A Machine To See With

Making sure that I arrived exactly five minutes early, as instructed by the lady at the box office, I promptly passed my telephone details to a stranger and had left the venue in no more than three minutes. No, this isn’t the shortest show ever to grace the Fringe but rather a feat of technological efficiency operating around the backstreets of Edinburgh. Placing the individual at the heart of a heist movie, A Machine to See With is a phone recording that guides the participant as they attempt to rob a bank.The biggest danger with this kind of project is physically losing your audience. Thankfully orders are delivered with clarity and timed to perfection; organisers have clearly taken great time over the personal journey that each audience member will experience. It is hard to imagine how the project could have been better planned, as even long periods of walking or waiting around are filled with discourse which holds the audience’s attention. These are the most enjoyable parts, as we are encouraged to examine the crowds that we walk past every day.In comparison, the heist itself is a bit of a letdown. Observations of the surrounding environment are variably successful in building an atmosphere of paranoia during the first half hour, but as we approach the bank there is a sudden rush of adrenaline. I won’t reveal the course of events when we actually reach the bank but it is a slight anti-climax, even if it would be verging on impossible to do it any other way.No, the most exhilarating aspect is the danger of interacting with a stranger. A meeting of eyes, a gentle smile or a small act of kindness are uncomfortable actions in such a socially disconnected age and A Machine to See With has a good stab at overcoming this isolation.

Reviews by Sam Kingston-Jones

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
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The Blurb

Have you ever wanted to rob a bank? A Machine to See With blends secret missions and high adrenalin as you walk through the city. An interactive heist movie with you playing the lead.

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