The reputation of Steve Jobs, Apple and all its associates precedes this show. The technology giant, infamous for all the right reasons is here examined by self confessed 'technology and Apple enthusiast' Mike Daisey and performed by Grant O’Rourke.
Leading his audience with quips, impressions and gags throughout, O’Rourke gives a seamless and confident performance as he explores the events of Apple's fruity past and the implications of its bountiful future. Though the show is littered with references to specific technological jargon and products, it is delivered in such a compelling and human manner that even a technological imbecile such as myself could not fail to be drawn in.
The areas he explores are profound and thought-provoking; Jobs' expulsion from the company for being (and I quote) a megalomaniac hippy genius and his own experiences of the ways Apple products are made, remain a consideration even after the show. Daisey refers to it as a 'mind virus which has broken the firewall of what we want to see' (the computer metaphors are prolific throughout.) In this he hopes that once we realise how our Apple products are made- by hand is the over-riding answer- we will consider our 'technological stuff' in a different manner.
Not that this show should be considered preachy or dour. An amusing, if slightly unnatural and rehearsed sounding opening by O’Rourke gives way to Daisey's discussion of Apple, its founders, workers and products in a highly amusing manner. A particular personal favourite was an impression of coding genius and co-founder Steve Wozniak which sounded something like a strangled pterodactyl and provoked general hilarity among the audience. These sections of humour and hindsight are interspersed with Daisey's experiences in China, its work force, the conditions and the decidedly human aspect of Apple product creation.
Unexpectedly politically potent 'The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs' is an eye-opener. Light hearted comedic delivery coupled with a resonant and worthwhile message which will force audiences to consider their own role in the developing technological world and beyond.