The Human Zoo Theatre Company
Influenced heavily by George Orwell and with themes explored thoroughly in various Star Trek episodes, The Hive is a perfect demonstration of how a utopia can become dystopian.
Communicating via screens (cleverly suggested with empty picture frames) and isolated in cells, the human race is safe underground with every need provided for, free of conflict and yet empty.
It only takes one person to question the system, however, and, once this has happened, irreversible changes take place within the community of The Hive.
The plot may be somewhat predictable but the production is visually stunning and is performed with precision and skill. The movement sequences communicate the monotony of life in The Hive and the embodiment of the machines is genuinely creepy.
The pumping soundtrack adds to the tension and claustrophobia whilst the dim lighting for the underground scenes portrays the utility of the environment.
There is of course a love story and inevitably conflict too, all of which is performed by a small and committed cast who demonstrate their versatility.
Stuffed full of theatrical techniques this is a very full hour demonstrating how dangerous a reliance on technology can be but also reflecting that humankind never seems to learn from its warlike mistakes.
This is a compelling and thoughtful production and I’ll be intrigued to see what this company produces next.
Reviewer: Amy Yorston