A Machine they're
Secretly Building

Presented by The Lowry + Word of Warning as part of WTF

In Brief

Charting a course from the Top Secret secrets of WWI to 9/11, Edward Snowden and the terror of a future already here…
Proto-type speak up, speak out, blow the whistle and lift the veil.

See their trailer.

Venue + Booking Details

Date: Wednesday 1 March 2017, 8pm
Venue: The Lowry (Aldridge Studio), Pier 8, Salford Quays, M50 3AZ
Tickets: Pay What You Decide on the evening — reserve a free ticket.
IF YOU HAVE RESERVED A TICKET: please note that due to huge demand and limited capacity, this does not guarantee a seat — you must collect your ticket by 7:45pm to gain entry or your ticket may be released.
IF YOU DON’T NEED YOUR TICKET: please let The Lowry know so they can re-allocate to anyone waiting…
IF YOU HAVEN’T BOOKED A TICKET: you may get lucky by waiting at The Lowry box office and after 7.45pm getting a released ticket.
Box Office Tel: 0843 208 6000

Access Information

Age advisory: 14+ (parental/guardian discretion). With no interval, the show lasts approximately 1 hour. Features a combination of spoken text, composed sound + film. Proto-type can provide large-print versions of the script and touch tours in advance of the performance — please email to arrange. For specific age + access information please email or call 0161 232 6086.


I want you to know what’s happening…

From what might be a news desk, an office, a bedroom, a bunker under a mountain or a theatre, two people — reporters, senators, freedom fighters, or just… well… concerned citizens like you — think about what it is to speak up, speak out, blow the whistle and lift the veil.

A Machine… charts a course from the Top Secret secrets of WWI intelligence (via the moon, 1972’s Chess World Championships, a disco in Oklahoma and the cafeteria at CERN) through to 9/11, the erosion of privacy, Edward Snowden and the terror of a future that might already be upon us.

Combining original text and classified intelligence documents with film, music and sound, Proto-type vent their frustration at the insidious machine of surveillance. How did we get to the point where our governments are spying on us, and how is that changing who we are?

Who are they?

A company of multi-disciplinary artists led by Rachel Baynton, Gillian Lees + Andrew Westerside, Proto-type create original performance work that is diverse in scale, subject and medium. Alongside touring AMtSB, this has recently included a two-week long theatrical experience using pervasive technologies (Fortnight), a multimedia concert-performance featuring animation and live laptop orchestra (The Good, the God and the Guillotine — at Word of Warning in Spring 2014), and a radio drama with the BBC.

Since 1997 they’ve made work and supported young artists in Armenia, China, France, the Netherlands, Russia, the UK, the US + Zimbabwe: founded in New York City by Peter S. Petralia (1997-2006), relocating to Lancaster’s Storey Institute (2006-10), then Manchester’s Northern Quarter (2010-14) and now Lincoln’s Cathedral Quarter, they make and support work across the region.

What people have said about A Machine…

An inspired, deeply political essay rounded off by heartfelt empathy.
Alex Ballinger, Oxfordshire Guardian
…a bombastic, dynamic explanation of world affairs since Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013.
I think that we’re all broadly aware of the vast level of surveillance that the government subjects us to. The strength of AMtSB, however, is that their humour and simple, compelling performance presents the facts plainly and directly challenges any sense that this is something that we can simply ignore, or pretend does not apply to ‘people like us’.

Student Comment And News, Lancaster University

A Machine… at The Lowry was profiled in City Life/Manchester Evening News + Lovin Manchester articles about WTF Wednesday’s, and was reviewed by British Theatre Guide.


Written + directed by Andrew Westerside | Devised + performed by Rachel Baynton + Gillian Lees | Digital design + artwork by Adam York Gregory | Original music + sound design by Paul J. Rogers | Stage Manager: Thomas Marcinek | Produced by Matt Burman
Commissioned by hÅb, Lincoln Performing Arts Centre + Warwick Arts Centre.
Supported by Tramway (Glasgow), Lancaster Arts at Lancaster University, the Britten-Pears Foundation, and using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Websites | @Proto_type | #AMTSB | Proto-type on Facebook
WTF Wednesday’s at The Lowry

Performance Programme Spring 2017

Wed 25 Jan, 8pm. Pay What You Decide | Part of WTF at The Lowry
Castle Rock
Thu 16 Feb, 6-9pm. Free | Thursday Lates at the Whitworth during Queer Contact 2017
(I Could Go On Singing)
Over The Rainbow
(Wed 1 Mar, 8pm sold-out.) Pay What You Decide | Part of WTF at The Lowry
A Machine They're Secretly Building
(Thu 16 + Fri 17 sold-out) Sat 18 Mar, 7.30pm. £12/10 | The Studio at Royal Exchange Theatre
Cock and Bull
Sat 1 Apr, 12noon-4pm. Free | Z-arts
Haphazard 2017