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Acclaimed love story featuring live robot on stage visits Forest of Dean
Pipeline Theatre’s Spillkin (a love story) is at Lydbrook Memorial Hall on April 1st.
Featuring a state-of-the-art robot as a cast member, Spillikin (a love story) is the story of a woman with Alzheimers living with a robot companion. A deeply touching exploration of love, it premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe to outstanding critical and audience response, and was nominated for the prestigious Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award.
It’s the ’70s. Sally likes Debbie Harry, Raymond likes making robots; they’re an unlikely pair. Fifty years later, after a long, childless and sometimes bumpy marriage, Sally has Alzheimers. Before Raymond died he created a robot, uploaded with his memories, to keep her company. It’s the ultimate love letter from beyond the grave: an endlessly patient memory-jogger and singing partner. But as Sally’s mind fades, will the robot be more of a comfort or a threat? Moving and funny, Spillikin poses big questions about love, death, and technology.
To create Spillikin, Pipeline Theatre collaborated with Engineered Arts, a leading Penryn-based robotics company, to bring one of their world-renowned ‘RoboThespians’ to the stage.
Will Jackson, MD of Engineered Arts, says: “I’ve spent a decade designing a piano – now I want someone to write the music”
Artistic director and designer for Pipeline, Alan Munden, has personal experience of Alzheimers: “Making work about what you know or desire to better understand, I think lends it integrity. My mother has Alzheimers. I am frightened when I try to imagine her experience, but intrigued and excited to manifest it on stage, and wish I had the patience of a robot.”
Pipeline Theatre is based around Falmouth, and creates text-based drama with high-end design. Spillikin (a love story) is the company’s third show. Its previous productions Transports and Streaming both toured nationally receiving five and four star reviews, and its most recent production Swivelhead premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2016.
Read StageTalk Magazine’s review from earlier in the tour.