A new commission written by veteran playwright Tan Tarn How, Machine had its first reading of its first act in March 2001. Since then, it has been developed into a full-length drama about love and relationships in modern times – an uncharacteristic subject from Tarn How, who is well-known for his political satires.
A strange tale of two men, Rex and Heng, who turn up at the home of listless friends Lina and Kim one day. The men claim to be appliance repairmen, though they don’t always behave like the real thing, and proceed to fix their washing machine. Half encouraged by the girls, half imposing their own way, Rex and Heng stay on for longer than seems necessary to change the tumbler motor. Love-sex-romance happens, need-want-desire is pursued. But in these times, can satisfaction be met, much less guaranteed? A chillingly unsentimental exploration of the foursome’s strange, out-of-this-world relationship that gives no allowance to the usual pieties of life.