There's lots of sic-fi romance going on at Incoming Festival this month, and it all looks very exciting! We caught up with Cloakroom Theatre to talk about their show Sex With Robots and Other Devices about content, relationships and ethics.
What drove you to make Sex With Robots And Other Devices?
Sex With Robots was written by Nessah Muthy, who makes up a quarter of Cloakroom Theatre. Although the tech and the robots in the show are far more advanced than what we have now, the ‘what ifs?’ of the worlds and stories the play offers up feel pertinent to the changes that are occuring within society right now. The show delves into ethical issues that affect modern life, but adding robots into the mix throws up a whole tonne of situations around relationships, consent and ethics that we haven't even considered. We are intriguedby the world of the future and where technology may be taking us, and want to encourage people to think about what that world could be.
Tell us a bit about Cloakroom Theatre
Cloakroom Theatre was founded by Bobby Brook, Jennifer Holton, Helen Matravers and Nessah Muthy. Having all worked 'front of house' in some of London's top theatres, we were all privy to the conversations saved for the cloakroom queue. We aim to create theatre that fuels discussions, divides opinion and encourages conversations to continue well after the show is over. We were winners of the Adrian Pagan Award and Live Lab Bursary 2017 which have both helped tremendously with being able to make Sex With Robots And Other Devices a reality.
There are so many ways to tell stories, tackle issues, explore ideas - why theatre?
Theatre for us is about the connection with the audience, the endless possibilities, the ability to be creative and playful in a space and share stories and thoughts in the live moment. Sharing that space with audiences and that immediate connection is what continues to drive us to make theatre.
What was the last show you saw that you think everyone should see?
Left My Desk by Lost Watch (who are at Incoming at HOME!) The show is heartbreaking, eye opening and brilliantly performed - and highlights the increasing struggles faced by the child care industry - we learnt a lot, were in equal parts given hope, shocked, and touched, and walked away with a new found respect for an occupation which is so often portrayed in a negative light in the media.
Theatre making is hard and, although we try our best to work around them, it has it’s limits. If you had an unlimited budget, a unquestioningly devoted audience and all the time in the world, what show would you make?
We would continue to make new writing, and stage scripts written by women that we feel should be heard. One thing we would play with though is how we tell those stories - if budgets were unlimited, we would love to play with cutting edge technology and experiment with form without the pressure of having to get it right the first time!
What else in the Incoming Festival line-up are you excited to see?
We are really excited to see Love+ - it may come as no surprise that we are fans of any show which explored the human/robot relationship and we can't wait to see more angles and exciting examples of how people perceive these relationships. We are also huge fans of Me & My Bee, Super Happy Story and The Coolidge Effect, and have heard brilliant things about Lights Over Tesco Carpark. Essentially all the shows look amazing and we could go on to name them all, we intend to see every single one!
Sex With Robots and Other Devices will be at New Diorama on 30 June and HOME on July 3 for Incoming Festival!