A Shiny Life For Me!

a personal review blog by Bianca

The Quatermass Experiment

The Quatermass Experiment
09 September 2023
Alexandra Palace Theatre
4.0 out of 5.0 stars

The Quatermass Experiment is a sci-fi serial, first broadcast in 1953. Only two of the original episodes have survived, but this year, we were treated to a live reading of the original script at the Alexandra Palace Theatre.

The Quatermass Experiment tells the story of the first manned space flight, three scientists took off in a small capsule, but overshot their target. When they finally return, two of the men are missing, and the third is behaving very oddly. Overseen by Professor Quatermass, the team sets out to solve the mystery and find out what happened out there.

It slowly becomes apparent that an alien entity had entered the capsule, absorbing the three men and now adapting to life on earth, trying to take root and populate the planet. The team around Quatermass has to find a way to stop the hostile takeover.

With a large cast that really threw themselves at the material, the live reading was fascinating, bringing the story to life from the script. Despite being a very low-scale production that relied on voices and imagination, it was completely absorbing, transporting us not just to the world of a scientific experiment gone wrong, but also to the first live production of this science fiction drama, referencing filming directions and describing sets and settings.

Sometimes no big dazzling production is needed to bring a story to life, and this was definitely one of those times. We had a great time witnessing a lost production be brought back to life. And while I personally found the ending to be somewhat anti-climactic, I very much enjoyed the hours spent listening to this fascinating tale of innovation, daring, and danger.

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