Comedy R&R // Stuart Bowden

We could see him peering out from behind the curtain as we took our seats, singing gibberish softly into a microphone. Stuart Bowden is an Australian performer, a clown, a mime, a teller of tales. He’s been given glowing reviews for his quirky theatre all over the world, and he’s in Auckland with a show at the Comedy Fest this year called She was Probably Not a Robot. It’s about the end of the world.

She Was Probably Not a Robot tells the story of the recently heartbroken Stuart, who drinks too much, passes out on an air mattress, and wakes up to discover the world has ended and he is the only survivor, adrift at sea. Orbiting the earth, a robot alien named Celeste provides an outsider’s perspective on the oddness of humanity. It’s a post-apocalyptic fairy tale, with the requisite amount of darkness that such a description suggests. It’s a beautiful, whimsical piece of theatre – funny and a little interactive. There’s nothing scary about it, but it is bizarre and occasionally macabre.

The story and delivery are so sweet that it’s impossible not to leave the Herald with a smile on your face. Stuart is an incredibly expressive performer, able to draw laughs from the audience with a simple look, a gesture, a word spoken or a silent moment. He is a joy to watch, and She Was Probably Not a Robot is so worth seeing. Go if you can.

She Was Probably Not a Robot is playing at The Herald Theatre from April 26-30. Get tickets here >>

R&R: response and recommendation. We only write about shows we’d happily recommend to friends, because, let’s face it, you’re probably one of our friends.