Home » London Theatre Reviews » Fire In The Machine at Battersea Arts Centre – Review

Fire In The Machine at Battersea Arts Centre – Review

Fire In The MachineWe all are busy and cannot be bothered wasting our time on anything less than productive. We need entertainment with fun and edgy performers. Have no fear, the audience will have a fantastic time—the machine will make sure of it!

Fire In The Machine is about the pressures of being productive as a young adult and the out-dated values we uphold in our education systems. This young company jumps from scene to scene through a variety of theatre, comedy and even some showstopper karaoke. Presented by the Sounds Like Chaos company, these young performers aged 13 to 21 from Southeast London brought a fresh take to the art of theatre.

This absurd show had it’s own distinct voice and cannot be compared to anything else. One moment a performer is playing charades with the audience and in the next moment, two performers are playing their own guessing game from opposite sides of the room. There were colourful play balls being thrown around for five minutes and then the show would switch its tone to two dancers mirroring each other in a synchronised chant. This silliness level of this show was at an all-time high as performers found games through storytelling, dance, songs and play.

In the midst of all the craziness in this show, there were serious moments too. One one performer sat on stage facing the set lights with her back to the audience and delivered an emotional monologue. It was choices like this one that showed the risks these performers took in devising this piece. This show goes against everything a theatregoer sees as the norm in the most bizarre ways.

Fire In The Machine is a completely out of the ordinary show that takes an audience on a wild adventure. Bright lights, techno-sounds and some 80s influence, this show has it’s own joyous and charismatic voice in theatre.

4 stars

Review by Aly Chromy

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.

Fire In The Machine is a new devised show combining theatre, karaoke and comedy, exposing the pressure to be productive and the outdated values of our education system. 

Sounds Like Chaos are a group of young people aged 13 to 21 from South East London, led by directors Gemma Rowan and Roisin Feeny. They make original performance and are Associate Artists at The Albany. 

Fire In The Machine
22 February – 4 March 2017
Battersea Arts Centre
Lavender Hill
London SW11 5TN
Running Time: 50 minutes, no interval

Commissioned by the Albany.
Running Time: 50 mins
Age recommendation: 12+


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

    View all posts
Scroll to Top