beep boop (4 stars)

This article is from 2019

Beep Boop

Highly technical clown show explores the stupidity of technology

beep boop, a performance by Richard Saudek (created with Jess Novak and Wes Grantom), explores the world's unhealthy addiction to technology and the loneliness it evokes. Physical comedy, sound and visuals are used effectively to magnify this intense relationship in a darkly funny show. Using no dialogue, beep boop manages to detail one man's journey from infatuation to discontentment in a show that resonates all too well with its audience.

Saudek is no doubt a master of physical theatre, isolating and extenuating large and small movements – like incessant swiping and clicking – to hilarious effect. The show opens with a repetitive scene during which the protagonist desperately dives about the stage in whatever direction a device, with its invasive ping, calls to him. The fusion of sound and energetic movement quickly lets the audience know what awaits.

As expected, no social platform is safe from Saudek's microscope and everything from Instagram to instant messaging comes under fire. Repetition is used as a simple yet powerful tool in this piece, pointing out the new ways in which people move and react to technological overlords.

The sound work accompanying the show is essential to its success, and rapid fire sound effects – controlled by a fellow performer in sight stage right – proves the central nerve system of the piece.

In amongst the storytelling, Saudek finds time to play a live version of Tinder with the audience, which perfectly encapsulates the app's problematic approach to finding true love (or not). This is just one of many ways the show hits the mark. beep boop is an inventive, slick and exciting show that delivers laughs with serious undertones.

Assembly George Square, until 25 Aug (not 12, 19), 2.45pm, £12-£11 (£10-£11).

beep boop

  • 4 stars

Crowded Outlet and Something for the Weekend Following an acclaimed US run, Richard Saudek (Stage Award winner for Acting Excellence, Fringe 2016) performs a twisted and highly physical romp at breakneck pace. Created by physical comedian Richard Saudek (Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally Fringe 2016), TV and film composer…