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Girl in the Machine - Riverside Theatre Parramatta

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by Janelle (subscribe)
I like to participate in life rather than be a spectator. Music, dancing, theatre, travelling, food, cycling and walking are some of my passions. Writing is an enjoyable pastime that allows me to share my experiences.
Event: -
Turn it off, then on again
Theatre, drama, science fiction, Parramatta, future
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The Australian premiere of Girl in the Machine for National Theatre of Parramatta is playing at the Riverside Theatre Parramatta from June 20 to June 29. Written in 2017 by Scottish playwright Stef Smith, Girl in the Machine is set in the near future and is very relatable to the audience examining issues such as work-life balance.

Drama, theatre, future, science fiction, Parramatta, communication, relationship
A gift that keeps on giving (image Noni Carroll)

For fifty minutes, the play explores the loving relationship of Polly and Owen and the tensions that arise from the intrusion of technology into their lives. The subtext of the story is powerful and confronting and examines disturbing issues regarding The Brave New World, where people are citizen-chipped and human interaction is often neglected in favour of technological devices.

Drama, science fiction, relationships, communication, Parramatta
A couple who has it all? (image Noni Carroll)

The action occurs inside a perspex box which acts as the lounge room of Polly and Owen. Judicious lighting and sound effects add to the drama and help set the scene and the simple costumes enhance the characterisation without detracting from the performances.

Drama, suspense, theatre, science fiction, future, loss, grief, communication, Parramatta
The scene of the drama (image JW)

High achieving and recently promoted lawyer Polly played by Chantelle Jamieson suffers from anxiety and finds it hard to switch off until she uses a black box virtual reality relaxation device. It does not take long for her to become reliant to the point of addiction on the technology and for her husband Owen (Brandon McClelland) to regret giving it to her.

Science fiction, technology, life, drama, communication, relationship, Parramatta, drama, theatre
Alone in the dark (image Noni Carroll)

The suspense builds as their relationship is tested with both actors throwing themselves into their roles. Chantelle is totally believable as an addict suffering withdrawal and is ably supported by Brandon in the role of the devastated but caring husband.

Ultimately it comes down to one question. "Do you want to live forever? Yes or No?"
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*Janelle was invited as a guest
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Why? To investigate the role of technology in our lives
When: General Public and Schools Performances Thursday 20 June at 7:45pm – Preview Friday 21 June at 7:45pm – Preview Saturday 22 June at 7:45pm – Opening Night Tuesday 25 June at 7:45pm Wednesday 26 June at 7:45pm Thursday 27 June at 11am & 7:45pm Friday
Phone: Box office 8839 3399
Where: Riverside Theatre Parramatta
Cost: From $30 - $49 plus transaction fees
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