We all possess it, that instinct to reach out a hand. To touch another… to help? To harm? Or just because we’re lonely? As our experience of the world becomes increasingly less tactile, hidden behind screens and voice commands, Artificial asks; how does this affect our experience of human encounters? How do we as humans, remain so?

Dom (Luke Culloty) is a man who spends most of his day with machines. He even communicates with the few fellow humans in his life via machines, in the form of voicemails. It is evident very early on that he is far more eloquent and confident interfacing with his AI, Kurtus than he is with any real living being. “You’re real to me”, he assures Kurtus, who if we are honest with ourselves is not so far removed from Alexa or Google Assistant – except with more sass.

Kurtus the AI also has a talent, ‘he’ can write music, the gentle piano (scored by Issy Matheson) soothes Dom and attracts the attentions of one of his female clients. Forbidden to speak, Dom encounters the first real human interaction he has had in over a year…

This review was originally published as a guest review on Theatre Weekly, you can read the review in full here…

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