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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | April 10, 2020

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Brisbane Festival: TRUTHMACHINE

Brisbane Festival: TRUTHMACHINE
Harry Wallace

Are you a fan of innovative artistry? Do you like pushing boundaries, and having your own boundaries pushed? Do you enjoy dark humour and atmospheric tension? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, TRUTHMACHINE is the show for you.

Less a traditional show and more of a theatrical social experiment, TRUTHMACHINE is an interactive, participatory experience from the good folk at Counterpilot. Built for a small audience in an intimate setting, the show sees a group of strangers sat around a table in a dark room. The table contains voting machines that make your answer visible to the audience, and noise-cancelling headphones. Audience members are encouraged to take a seat and don their headphones, and then the fun begins.

The next twenty minutes include probing personal questions with your answers displayed to the audience, top secret dossiers, a government interrogator and subtle background storytelling. This all culminates in an audience member being picked at random to be strapped into a polygraph – the titular Truth Machine. The audience member is given an opt out phrase (read; safe word) and the questioning begins. Boundaries are explored and buttons pushed in equal measure.

The result is a fascinating, enthralling experience, but not one for those of nervous disposition or wallflower persuasion. You will be singled out for an answer at one point or another, and the content ranges from wonderfully bizarre to graphically sexual. While you are free to lie or opt out, you may find yourself considering how much information the act of doing so may convey.

The ‘interrogator’ Paige Poulier does an artful job of engineering dramatic tension and conducts the experience with an impressive presence.  Amusingly, after the show ends, the cast seems a little sympathetic to the audience member strapped into the polygraph offering a hug and a few words of commiseration.

In a world of fake news, comfortable affirmation and traditional fourth wall theatre, TRUTHMACHINE give off an alluring waft of danger and mystery… but follow your senses at your own risk.

Where: Theatre Republic – The Glasshouse
La Boite, 6 Musk Ave, Kelvin Grove QLD 4059
When: September 10 – September 21 2019
How Much: $15

Tickets here

Images Supplied