Performed as part of Manchester’s ‘best of the fringe’ re:play festival, Killing Time’s Future Shock is a thoughtful and intriguing sci-fi drama.

Suspended in hyper-sleep for over a thousand years as part of a Nasa-funded science experiment, Laura expects to wake alongside her astro-physicist partner after the year 3000. When the programme maintaining Laura’s hyper-sleep runs out of funding, she is forcibly awoken 100 years early by an implacable corporation that thrives on bureaucracy. Stranded 800 years out of her own time, Laura must find a way of travelling 100 years to her lover.

Within the confines of a suitably claustrophobia-inducing monochrome set, the performances are energetic and assured.  The cast of three have a real chemistry and under the eye of director Elisa Amesbury they create a clear and emotional story from Richard Stockwell’s dense and complex text.   

The writing is strong. Quietly provocative, the narrative that unfolds set 800 years in the future is perhaps unsurprisingly timely and current. Raising questions of public and private responsibility and the ethics of technological and scientific development, Future Shock debates and demonstrates the space where art and science might meet.

That said, there are genuine moments of humour and lightness to be found within the piece, which is firmly centred around well-realised characters.  

First performed as part of the 24:7 festival which champions local new writing, then selected here for The Library Theatre & The Lowry’s Re:play, Future Shock is a solid example of the high calibre, exciting work being produced on Manchester’s thriving fringe scene.

- Sara Cocker