The wee blue stamp inked on to our hand marks us out as being - if only temporarily - part of Robo-Tech, the company that claims to "make life a dream and your dreams come to life." So when Professor J Peg (Clare Ross) arrives to chivvy us out of the foyer and into her work-shop, the youngsters following her are in high hopes of techno-whizz-wizardry of
a robotic kind.
However, this two-hander - a joint endeavour between Visible Fictions and Platform for the 7+ age group, directed by Matt Addicott - is really about the kind of connections that can't be made, even with our best-loved gizmos.
Like the malfunctioning robots she has to trouble-shoot and re-boot, our professor has been conditioned to work without emotion. She has no family, no friends, only her unseen Robo-Tech masters. When one of the BX4000 series (Samuel Jameson) starts calling himself Bernard instead of 212, and shows signs of having feelings, the instructions are quite specific: he must be destroyed.
At times Lewis Hetherington's writing lands the professor in more exposition than is user-friendly for youngsters who look to screens - like the one that beeps, flashes and reacts on set - for both information and entertainment. But Jameson's genial robot, all cheery chumminess in his neat white shirt and tie, really reaches out to the audience, and not just with his ready handshakes.
Can Bernard escape shutdown? Can his offer of friendship free the professor from her lonely, machine-like existence? The audience is kept guessing through the tension until the happy end.