To Kill a Machine at the Kings Head Theatre
What is the difference between man and machine? This question, posed by Alan Turing back in the 1950s, is the main ethos behind Scriptography Productions’ outstanding one-act play: To Kill a Machine. Turing’s private life has always been shrouded in mystery, from his years at Bletchley Park to his taboo, homosexual relations behind closed doors, but all is revealed through the hammy, yet sinister, quiz show The Imitation Game, which presents periods of Turing’s life like stages in a game.
Catrin Fflur Huws’s script is at times confusing, predominantly in her attempts to describe Turing’s life work, but much like a mathematical equation, one must fully grasp the formula to be able to thoroughly understand. The “formula” in this case is the acting, and where the dialogue is complex, the true message behind the words is revealed through the on-stage relationships between the characters. Jargon aside, this is a play about love, which is beautifully demonstrated in the scene between Turing (Gwydion Rhys) and his secret childhood love Christopher (Francois Pandolfo), where the passion between the pair is both enchanting and electrifying.
The set, a large mechanical tree set upon a circular stage, is minimal yet symbolic, key in developing the plot and direction of the play. Each branch bears a fruit from each stage of Turing’s life, and looms over the stage as a cold reminder to his tragic fate. To Kill a Machine illustrates how talent supersedes aesthetics, and how independence from prop use can still make for a invigorating and energising performance.
To Kill a Machine is a poignant piece of theatre that explores the history of one of Britain’s most wrongly accused victims. With magnificent performances from a small, yet capable cast alongside fantastic direction from Angharad Lee, To Kill a Machine makes for sensational drama. What is the difference between man and machine? Head over to the Kings Head Theatre to find out for yourself.
To Kill a Machine is on at the Kings Head Theatre from the 9th until 23rd April 2016, for further information or to book visit here.
Watch the trailer for the show here: