★★★★★ Review: Fire in the Machine at the Battersea Arts Centre
Generation Z take center stage in this fabulously fun yet timely and thought-provoking look at the challenges faced by Post-Millennials
One might feel that Generation Z has nothing to complain about – but to so feel is to ignore, or undervalue, the feelings of anxiety and fear of inadequacy felt by a generation under more pressure than ever to perform, to produce, to stand out and succeed.
Fire In The Machine, from performance company Sounds Like Chaos, artfully and playfully combines theatre, karaoke, dance, mime, spoken word and comedy to shine a light on the pressure on young people to fight their way to the top, whether they want to or not.
If you’re the type who things young people complain too much, this one might not be for you – then again, maybe you’re the target audience. Fire In The Machine is part talent contest, part job centre, part therapist’s couch, and part Hunger Games arena: a surreal yet all-too-familiar metaphor for the genuine challenges faced by the youth of today.
Fire In The Machine is a riot of fun, expertly performed in that way that seems all at once polished and fresh. There are comedic highs and poignant lows, thoroughly enjoyable (and voluntary) audience participation, a kaleidoscope of colours and sounds, and confrontations that will leave you flinching in your seats (you’ll be just fine, I promise).
It takes confidence and skill to make a serious point whilst still entertaining your audience, and Sounds Like Chaos – led by directors Gemma Rowan and Roisin Feeny – pull it off with no small amount of DIY style and cheeky charm. Fifty minutes of five-star fun.
Real genuine hard-working performers will be fine, the machine will make sure of it.
Sounds Like Chaos know how to use your time. Fire In The Machine is productive.
We will be efficient, we will maximise our potential and we will be useful to you, to London and to the world. We will commit to driving the show forward, to growth, to ensuring we are firing on all cylinders. And we’re all going to have a really great time.