We saw ‘The Shape of Things to Come’ at Darwen Library Theatre as part of Spot On’s sister project Plugged In. It is coming to Spot On in Fleetwood on Friday 13th March. The show has been developed by Proper Job who toured with Spot On many years ago with a specially commissioned piece about the First World War called “Is There Anybody Out There?”
The Shape of Things to Come is a one man show where an ordinary fifty something bloke in 2015 reflects on the predictions that HG Wells made for the future in his 1933 book “The Shape of Things to Come”. This one man show combines a moving story of contemporary Britain, biographical details of author and thinker, HG Wells and the world collapse that Wells thought would lead to a utopian future for mankind by 2014.
The piece opens with some fantastic animation and projection is very cleverly used throughout. We saw it on its première opening night. There were a couple of minor technical things that need sorting but I’m sure they’ll all be ironed out before it gets to Fleetwood. Rick Ferguson, as Berty has an almost impossible task. The script is rich and full of specific language which must have been a real challenge to learn. If nothing else you’ll come away in awe at Rick’s memory. Again, as the tour progresses, this delivery will become more fluent.
The Shape of Things to Come is undoubtedly a political piece. HG Wells himself was an early intellectual socialist. It makes the audience think about the planet we live on, world inequality, the role of religion in encouraging conflict, health and life expectancy is different countries. But it is not preachy. It doesn’t tell you what to think. This all sounds a bit serious but don’t worry it has its lighter moments (look out for the guide dog in the second half).
It is currently out for a short tour but I really hope that Proper Job bring it back. Perhaps for the future it will need a refining tweak here and there. Once it’s bedded in and honed its pace, I think that this piece has the potential to become a classic. You’ve got an amazing opportunity to see it early before the glitterarty discover it.