The Machine Stops 6 & 7 June

The Machine Stops 6 & 7 June

And so, we departed from Elsewhere and Little Telly became the thing. An ensemble of established and new artists whose ambition reached further than we could have hoped for. One read through of the almost prophetic 1909 short story by E. M Forster – ‘The Machine Stops’ and we’re in production of an adaptation for another live Zoom show.

A steampunk world of Victorian curiosity, where humans exist in underground isolation, living only through ‘The Machine’. Where normality is bizarre technology, and the world outside the machine a deadly place. But here, amongst the strange and the odd … there is hope.. ‘Because any moment, something tremendous may happen’.

Promo Trailer

In 1909, E.M Forster wrote the short story ‘The Machine Stops’. It imagined a world where the human race lived in total isolation underground, shunning contact with each other, except through the machine. The Victorian author could surely not have envisaged how prophetic his words would be for a 2020 of lockdown and self isolation. Where loving words, reminiscences and even theatre are exchanged across the internet.

We have an amazing ensemble, who as per Zoom demands, are performers, self video designers, their own technicians, props makers and set designers. No mean feat. We have …

Anna Healy (Vashti)
Gary Crossan (Kuno)
along with Jonny Cameron, Nicky Harley, Emily Lamey, Rosie McClelland, Niamh McEnhill and Christina Nelson
And David Morgan – whose wizardry is producing all kind of steampunkish props, sets and special effects.

This one, we’re experimenting yet agin. Not just with what’s possible on Zoom. We are also working in partnership with The Riverside Theatre and Ulster University, and in association with The Marketplace Theatre Armagh, The Portico of Ards, Newry, Mourne and Down DC and Ards and North Down BC. More than ever, we want to support the sector – the artists and the venues and promoters who normally, we’d be touring with and working with. If we can pull together, we can help each other through this remarkably difficult time. Partnership working is crucial now.

As well as the shows (via The Riverside’s box office), this project is offering two additional special events. A post show discussion about the future of theatre and the arts (8pm+ Sunday 7th) for sector professionals and academics – and a ‘Meet The Makers’ Q&A session after the Sunday 7th Matinee (4.15pm) for makers, students, school groups and drama groups – anyone who may be considering producing a show on Zoom or anyone interested in how it all works! Group bookings for the show get free access.

This is a really special piece of work, based on a story that couldn’t be more relevant to our lockdown times. The themes are so present, its spooky! We are so happy to be developing this with the ensemble and pushing the envelope of Zoom even further.

The shows are 6 & 7 June at 3pm and 7.30pm

For all event details and to book tickets visit

We hope to see you in the Machine!!


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Big Telly Theatre Company c/o Flowerfield Arts Centre, 185 Coleraine Road, Portstewart, BT55 7HU

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