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A love story starring a state-of-the-art-robot

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24 January 2017

Pipeline Theatre’s Spillikin (a love story) comes to The Salberg at Salisbury Playhouse on Friday 24 February as part of Theatre Fest West.

Featuring a state-of-the-art ‘RoboThespian’, the production follows the story of a woman with Alzheimer’s living with a robot companion. A deeply touching exploration of love, it premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe to outstanding critical and audience response, including a nomination for the prestigious Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award.

It’s the 1970s. 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 Alzheimer’s. 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. But as Sally’s mind fades, will the robot be more of a comfort or a threat? Moving and funny, Spillikin poses big questions about love, death, and technology.

Artistic director and designer for Pipeline, Alan Munden, has personal experience of Alzheimer’s: ‘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.’

To create Spillikin, Pipeline Theatre collaborated with Engineered Arts, a leading Cornwall-based robotics company, to bring one of their world-renowned ‘RoboThespians’ to the stage.

Will Jackson, MD of Engineered Arts, says: ‘I’ve spent a decade designing a piano – now I want someone to write the music.’

Spillikin (a love story) is in The Salberg for one night only on Friday 24 February as part of Theatre Fest West and is recommended for those aged 14 years and over. For tickets or more information please contact the Ticket Office on 01722 320333 or visit the show page.