Jack Dean returns to The Bike Shed

After the success of Nuketown, Jack Dean is back at The Bike Shed Theatre with his new show Grandad and the Machine.  This steampunk fairy tale for older kids and grown-ups tells the story of a hundred-year-old mechanical monster emerging from the waves.  Suddenly everyday objects turn on their makers and the empire is plunged into chaos.  No one knows why and no one can stop it – except maybe Grandad.  He always was good with a spanner.  That’s why Imogen and her father head north to find him.  Their journey becomes an epic quest across England, leading to the heart of a dark family secret.

Jack Dean is a Yorkshire-based writer, performer and theatre maker who has carried his love of weird and wonderful arrangements of words to many places, from the Bowery Poetry Club in New York, Latitude Festival and the South Bank Centre back to The Bike Shed Theatre in Exeter.  Building on his previous success last summer he’s back – and with a show enriched with politics, ideology, poetry, and live music.  This modern day tale takes on the rise and fall of British capitalism whilst exploring questions of national identity and what makes us who we are.  Like reading Brave New World, it provides a glimpse into what’ll happen if we don’t look after our world as well as being a simple tale about family, belonging, trying to be brave and trying to be free.

The piece recently underwent a Research & Development period supported by Arts Council England, spoken word development agency Apples and Snakes and West Yorkshire Playhouse.  Ultimately Jack wants to tempt people to think about their place in the world, the universe and how change happens.  He wants people to come and have a nice time, be moved, and entertained.  Describing the show, Jack says “The most radical thing you can do is enjoy yourself and help others to enjoy themselves and learn how to be happy with whatever situation you have”.