Adelaide Fringe 2014
The world has ended, and everyone’s died. You, and you, and you, and you and…there’s just one person left to tell the story of how we fell, and how the world was reborn in the aftermath of the cataclysm.
Stuart Bowden is almost too big for the tiny stage of room 1 at Tuxedo Cat. Not that we would have it any other way. We are face up against this brilliant Aussie storyteller as he rends the world asunder before our very eyes. Conjuring a cast of beautifully crafted characters for us to fall in love with, She Was Probably Not a Robot is a touching, remarkable, handmade odyssey. Using little more than a bit of cardboard and some bedsheets, Stuart Bowden enchants us with tales of the near future (the world will end in twenty-six years), eccentric and wonderful original music, and some of the best mime we’ve seen.
Mime can be a dreadful thing. Used improperly, it may be the most deadly flavour of deadly theatre. But wielded skillfully, mime – really well done mime – can make a good performance incredible. Bowden is a master of mime as he navigates post cataclysm earth, reconnecting with old friends, discovering new ones, and setting out on an epic quest to regain the life he lost before the floods. There’s a hint of the Mighty Boosh here, cheeky comedy bumping against awesome original synth music in a quirky landscape with over-saturated characters living large in a neon coloured world.
This fantastic show is hugely entertaining and touchingly funny, cute, and mesmerizing. We had seen Bowden three years ago on the Edinburgh fringe when he was touring The World Holds Everyone Apart, Apart From Us. Kitchy, low-fi, and touching, it was a fun show, but not amazing. Bowden has come a long way since then, and he’s developed as a performer and a theatre maker. She Was Probably Not a Robot is a show you shouldn’t miss.