“Maybe turn down the ‘opinionated’ dial?”
Harry (Mark Bonnar) and Max (Jane Horrocks) weren’t successful with their first attempt at parenthood. Their son, it turns out over the course of the play, died of an overdose, shattering their world. So, in perfect IKEA fashion, they’re giving it a second go. This time though they’ve got a 30-day money back guarantee and a not so easy-to-follow construction manual. (Self assembly is cheaper after all) They’re certain, as long as they follow it step-by-step, he’s going to be perfect.
But – just like with humans growing up and despite the fact that they can turn up or down the sass level of their custom made “child” … as soon as the warranty runs out, their new son reacts just like their dead child. He leaves. Seems it’s their “programming” that’s faulty. “How does your brain feel”, asks desperate mom Max while fighting the chaos in herself. “Straight lines” is her assembled son’s answer. And straight lines seems to be the solution to all of their problems. Straight lines, no more chaos. Smiles instead of tears. All thanks to a tiny chip….
“This might be a little more complicated than the bed but still, I’m sure it’s the kind of thing we can crack on our own.”
Writer Thomas Eccleshare makes his Royal Court debut and it’s brilliant. On a stage that looks like a puppeteer stage at the beginning and end, we get glimpses of how complicated interacting between parents, between friends, between parents and their children is. And just when you think a dial could give you a well behaved child you realise: you can only change yourself…
Brian Vernel (Jån/Nick) is brilliant. Changing his behaviour, his voice, his whole character literally by the click of a remote control is amazing to witness. Mark Bonnar and Jane Horrocks are amazing as well, dealing with the grief of their real son and the realization that they can’t change their fate – fantastic work.
Stage door : incredibly friendly and outgoing and patient. We were incredibly lucky and happy with our booty. 😊 Mark Bonnar was the reason I went to see the play and he was very nice – and was allowed to use his Scottish accent in the play 😉