Wrong Tree Theatre Company and Ultraviolet Productions
Deep beneath the human world lies a society of machines, a robot world, as unaware of the human world above, as we are of them. That’s apart from young MJ, a girl who spent much of her unhappy youth being told stories of them by her Aunt Jan. Now as a young woman, working in a factory, MJ finds a route to the machine world and befriends the similarly wistful robot girl, Pins.
The show’s marketing sells this as a Pixar movie brought to life, and this family friendly show does go some ways to achieving that high bar. The friendly interactions we see with Pins and MJ are sweet and endearing, while equally, the friendly banter between Pins and her supervisor robot, Bolts, builds an entertaining relationship.
The story as a whole does feel more than a little thin, although this is a show that clearly is aimed at a whole family audience, but even so, the end is a little lacking in punch.
The performance of the players is a delight, moving from acted scenes with puppet characters to masked physical theatre, using lights and robotic movements to express programming, internal struggles and even an Indiana Jones-like action sequence.
This is certainly a lot of fun and is to be commended, especially if you want to bring the kids to see something a little smarter than a kids' show. It might not send you out blown away, but you’ll be satisfied and, moreover, cheered up.
Reviewer: Graeme Strachan