Fringe Theatre review: Space Rocket Oddity Man

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Space Rocket Oddity Man | ZOO Southside (Venue 82) | Star rating: ***

Get beyond its clunky title, throwaway pop references and homemade gizmos and props, including a space helmet made out of a kitchen bin, and Space Rocket Oddity Man is really just a sweet, funny, well-observed drama about our increasingly dependent relationship with technology, played out with all the foibles, niggles and conflicts of a human love story.

Solitary spaceship scullery cook Alexander van der Void has been seeing his ship’s computer for some time. The frequently referenced “honeymoon phase” is over and he’s been locked out of the craft following a lovers’ tiff.

Through a series of bickering non-precision exchanges between the hapless, defensive Al and the humanoid voice of his supersmart computer love, a picture of their relationship emerges. Their “child” Pip – a pot plant – has become a pawn in their marriage, so they have tried couples counselling, as conducted by a trial software package.

They argue their positions at length but, just when the joke appears to be wearing thin or an allusion is pushed too far, the script moves to the next dimension and the roots of their affair are exposed as well as the very human temptation to wipe and reset a relationship rather than work out its tensions.

• Until 28 August. Today 8:15pm.