The Time Machine – Manchester’s Finest previews the latest production at The Lowry.
Nunkie Theatre have produced a brand new stage adaptation of H.G. Wells’ science-fiction classic The Time Machine. The one-man show, written and performed by Robert Lloyd Parry, will premiere at The Lowry Studio from Thurs 27- Sat 29 June, as part of The Lowry’s ‘Developed With’ programme.
The Time Machine is adapted from H.G. Wells’ 1895 novella of the same name, a story credited with popularising the concept of time travel and influencing generations of successive science fiction writers.
Robert Lloyd Parry plays the inventor of a machine that allows him to travel deep into the future, where he discovers that sinister changes have been wrought by the intervening millennia on human civilisation.
Manchester’s Finest caught up Robert, who you could say is the modern day Dr Who!
MF: The Time Machine is a one-man show-that must be a bit of a challenge for you?
RLP: Well, in the past I’ve toured around and visited The Lowry doing other one-man shows where I tell ghost-stories in an arm chair with a candelabra at the side – (very Jackanory like). This production is a bit different as it is still a one-man show but it is more ambitious, I take on a literary classic plus there’s more to the staging. I have invested a large central prop, which is the time machine.
MF: It’s a pretty big time machine, what will happen to it after the run at The Lowry and Harrogate Theatre later this year?
RLP: I’m hoping the show might have a long life and this short tour is testing it out. If all goes well and the audience like it then I’m hoping to tour it again next year, around the UK and possibly abroad. The time machine folds up and is designed to be flat packed. I’ll just have to find a corner of the garden shed to put it in when I’m not performing.
MF: Were you heavily involved in the look of the time machine?
RLP: Yes, it’s entirely how I envisaged it. I went to a company in London to build it and it’s all my design.
MF: Did you have a burning desire to do a production around H.G. Wells work?
RLP: For the last 5 years I’ve done 4 shows all by the same writer but last year Porl Cooper (who used to work at The Lowry) approached me to say they would support my work and was there any other writer I’d like to explore. I looked along my bookshelf for other authors I had enjoyed reading in the past and I came across H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine which I first read when I was about 13. It struck me that it would be a great story to tell as it’s an adventure tale written in fourth person narrative, which would really respond well to a one-man show treatment. I think it was as long held ambition I didn’t realise I had until last year.
MF: Did you do any research on other versions of The Time Machine as there have been quite a few since the original novel was released?
RLP: Well, The Time Machine is probably best known to people from the 1960s film which is very well loved – although it takes the basic idea of H.G. Wells story but departs a long way from the plot. I wanted to go back to the original story and have tried as far as possible to just use the text how H.G. Wells wrote it himself.
MF: What type of audience did you have in mind to come and see this production?
RLP: In a way I was aiming it at people like me who enjoy well-written, imaginative storytelling. I think it ought to appeal to people who like Dr Who as The Time Machine is the text from which things like Dr.Who emerged. Without HG Wells we might not have Dr.Who as we know it.