Page extent: 72
ISBN: 9781786821119
Binding: PaperBack

A Machine They’re Secretly Building

Andrew Westerside

PaperBack (01 Mar 2017)

I want you to know what’s happening…’

From what might be a news desk, an office, a bedroom, a bunker under a mountain or a theatre, two people – reporters, senators, freedom fighters, or just… well… concerned citizens like you – think about what it is to speak up, speak out, blow the whistle and lift the veil.

A Machine They’re Secretly Building charts a course from the Top Secret secrets of WWI intelligence (via the moon, 1972’s Chess World Championships, a disco in Oklahoma and the cafeteria at CERN) through to 9/11, the erosion of privacy, Edward Snowden and the terror of a future that might already be upon us.

It is about how we got to the point where our governments are spying on us and how that’s changing who we are.

Additional Information

ISBN13 9781786821119
Binding PaperBack
Page Extent 72


' this smartly intelligent hour-long whizz through the world of surveillance, and the way governments legitimise spying on their citizens, makes you question what we mean by a terrorist and where the real threat lies... The tone is lightly ironic as Baynton and Lees exchange information and gobble secret edible messages, and wrap each other in cling film. But while they may be the only human performers, Adam York Gregory’s dense video design offers a constant barrage of images that sometimes reinforce text and often wittily undermine it... This is coolly reasoned theatre, produced by Proto-type Theatre with stylish aplomb.' Lyn Gardner, The Guardian ★★★★

'After watching Proto-type Theater’s A Machine They’re Secretly Building, it seems somewhat daunting to commit thought to paper/screen. These words captured, recorded and consumed and monitored by anonymous faces out on the web... There’s a chilling Orwellian matter of factness about the delivery, a complicit ‘we know what is best for you’ attitude, as they slowly reveal that privacy and information trading is now the new oil business... this disarming piece, marrying humour with cold chilling face, highlights some discrepancies. Who knew, for example, that you are more likely to be killed by a deer than a terrorist act?' The Reviews Hub

'Every UK resident is recorded on CCTV camera an average of 70 times a day. Proto-type Theater’s show reminds us of this for starters, before moving through a range of more mind-boggling research... It’s confident, absorbing storytelling. There are also reminders throughout that, while we might all be generally aware of the facts, rhetorics and forces at play here (hint: security is big business), we’ve somehow collectively shrugged and moved on. The piece offers moments at which its performers question themselves: what is the alternative to living in this data-driven society? Going “off the grid”? Donning our collective tin-foil hats? Organising, collectivising, rioting? Well, things are generally good, and Google’s quite useful. The weather’s fine. Perhaps we’ll riot tomorrow.' British Theatre Guide