Matt Smith and Claire Foy to perform Lungs (plus 5 plays that could have the same social distance treatment)
Review: The Machine Stops - Big Telly Theatre draws on prescient EM Forster story for latest live stream

Coming soon: Isolation story The Machine Stops becomes the latest live Zoom production by Big Telly Theatre

A short story written by E. M. Forster in 1909 about people living in isolation will get the Big Telly Theatre live performance in lockdown treatment next month.

The Machine Stops

Eerily pertinent to now, the story is about people living underground on their own in cells and illustrates the Victorian era's culture, thinking and fears just as the western world was beginning its accelerated journey into modernity.

Big Telly describes the piece as an escapist adventure into a steampunk world of curious Victoriana - flowers with secret messages, dining in the dark, tea-duelling, crystal gazing, parlour games and more and that audiences should expect to be surprised, charmed and possibly slightly unnerved.

“A story written over 100 years ago about lockdown about the impact of isolation, what we stand to gain from technology and what we stand to lose from the absence of human contact.

"We just thought it was perfect for now, and it’s a story of hope really. Of course, we will have fun with it, but the power of the story is firmly at the heart of it,” said Zoe Seaton, Artistic Director of Big Telly Theatre.

Like Big Telly's previous two productions, The Tempest and Operation Elsewhere, The Machine Stops will be performed by actors via Zoom from the safety of their own homes and will also be interactive for those who want to get involved. 

The Machine Stops is being produced in partnership with Riverside Theatre, Coleraine and Ulster University and is being performed on June 6 and 7 at 3 pm and 7.30 pm. 

Tickets are £15 and details can be found at

Related posts:

Interview: Zoe Seaton talks about the challenges and opportunities of producing live theatre during lockdown

Review: Big Telly Theatre's live virtual family show Operation Elsewhere

Review: Creation Theatre and Big Telly Theatre's live virtual interactive The Tempest