The Mechanical Bride - a digital adam and eve

Mechanical Bride, does your mother know that you're out?

The Mechanical Bride is a sweet technologic romantic comedy about the real and technological difficulties to communicate.

The set consists of two towers built out of television sets and computer monitors with wires spilling out of them and one stand up television on the floor. The set is very much part of the story, since within the television and computer monitor’s is the character of the Mother (Kevin Kraussler) projected onto the screens. The play begins with Mother logging into the system and thus waking up the two newly created beings named He (Graham Newmarch) and She (Ming Hudson). The beginning sequence is a movement piece where the “mother” repeats actions for the characters to perform, which persists to a point of “initializing desire”, “initializing lust”, and so on. The characters learn how to speak, greet, dance and love one another. After the initial love sequence begins, the characters realize that it becomes more and more difficult to communicate through the tools of technology. My favourite example: He’s difficulty understanding how to answer a cell phone when She calls him. This sequence and She’s resulting resentment are very funny. Eventually, Mother interferes with the relationship and destroys the technology leaving the characters with an unsure future.

GasHeart Theatre Company is an emerging company and includes key members Quinn Harris (Director) and James Foy (Production Designer). This company is being mentored by Theatre Conspiracy in Vancouver, BC. The technologic elements are very slick and effective. I especially like the use of old movie clips to demonstrate how to kiss with The Little Mermaid’s ‘Kiss the Girl’ playing as the soundtrack. The sexual tension during this moment is adorable. The performers Ming Hudson and Graham Newmarch are delightful on stage, both in their physical movements and cute bond as lovers. It is very engaging seeing the two interact with the various forms of technology, such as, the Mother projection, receiver phones, alarm clocks, laptops, and cell phones.

This Adam and Eve premise is a very ambitious project and needs further development, especially in the second half of the piece. Having She enticed by Mother to go to Paris came a little out of nowhere and I would have hoped for her to go to a place that is more mechanical or technological. I also felt the ending could have been expanded.

This is a new piece and is premiering at the Victoria Fringe, but I think with a bit more expansion this production will be magnetic. GasHeart Theatre Company will be the next ‘it’ company to watch out for, so do go and support this company’s work by seeing The Mechanical Bride.

The Mechanical Bride by James Foy, Quinn Harris, Ming Hudson, Keven Kraussler, Graham Newmarch; Gasheart Theatre (Vancouver, BC). Part of the 2008 Victoria Fringe Festival, it runs at Venue 5 (Victoria Event Centre) on the following dates Wed 27, 9:30 • Thu 28, 6:00 • Sat 30, 6:00; for more infomation plug yourself into this.

By Laura Harris