In spite of the non stop motor mouthing of the sadistic game show host this bloated skit was incredibly slow moving. Kept waiting for the obvious message of consumerism and hypnotic television to develop but it never did. Both me and my companion had to walk out about three quarters through this word salad onslaught. For the rest of the evening we felt as emotionally beaten down as the superficial contestants were physically.
Thanks for the feedback, Dante. Unfortunately for you and your companion, we keep the fully developed message reserved for the end of the play so, by walking out of the performance, you missed it. On the upside, though, it seems you both left the theater with new and interesting feelings and we got to keep your money, so win/win, right?!
Excellent script, somehow even more relevant now than when it was written. Well acted by a small and dedicated cast. And well directed, especially the ending!
Great show. Best acting I’ve seen in weeks. Funny but dark. Would see again because I get the feeling that things change.
Great acting.. the show “plays,” with the contestants and ” plays ” with the audience. Never a dull minute…
The use of the game show as metaphor for what is politely called the American condition is not a new concept … The premise has been used in films such as The Truman Show and Magnolia. CJ Hopkins has made brazen use of this metaphor to create a vicious piece of agit prop … Not only does SCREWMACHINE/EYECANDY beat its audiences harder, but it contains fragmentary glimpses of America’s vastness that leave you breathless.
SCREWMACHINE/EYECANDY starts out as one of those eyes-and-teeth American T V game shows but rapidly descends into something much blacker and almost surreal as America’s relationship with consumerism and the media is unerringly skewered.
As a metaphor for the unaccountable, bullying, shape-changing and fear-mongering face of power in our increasingly media-driven consumer democracies, it could hardly be more potent. One of the angriest and most chilling pieces of political theatre on this year’s Fringe.
If the political-advertising principle of equal time were applied to entertainment programming, every game show would be followed by SCREWMACHINE/EYECANDY. While the game show as a metaphor for the horrors of consumer culture is somewhat overdone, in the hands of CJ Hopkins the conceit is nothing short of a blistering revelation. Hopkins’s body of work owes a huge debt to the absurdists and so manages to blast beyond the merely political or allegorical to the existential. Bits of GODOT and NO EXIT seem present in all his plays.
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