Hadley Fraser Battles The Machine: High-Tech Drama Begins Performances Sept. 4 at Park Avenue Armory

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04 Sep 2013

Hadley Fraser
Hadley Fraser

The U.S. premiere of Matt Charman's The Machine, a large-scale, high-tech dramatic staging of the 1997 chess match between chess phenomenon Garry Kasparov and the IBM computer Deep Blue, begins performances Sept. 4 at the Park Avenue Armory.

Donmar Warehouse artistic director Josie Rourke directs the piece that stars Hadley Fraser ("Les Misérables," The Phantom of the Opera, The Pirate Queen) as phenom Kasparov.

The Machine premiered July 10-21 at the Manchester International Festival. It will play a limited New York run through Sept. 18 in the Armory's expansive Wade Thompson Drill Hall.

The cast also includes Kenneth Lee ("Delocated") as Doctor Hsu, Lorenzo Allchurch, Antonia Bernath, Cornelius Booth, Nicholas Croucher, Daniel Harries, Rob Lines, David Mumeni, Phil Nichol, John Ramm, Lucille Sharp, Brian Sills and Trevor White.

Here's how it's billed: "In 1997, Garry Kasparov, the world’s greatest chess player, arrived in New York City for the biggest match of his life. His opponent wasn't a fellow Grandmaster but a faceless super-computer, Deep Blue, built by tech-giant IBM. The man versus machine match was IBM’s bid to raise its profile and its stock price. An international celebrity and the undisputed master of his art, Kasparov came to America for freedom and glory. What he didn't expect to confront was the lifelong dedication of another man, Deep Blue's wunderkind inventor Doctor Hsu. Both geniuses, they staked their reputations on the tournament. What followed was one of the most compelling stories of our time. The production will use the unique scale and epic beauty of the Armory to explore this clash of breathtaking human genius with matchless computer power."



The Machine has physical design by Lucy Osborne, lighting design by Mark Henderson, sound design by Ian Dickinson, choreography by Jonathan Watkins and video design by Andrzej Goulding.

For tickets visit armoryonpark.org. The Park Avenue Armory is located at 643 Park Avenue.