H G Wells's classic novel set in a radio studio and performed by quirky writer-performer duo Laurence Owen and Lindsey Sharman.

The year is 1959. Sharman plays a rather exuberant and eager-to-please radio producer let loose on her first project and Owen plays geeky George, who turns up to tell the story of Wells’s time traveller and his encounter in the future of the mutation of the human race into two distinct species—the Eloi, a childlike race living above ground in relative comfort, and the Molocks, who work and live in the underground darkness—a political reflection on the class system of Victorian England.

Using Orson Wells's famous production of War of the Worlds as their inspiration, this is a very humorous, clever and well-written production that recreates the feel of a '50s radio studio with home-grown sound effects and original songs, often underscored by a theremin (a strange device which makes Dr Who-style sounds) on stage and used to good effect.

Owen is an engaging performer and tells the story well, brilliantly complimented by Sharman as the rather zany producer.

The songs add to the experience and help the plot along and the twist at the end is well contrived.

Unfortunately this was only on for one night at The New Wolsey, but nevertheless an entertaining hour that would be recommended if you can catch it on tour.

Suzanne Hawkes