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Media Release: The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs






‘... a blisteringly funny, icily penetrating account of the extraordinary influence and not-so-benign impact the man and his company have had on the world….
[Mike Daisey], this agitated spinner of spoken arias, has a gift for stories we didn’t know we needed to hear’
The Washington Post

‘The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs is a theater piece that every Apple fan should see. It’s a laugh-out-loud monologue about the world of Apple, but it delivers an important message: The products we love are made under inhumane conditions.’
Cult of Mac

The man dubbed ‘the master storyteller’ by the New York Times will return to the Sydney Opera House Studio for an intimate staging of his newest production The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.

Following last year’s sell out season of The Last Cargo Cult at Sydney Opera House, the master monologist, theatrical story-teller and self-confessed ‘Apple fan-boy’ will in part pay homage to the wisdom and genius of Steve Jobs, presented as a true visionary and described as a ‘real life Willy Wonka whose obsessions have shaped our daily world’.

However, this story of iPhones, iPods and MacBook Airs is presented against the backdrop of Southern China where Daisey witnessed first-hand the human cost behind our technology. Gaining a rare level of access to the manufacturing workshops of the industrial Chinese heartland of Shenzhen, Daisey visited modern day workhouses where workers throw themselves to their deaths from high-rises, where workers die on the production line from overwork, where they sleep in cement cells with dozens of women and men crammed into rooms like labour camps.

With The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, Daisey sets out to redress this balance and educate a new generation of tech-savvy consumers about where their toys come from, and how changes can be instigated.

Mike Daisey said, ‘I was inspired to make this show, when I realised the extent to which we divorce technology manufacturing from our consumer use. We exported our jobs but none of our labour values. It’s very clear to me that changes could come to corporations and I hope that in some small way, this show provokes the tech industry to grow up and take responsibility for its decisions.’

As testament to this compelling show, and the power of Daisey’s story-telling, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was reduced to tears from the audience, telling the New York Times he ‘would never be the same after seeing that show’.

Mike Daisey has developed a reputation for his groundbreaking monologues which weave together autobiography, journalism and unscripted performance to tell hilarious and moving stories that reveal secret histories and unexpected connections. His performances include last year’s critically acclaimed, sell-out Sydney season of The Last Cargo Cult which marked his Sydney Opera House debut. Internationally, he has also presented controversial How Theatre Failed America, the six-hour epic Great Men of Genius, the unrepeatable series All Stories Are Fiction and 21 Dog Years. He has performed in venues on five continents, ranging from Off-Broadway to remote islands in the South Pacific and abandoned theatres in post-Communist Tajikistan. He’s been a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman, as well as a commentator and contributor to WIRED, Vanity Fair, Slate, Salon, NPR and the BBC.

His first film, Layover, was shown at the Cannes Film Festival this year, and a feature film of his monologue If You See Something Say Something is currently in post production.  His second book, Rough Magic, a collected anthology of his monologues, will be published in 2011. He has been nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Award, two Drama League Awards, and is the recipient of the Bay Area Critics Circle Award, four Seattle Times Footlight Awards, and the Sloan Foundation’s Galileo Prize, and a MacDowell Fellowship. His next monologue will be All the Hours in the Day, a 24-hour performance that charts the epic story of America’s essential character as a weaving together of puritanism and anarchism, which will premiere at the Time Based Art Festival in Portland, and the Under the Radar Festival in New York later this year.

Season details
: 24 September – 2 October 2011
Tickets Adults - $45 / Conc $39

Tickets will be on sale from Monday 25 July from / 02 9250 7777

For more information, or to request images and interviews, contact
Meera Hindocha, Senior Publicist, Sydney Opera House

T. 02 9250 7834  E.


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