Theatre review: An Unexpected Electric Nativity

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: The advancing of technology to such a state that artificial intelligence is a real and imminent possibility is a mesmerising development which some Fringe shows are tackling head-on this year.

C Royal (Venue 6)


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This piece from the University of York DramaSoc doesn’t fall into that category, however; its two lead characters are robots revelling in the joys of their apparently just-developed sentience, but there’s no hint of moral dilemma or questioning.

This is a physical comedy with a measured, amiable pace, nothing more, and the plot is so modest that – playwright Jared More’s somewhat annoying habit of indicating every heightened emotion with the use of the word “bloody” aside – it might be best recommended for small children.

Yet the slightness of proceedings shouldn’t be mistaken for a lack of assurance in either performance or Katie Smith’s controlled direction. The stars of the four-handed cast are the two young performers playing the humanoid robots awaiting activation in a laboratory, which come alive in the night and explore their new-found physicality with beautiful mimed actions, perfectly soundtracked by radio drama-style live sound effects, creating a gentle and oddly relatable physical comedy.

Until 18 August. Tomorrow 12:55pm.