Created by Walk the Plank with Thingumajig Theatre
Originally created for the Manchester International Festival, The Difference Engine was an interactive journey through the courtyard of the Manchester Town Hall (July 2009) and then the 1830’s Warehouse in the Museum of Science and Industry (November 2009).
Charles Babbage, the inventor and mathematician who in the 1830’s designed what could have been the first computer, is trapped in the synapses of his own preserved brain! The audience sets off on a steampunk adventure to help Babbage by solving the spider’s riddles, decoding the counting madman’s Hall of Shadows, and discovering the secret workings in the Arcade of Inventions.
Alongside the show, a programme of engagement with six local schools was led by The Centre for Urban Education. As part of the Creative Partnerships ‘Enquiry’ programme, children, young people and their teachers worked with creative practitioners to explore ideas inspired by The Difference Engine.
“… the highlight for us was Walk The Plank’s interactive play, The Difference Engine, about the inventor of the earliest computer, ingeniously woven around the town hall’s atmospheric courtyards…” –Paul Ogden, CityLife
Producer: Liz Pugh
Writer/Dramaturg: Kathy Kim and Andrew Kim
Director: Andrew Kim
Designer: Jo Pocock
Machine Makers: Tim Greaves, Jon Large, Bryan Tweddle
Set, Props, Puppets: Eilidh Bryan, Michelle Jones, Emma Jean Kemp, Gill Smith
Performers: Eilidh Bryan, Tony Cairns, Paul Hine, Andrew Kim, Kathy Kim, Sonya Moorhead
Costume: Ildiko Szabo, Fi Carrington
Sound Design: Spencer Marsden (Sound by the Tube)
Original Music Kathy Kim
Lighting Design: DBN Lighting
Production Management: Billie Klinger, Sandra Blue, Lela Keighley
Stage Management: Sandra Blue