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Are you dying for technology?

BY Geoff Sirmai | 06-Jun-2018
Pippie finds herself in the ward from which patients don’t usually return. A curious character, she torments the staff with her klepto tendencies while they argue about potential treatments performing outrageous numbers of tests and scans on body parts we weren’t even aware of. A crack team of care bots attend to her every need. They even provide the entertainment. How convenient! The Doc will use any technological means to cure the next big disease that she is increasingly obsessed with diagnosing. Nursie, the last of the human carers, struggles with the technological takeover as she determines what Pippie really needs is not another robot. Pippie has her own secrets though. In this medical wonderland of technological advancement, is she really sick or is she just… dying?
After last year’s acclaimed show TRADE, Hurrah Hurrah returns with its unique mix of crooked comedy, choreography and pathos. This time though, the team have hacked a set of robotic vacuum cleaners to take over the stage and torment their human counterparts. Roomba Nation is a playful and surprising look at how we live, how we die and what technology should do… not just what it can.

Actor and the mad genius behind Hurrah Hurrah Alison Bennett insists that her troupe ask questions most of us don’t want to ask.

“We need humour. We need to lighten the load so we can overcome our fear and face a few facts. That’s what Hurrah Hurrah is about. That’s what Roomba Nation does. It lets you smile so you can think about how to live.”

Director Felicity Nicol agrees.

“Questioning the relationship between technology and humanity is old territory. But questioning the relevance of technology in the face of someone dying? I think that’s well worth exploring. And who wouldn't want to pair physical theatre with some hacked Roombas? This is bound to be entertaining!”

Roomba Nation plays at the Old 505 Theatre in Newtown from 4-21 July. Conceived by Alison Bennett and Directed by Felicity Nicol, it stars Bennett as Pippie, Nick O’Regan as Nursie and Kate Walder as Doc. David Kirkpatrick is Hurrah Hurrah’s multi-disciplinary artist and creator of the ‘bots’ with writing associate Moreblessing Maturure.