The Adventure Machine

You wake up at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Do you a) Retreat under the covers; b) Grudgingly make some toast; or c) Embrace the day with unbridled enthusiasm, because you’re fortunate enough to be in the same city as this rather wonderful show? This is the first decision you’ll make about The Adventure Machine, but if you choose correctly, it won’t be the last.

The Adventure Machine is one of those shows that you cannot outgrow.

The Adventure Machine focuses on two main characters, a young girl and a dwarf called Larry, who are on an epic quest to defeat an evil dragon terrorising the land. How they do this is up to you. For The Adventure Machine is an interactive story show, much like a Choose-your-own-adventure book. The audience is given three cards (A, B and C) at the start of the performance and the narrator of the story frequently stands up and asks for votes on what the main characters should do next.

The show features the majority of the same cast as Shakespeare for Breakfast but these actors take the change of tone in their stride. They do so with such bright smiles on their faces that it makes you happy just to be there.

How varied the plot of the show could really be from these choices is not entirely clear from one viewing. Options were occasionally repeated and others proved to be dead-ends that resulted in the loss of one of the audience’s three lives. Yet there were several tantalising options not chosen by the audience which certainly helped cement the illusion of choice even if the resulting story was largely the same. Similarly, completely new elements are taken from audience suggestion, such as a name for the main character and their best skills.The overall direction of the story is fairly basic, but satisfying and those of all ages will have fun.

There could have been a little more audience interaction: though we were given three cards, card ‘C’ was only an option every so often and there were moments which felt like missed opportunities for more audience interaction, such as decisions made during the climax. Yet overall The Adventure Machine is well worth anybody’s time and is perfect for those with children of various ages, as older children will certainly not feel patronised or mollycoddled. The Adventure Machine is one of those shows that you cannot outgrow.

Reviews by James Beagon

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The Blurb

As you flick through the Fringe programme you stumble across a spoof fantasy adventure for all the family, playing at C venues. But in this show, the audience are called to make the key decisions to guide our adventurers to victory. Should you... (a) Buy tickets now! (b) Consult a passing wizard (c) Enquire about concession prices for elves, or (d) Stay away – it could be a sneaky goblin trick... An irreverent tribute to fantasy fiction, Choose Your Own Adventure and role-playing games that promises to have all ages gripped, amused and entertained.

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