FROM what might be a news desk, an office, a bunker under a mountain or a theatre, two people think about what it is to speak up, speak out, blow the whistle and lift the veil.

They could be reporters, senators, freedom fighters or just concerned citizens like you, who "want you to know what's happening" in Lincoln company Proto-type Theater's A Machine They’re Secretly Building at the York Theatre Royal Studio on June 27.

Written and directed by Andrew Westerside and devised and performed by Rachel Baynton and Gillian Lees, the play charts a course from the Top Secret secrets of First World War intelligence, through 9/11, to the terror of a future that might already be upon us.

En route, it takes in the 1972 chess world championships between Bobby Fischer of the United States and defending champion Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union; a disco in Oklahoma; the cafeteria at CERN [the European organisation for nuclear research]; the erosion of privacy and Edward Snowden, former Central Intelligence Agency employee turned whistle-blower.

Proto-type's production combines original text and classified intelligence documents with film from digital artist Adam York Gregory and music and sound design by Paul J Rogers to "vent their frustration at the insidious machine of surveillance".

"A Machine They’re Secretly Building is about how we got to the point where our governments are spying on us and how that’s changing who we are," says Westerside.

Tickets for the 7.45pm performance cost £12.50 on 01904 623568 or at