(4 / 5)
Sometimes interesting theatre is simple theatre.
Welcomed into a blank canvas of a room, there are only two performers on stools, and a mirror suspended behind.
With no prior knowledge (I personally avoid this before shows so that I am surprised and can deduce my own conclusions and interpretations) it is daunting to see such little to the room of a performance.
We are handed a blank piece of white paper and are smiled at one performer and almost frowned by the other.
As the title suggests , AI Love You features a) love and b) robotics. Now stay with me – this is no sci-fi, out of this world, incapable apocalyptic world where everything is alien and new. This is actually a heartfelt production, questioning morals and seeing the inside of a relationship.
April and Adam are a couple. A normal relationship, they are in love and… April is a robot. Created to be Adam’s ‘perfect woman’ , she has now reached a point where she is breaking, ‘malfunctioning’ and plans to end her life. But Adam is against it as he loves her. For all intense and purposes, they seem like a general couple with all the feelings and experiences any would, and if this was two human’s it would be a difficult decision, suicide, anyway but morals are questioned when you consider that April is an AI.
The great thing about this piece is the set up – we are fully included. Like a court room trial, we hear each side of their cases which is ordered by the facility that made her and are asked to vote who we agree with. And so we can only assume they have prepared alternative options dependent on the vote conclusions. This in itself is pretty impressive when you think that these performers have potentially learnt two different scripts.
April is at times cold and well… robotic, at times breaking into recognisable sensitivity and love but is still different to the obvious torment Adam is facing. And it works well, and gels in a way you would not think it would.
Adam is more comedic, almost dry in humour but little of this is given to April which I feel lacked with continuity – if there is an element of comedy then it needs to run through with both performers.
However, over all the concept and writing is brilliant. When reading the blurb after the show, they performers also change who is the robot and who is human, and this makes me wonder how changed is the performance and does it change what we think and how we would vote.
AI Love You is heartbreaking but also a very intelligent production – of something that with recent news… well who knows, could it become true?