How to Build your First Robot – Smock Alley – Tiger Dublin Fringe Review


How to Build your First Robot – Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival – until 20th Sept.

It is the 1960’s and man has one dream, to step foot on the moon. An American scientist is working on the space programme when a mistake causes him to lose his job. In an effort to get back in with NASA, he decides to build a robot to pilot their unmanned space craft. Soon after finishing his creation, he hears that NASA has decided to use humans for its explorations, which renders all his work for nothing! He is left with a robot to help him around the house and do his chores. The lonely scientist finds companionship in his creation, but it is not enough. He yearns for love and sets out to find it.

This is a story told mostly without words as the two actors create a world with only their movements, gestures and whatever sounds effects they can muster up. There are a variety of swishing doors, squawking birds, guns and a lot of lift music! The set is white laminate flooring and a couple of moulded plastic seats. Think a vision of the future, 1960s style! The two actors mime their way through this science fiction world, to create the spaces in which they inhabit. This is a big task for the actors, although they do get considerable help from the impressive lighting. It is sometimes difficult to interpret their actions, but you generally follow their intentions.

There are a variety of illustrations that looked impressive, but were unfortunately projected onto the brick wall behind the stage. This is possibly essential, due to the stage requirements of all the Fringe shows, but made them difficult to read.

It is a clean two hander that aims to show the skills of the actors involved. The robot has a wide-eyed ignorance of the world around him, and the scientist is lacking another in his life and desperately yearns for love. This is a gentle story, that aims to tell a tale of simple friendship between a man and robot. It is possibly suited for younger audiences or people submerged in the world of sci-fi.

How to Build your first Robot – Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival – until 20th Sept.

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