Into the Uncanny Valley
In 2011 a group of artists and
scientists came together to create a pilot for a stage
show that would show the some of the wonders of our understanding of science, more specifically, the quantum world.
MORST - the
Ministry of Research into Science and Technology - in partnership with Creative New Zealand provided funding
through the Smash Palace Fund for the pilot.
The result was a twenty-minute selection of scenes
that began to describe The Extraordinary Adventures of Doctor Faustroll
and his Search for the Luminiferous Aether.
The 'test' audience was transported by bus to a secret location in Miramar where they experienced the show.
The success of the pilot resulted in further development funding from the Smash Palace Fund.
Into The Uncanny Valley
This resulted in a new play with a new name, Into the Uncanny Valley, which was presented for the first time in November 2012 as part of the STAB season at BATS Theatre.
Some excerpts from Reviews
Theatrically exquisite" – Laurie Atkinson, Dominion Post
"The production's strength is the absolutely jaw dropping visual and sound design, including set, lighting, A-V projections, sound and music. At regular intervals it prompts a sense of "how on earth did they do that?" wonder and serves to create an atmosphere of uncanny other-worldliness. Description wouldn't do justice to the various spectacles that are created; the production is worth seeing for the boundary pushing design alone. Full credit must go to director Charlie Bleakley, designer Joe Bleakley, producer Howard Taylor and the talented team they have assembled." - Helen Sim, Theatreview
"The opening few minutes of this fusion of physics and theatre take your breath away – it's a lighting and sound sensation that promises something remarkable. The STAB shows are all about exploring new technology (tick), boundary pushing (tick), experimentation (tick), and producing an unforgettable night at the theatre (tick). Taking on physics and the universe for 90 minutes in a small black box is madness, but Charlie Bleakley and his remarkable team of actors and crew produce one hell of a big bang on stage...
...Paddy Bleakley, Buster Flaws and Laura Dunkley's complex soundscapes, and Adam Page's music, and Dan Untitled and Tim Jordan's projection design, are also fundamental to the production's brilliance. Think Alice's Wonderland is not down a rabbit hole but up in the stars and you get a feeling for how this is structured. Our heroine starts to wonder about the universe, and we follow her surreal journey. There's a bit of a nod to Hitchhiker's Guide too, with a couple of mice showing people the conundrum that is the definition of light – particles or waves? We are also reminded that the theatre and science share the crucial spark for both – imagination...
...There is a lot of science packed into the play, too much really, it can feel like an entertainingly performed physics lecture at times. But that doesn't really matter in this play about matter. It's a huge cast and crew behind this remarkable production and they all deserve an A+." - Lyn Freeman, Capital Times