Pipeline Theatre: Spillikin
Pipeline Theatre’s story of a woman with Alzheimers living with a robot companion is not only a deeply touching exploration of love, but it stars an amazing state-of-the-art robot as a full cast member. It premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe last year to rave reviews and was nominated for the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award.
“An astonishing piece of theatre that allows a box of blinking lights and whirring gears to move us fallible humans to tears ... a production to remember.” ***** The Edinburgh Guide
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, it gives order to her confusion, and becomes a new partner in the oddest of odd-couple romances. But as Sally’s mind fades, will the robot be more of a comfort or a threat? Spillikin will make you laugh, cry, and ponder big questions of love, death, and technology.
After the show there will be a Q&A session with a chance to meet the company, as well as the chance to get up close and personal with the robot, and find out more about him.
To realise this piece, Pipeline Theatre has collaborated with Engineered Arts, a leading Cornwall-based robotics company. MD Will Jackson says: “I’ve spent a decade designing a piano – now I want someone to write the music”
Pipeline’s artistic director and designer 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 Alzheimer’s. 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 in Cornwall, and creates text-based drama with high-end design. ‘Spillikin (a love story)’ is the company’s third show. Their previous productions ‘Transports’ and ‘Streaming’ both toured nationally garnering five and four star reviews everywhere, and their most recent production ‘Swivelhead’ will premiere at Edinburgh this year.
More press reviews from Edinburgh
***** Edinburgh Guide “An astonishing piece of theatre.”
***** British Theatre Guide “This is a perfectly constructed and superbly acted play.”
***** Broadway Baby “Beautifully evocative and moving.”
***** The Scottish Mail “Electric”
***** GingerWig and Strollingman “A fantastic piece of theatre. Tremendous!”
**** The Observer “A unique and intriguing production”
**** The Scotsman “Pipeline Theatre have taken sci-fi theatre to a bold new level”
**** Exeunt “A finely-tuned technological equation that pays out in pure emotional power”
**** The List “A delightful show – whose technical accomplishments are matched by its compassion.”
**** Fringe Guru “a beautiful and innovative show”
**** The Nouse “A beautifully constructed play performed by an outstanding cast. Pipeline Theatre are definitely a company to keep an eye on in the future.”
**** The Stage