Bandart Productions. Awesome Arts Festival. Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia. 4-6 Oct, 2018

For kids whose first passion is video games, Ann-Droid may well be the perfect early theatre experience. This production, which hails from Budapest, combines theatre with animation in a present day take on the Pinocchio story.

Bereaved eccentric inventor Alfred (Szabolcs Thoth-Zs) invents a robot girl. She is tasked with completing a mission. Along the way, the girl, Ann, (Katalin Lengyel) discovers her humanity.

Starting on a bare stage, Ann-Droid is the best blend of live action with animation I have seen on stage, with perfectly timed interactions and a seemingly symbiotic relationship between performer and screen. Ann is costumed in an amazing costume, with wonderful technological surprises, which almost has a life of its own. Kids also love the exciting “magical” trolley and the character Bip Bip, the robot ball, who definitely deserves its own curtain call.

Ann-Droidis written and produced by its performers, a real-life couple who are a media artist and a dancer, and who perhaps unsurprisingly, have a wonderful onstage relationship.

This wordless performance enchanted its audience, and an extra delight for adults is to be able to eavesdrop on the comments from young audience members in your vicinity - they had an excellent grasp on both the story and the nuances.

Another little gift of a performance in the Awesome International Arts Festival.

Kimberley Shaw

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.