Forget Star Wars’ BB-8 or Pixar’s WALL-E, Beep is the most endearing robot of them all. Her adventure in Windmill Theatre Co’s new young children’s production Beep is a joyous celebration of friendship and acceptance.
All is well in Mort’s tree-top village. Every morning the cute creatures wake to start their day in their beautiful home world. Some go to school, some to work while others, including Mort and his sister Pop, frolic the day away chasing furry little critters while enjoying delicious Molly Melons. Life is good until an unexpected visitor disrupts Mort and the curious creatures of his world.
The visitor is a robot, Beep, a mechanical outsider who lands in this natural wonderland to escape her now uninhabitable home. While the other creatures of the village are afraid of this strange-looking visitor, Mort’s curiosity gets the better of him as he engages with the recent arrival.
Made by the creators of Windmill’s internationally successful shows Grug and Grug’s Rainbow (based on the books by Ted Prior), Beep is an original show written by The Border Project’s Katherine Fyffe who collaborated with director Sam Haren (Sandpit, The Border Project) and Windmill’s in-house designer Jonathon Oxlade. It is a beautifully designed world, as the bright teal of the tree village and the surrounds are the perfect base for the Jim Henson-like puppet critters that pop out of the tree and the ground. The three actors and puppeteers — Antoine Jelk, Ezra Juanta and Kialea-Nadine Williams — engage the young audience with verve and wit.
Mort, who looks like a cross between Grug and Guardians of the Galaxy’s Baby Groot, might not say much aside from ‘Mort’ but he is a loveable happy-go-lucky fellow. His friendship with Beep, a fantastically designed 1950s box-like robot that beeps, buzzes and lights up, is one that will warm the hearts of adults as well as young children, who are engaged by the humble, joyous journey and ingenious slices of audience interaction.
Beep is another success for Adelaide’s Windmill Theatre Co. With the announcement of Windmill’s new arm Windmill Pictures, they have laid the groundwork for Beep to have many more adventures on stage and in other mediums. This tale of accepting recent arrivals is simple, clever and pretty darn adorable.
Beep runs until September 3 at The Festival Centre’s Space Theatre
Photography: Shane Reid