Travis Cotton's creative take on the "human against machine" argument hits the best notes in all the right places.
Robots Vs Art follows the story of Giles (a seriously talented Daniel Frederiksen), a modest but broken man who, as one of the last surviving humans on earth following a robot takeover, is plucked from the underground and a life of hard labour to direct a play written by "Masterbot" (played with perfection by Simon Maiden).
Eventually Masterbot declares he wants to learn to feel emotion and gives Giles his requested three months to write and produce a play that will help him feel it. Giles casts "fembot" (Natasha Jacobs), a female robot with whom Giles takes a fascination in, and "claw-bot", a mechanically challenged robot played for every possible, delightful laugh by Paul David-Goddard.
I won't divulge the plot any further except to say that the ending was a surprising one.
This play, written AND directed by Travis Cotton really knows what it wants to say and says it with such good humour and wit that it is impossible to go away without thinking deeply about the theme of art, its practicallity, its necessity and how our reactions to it can inform our lives and the lives of those around us.
Just like The Heretic, I can see how this play could have been a bad production, but the calibre of the acting is so high that every note, every delivery, is so beautifully executed that you cannot help but be swept up with the story and the plight of Giles.
I found the exploration of Art and its relationship to each person and the questioning of its usefulness fascinating and thought provoking - these questions are raised throughout the play by each of the characters - sometimes subtle, sometimes brutal - and it is a testament to the play that I came out of it appreciating not just art, but what I consider bad art, and it's rightful place in society, for as Cotton rightfully says, "art can be anything".
The comedy, one liners and theatre/arts industry insider jokes lined throughout the play are top notch and worth the cost of the ticket alone, the venue and production values are perfect (right down to the renamed classics on the Masterbots mantelpiece like "Bot Quixote" and "Great Exbotations").
Whether you're a Theatre Virgin or a Theatre Queen, I cannot recommend Robots Vs Art highly enough.
Review appeared at: http://theatrevirgin.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/review-robots-vs-art.html
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TheatreVirgin's blog | 659 reads
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