Stuart Bowden: She Was Probably Not a Robot - review
Switching between the cardboard-adorned character of Celeste and hesitant, likeable narrator – as well as creating a live, loop-pedaled soundtrack – the Australian theatre-maker is a literal one-man-band, off-setting poetic whimsy with gloriously macabre humour throughout this one-hour piece. As a breather from conventional stand-up it’s as refreshing as the “sea’s wet arms” (which Bowden spends a considerable time trying to escape in this show), with benign audience participation and a carefully worded script that at points threatens tear ducts with its sentimentality.
Bowden’s tale invites us to consider the things we can and can’t change about the world: acts of God (or God-like aliens), the inertia of mankind and the powerlessness of unrequited love. If that all sounds a bit deep, don’t worry, Bowden’s stretchy physicality, the gorgeously endearing intonation of his character Celeste, and slapstick antics with an air bed provide ample immediate laughter. Lo-fi, well paced, resourceful and imaginative, you’re unlikely to come across another comedy show this lovely.
She Was Probably Not a Robot, until 30 April, Herald Theatre. Book tickets.