Review: ★★★ The Time Machine, The London Library

HG Wells, infamously known for War of the Worlds, also wrote The Time Machine. Despite being written in the 1800s, both stories are relevant today, and somewhat combined, in Jonathan Holloway’s adaptation for Creation Theatre Company at The London Library.

In this partially immersive production, your small group of 20 is taken through different rooms within The London Library, by your own Time Traveller. For this performance, our Time Traveller was played by the sublime Clare Humphrey. As you go through the different rooms within The London Library, you encounter various other actors, who help build the narrative.

What is unfortunate about this production, is some of the script seems a bit scrambled. At points, it is clever and captivating, especially the section with Sarah Edwardson as DRI; but at other points it seems overly convoluted. Likewise, due to the current climate, aspects of the storyline are a bit on the nose, as it discusses the effect a strain of the flu could have on our future society – leading to the production clarifying that this was written back in 2019.

The setting of The London Library does help alleviate certain moments, and this production definitely is an inspiration to revisit the venue. Most of the rooms in the library are compliment the production, but there is just one room that is a bit harder to navigate inline with the production logistics. The venue is stunning though, and does truly transport you into HG Wells’ world.

Overall, The Time Machine is an exciting idea. Creation Theatre have done an amazing job to work with the beautiful space that is The London Library to make an innovative production, it is just the script that needs some refinement.

Niamh Flynn

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