Robots have taken control in order to prevent Earth’s destruction.
Humankind has been all but eradicated, save for a few thousands who toil in the mines. Cities have returned to a wild state. Animals roam the streets. Carparks are forests once again.
Everything is running precisely according to plan. Sustainability has been achieved and the planet’s future secured. Were robots able to feel smug, they might. Yet one of them, Executive Master Bot, has inklings there is something more to existence than ensuring the flawless distribution of zinc.
In his downtime, he writes a play for robots to perform but he needs input from someone who knows what it is to experience emotion. He needs a human director. The only one left is Giles, currently being worked to death in a mine.
Executive Master Bot makes Giles an offer he can’t refuse: if the play is a success, Giles will be allowed to live and perhaps breed. Failure will result in Giles’s death and the extermination of the rest of his species. No pressure then.
Written by Travis Cotton, Robots Vs Art is a clever left-field comedy generating laughs from his witty combining of familiar sci-fi tropes, theatre industry in-jokes and the culture clash familiar to anyone who has had to explain their art practice to an accountant.
It raises nagging questions, too: What is the function of art? How does one calculate its value and its cost? Is art synonymous with irrationality and are the impulses driving us to create really so far removed from those compelling us to destroy?
Gradco Studio presents this new production for the Sydney Fringe Festival, directed by Sean Foster and featuring Aimee Lodge, Cassius Russel, Heaven-Cheyenne Campbell and Natanyah Forbes.
“My vision for the play is to make it feel epic and cinematic,” says Foster. “A majority of the theatre I see tends to not make as much use of music as films do. This play allows us to get away with that, because it wants us to suspend our disbelief a little bit more than normal. I hope audiences will walk away thinking that this play is hilarious, but then not be able to sleep because they’re afraid of their smart watch.”