Presented as a part of the Old 505′s Freshworks program, Jack Data was written and directed by Ruth Bell. The play is about the so-called perfect man, and reveals that humans don’t have the monopoly on heartache and being on the receiving end of discrimination, androids can feel the blues too.
Jack’s mission, as far as Alice’s mother sees it, is to act as man about the house and sperm donor, something that does not sit well with her daughter. Jack is a present to Alice from her frustrated parents, who yearn for grandchildren. While Alice isn’t counting on sore nipples any time soon, the promised house-cleaning that Jack provides is welcome and she gets used to having a sparkling place.
Mathias Olofsson brings quirky life to Jack, without resorting to standard android clichés. He has a forced smile that elicits much laughter, and a number of facial tics that make him endearing and odd all at once. Of course his oddity is the whole point. The world of science and technology is seen as being at odds with love and romance, yet Jack fulfills Alice’s needs better than her current lover and asks for nothing in return.
The ensemble cast all provide fun performances and each provide insight and sometimes depressingly limited reactions to the robotic Jack. Ryan is jealous, even though he is in no position to make demands on Alice, while his wife Sabrina has her own ideas about Jack, until his robotic nature is revealed, repelling her.
The cinematic quality of Jack Data makes this very funny play ideal for film or television, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the play being brought to life on the screen. The futuristic elements are also very on trend (when have they not been?) as the near future is frequently mined for drama and comedy gold.
Jack Data is on at the Old 505 Theatre until 11 Feb, for more information and tickets see: https://old505theatre.com/shows/freshworks-1510960947.html
Featuring: Amelia Tranter, Mathias Olofsson, Christine Greenbough, Richard Cotter, Julian Rumandi and Elly Hiranni Clapin.
Creative/Tech Team: Ruth Bell (writer, director), Rebecca Lang (stage manager), Stephanie Segafredo (lighting design) and Kailesh Reitman (composer/sound designer).