Strange to report that the least interesting aspect of this adaptation of The Time Machine is the stuff written by HG Wells. In a devised production by Jordan & Skinner, four actors take turns wearing an outsize top hat to tell the story of the Victorian gentleman who leaps ahead to the year 802,701 and finds humanity has evolved into a two-tier society. Languishing on the surface are the Eloi, as feeble as they are privileged; suffering in subterranean gloom are the Morlocks, an underclass of hard-working cannibals.
These passages from the 1895 novella are not so much dramatised as spoken aloud, the author’s radical warning about the consequences of industrial exploitation remaining more literary than theatrical. Despite attempts to physicalise the divided human race – the Eloi, weightless and bendy; the Morlocks, lumpen and crouched – the production holds back from immersing itself in this future world. [READ MORE]