Monday 30 & Tuesday 31 July | The Blue Lamp | 7.30pm | £7/£5 conc.
To say there’s a bit of a backstory to this play is an understatement; in 2010 American monologist Mike Daisey debuted a new show based on his visit to the city of Shenzhen in China, where the world’s largest manufacturer of electronic components Foxconn have a huge complex of factories making, among other things, parts for iPhones and iPads.
Daisey’s monologue ‘The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs’ told tales of under-age workers, toxic chemicals and industrial accidents and was met with widespread critical acclaim. However, when excellent US Public Radio show and podcast This American Life broadcast a version of it, Shanghai-based journalist Rob Schmitz smelled a rat, the ultimate result of which was Daisey admitting that elements of his story had been fabricated. This American Life then put out a show called “Retraction” in which you can hear from Schmitz, a woman named ‘Cathy’ (the translator Daisey used on his trip), and a rather uncomfortable Daisey attempting to explain himself (it’s a fantastic listen).
Despite the ensuing media storm, Daisey continued to perform his monologue with the offending fabrications removed (which he claimed amounted to about five minutes of material).
All of which brings us to the Blue Lamp, where new local theatre company Aberdeen Launch PAD will perform a version of the show which has been adapted for seven actors. Don’t let the controversy surrounding it put you off; it’s still a great story and should be a very interesting night out indeed. You can even have a beer while you watch, I’d leave your iPad at home though…