Stacey Gregg’s Override is a science fiction play for two performers that explores the impact of technology on the modern world and questions what it means to be human. It was first performed at Watford Palace Theatre on 2 October 2013 as part of the theatre's Ideal World Season.
The play takes place in a rural cottage, an 'unplaceable contemporary space' ('the style might feel retro or bricolage, as though we could be in the 1960s, or 1990s ... As long as we do not feel we are seeing something "futuristic"'). It is, however, a world where using technology to erase one’s imperfections and disabilities is increasingly normal. But Mark and Violet are rejecting those values: they are looking forward to the natural birth of their first baby. Still, overriding the system has its perils, and when one half of the couple reveals that they were ‘augmented’ as a child, the whole relationship is thrown into doubt as their ideologies clash.
The play explores whether people can retain their sense of self in the face of a myriad of artificial augmentations. In the world of the play, the human race has meandered down this path to a frightening extent, but where does one draw the line? And what about using technology to help eliminate birth defects, or disabilities? The play offers no easy answers to such troubling questions.
The Watford Palace premiere was directed by Selina Cartmell and designed by Alex Lowde, with Geoffrey Breton as Mark and Matti Houghton as Violet.