My Robot Heart
Molly Naylor is a fine writer and storyteller who has her finger on the pulse of folk from across the generations. She also had the good sense to liven up her monologue by inviting lo-fi ramshackle pop band The Middle Ones to accompany her.
The pair do a sweet job with the music and even take occasional acting parts in support of their hostess.
The introduction is intriguing though predictable, as yet another performer explains that the initial impetus for a solo show came when she walked out of a relationship.
This led Miss Naylor to research love and discover a Japanese experiment to see whether a computer could fall in love.
That is paralleled with a tri-generational story featuring Harry (11), his step-sister Eliza (29) and her terminally ill dad Jack (60).
Each has problems in establishing and maintaining friendships let alone any more. Harry has to choose whether to back the school geek or a gang leader. The possibly semi-autobiographical Eliza gets nervy as her wedding approaches.
Finally, while trying to overcome a fear of public speaking that would not be good news for Eliza’s wedding, Jack meets an Italian lady but can’t decide whether love is worth the effort at his age.
The tale may not say anything very original but can be touching three times over.
Miss Naylor does a competent job, but as a performer is probably better suited to poetry recitals rather than straight theatre.
Reviewer: Philip Fisher