7th Mar 2017 - 19th Mar 2017

Main House - Pleasance London

7:30pm, 5pm

Suitable for ages 14 and above


It’s the ‘70s. Sally likes Debbie Harry, Raymond likes making robots; they’re an unlikely pair. Flash forward to 2030. After a long, childless and sometimes bumpy marriage, Sally has Alzheimer’s. Before Raymond died he created a robot, uploaded with his memories, to keep her company. 
It’s the ultimate love letter from beyond the grave: an endlessly patient memory-jogger and singing partner, giving order to her confusion, and becoming a new partner in the oddest of odd-couple romances. But as Sally’s mind fades, will the robot be more of a comfort or a threat?
Spillikin will make you laugh, cry, and ponder big questions of love, death, and technology. Prepare to have your heart broken by this five star sell-out Edinburgh show from Pipeline Theatre featuring a state-of-the-art robot as a full cast member. 
Afterwards there’s a Q&A session: meet the company, and get up close and personal with the robot, who can even answer your questions himself.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★  “This is a perfectly constructed and superbly acted play that sheds much light on both the difficulties of young love and the frustration of illness and diminution of mental powers in old age.”  British Theatre Guide 
★ ★ ★ ★  “Pipeline Theatre have taken sci-fi theatre to a bold new level”  Scotsman 
★ ★ ★ ★  “A unique and intriguing production“  Guardian

This show is part of our Spring Season and can be found in our brand new brochure which is available here

Open/closeReviews and Quotations

“A unique and intriguing production”
4 stars
The Guardian
“This is a perfectly constructed and superbly acted play.”
5 stars
British Theatre Guide
"Its an astonishing piece of theatre that allows a box of blinking lights and whirring gears to move us fallible humans to tears."
5 stars
The Edinburgh Guide
This show is a beautifully evocative and moving story of relationships, loss and the complexities and simplicities of love; it should not be missed.
5 stars
Broadway Baby
5 stars
Scottish Mail
“Pipeline Theatre have taken sci-fi theatre to a bold new level”
4 stars
The Scotsman
"Excellent performances all around, not least by the robot, an actual mechanical construction who usually works as a museum host."
4 stars
The Stage
“A beautifully constructed play performed by an outstanding cast. Pipeline Theatre are definitely a company to keep an eye on in the future.”
4 stars
The Nouse
"​For a show in which a quarter of the cast is permanently plugged into the mains, Spillikin must have one of the biggest, warmest hearts on the Fringe. With an on-stage robot as one of its stars, it combines technical trickery with a subtle story of love in the twilight years ... While Spillikin brings up complex ideas about the nature of being, and the potential of artificial intelligence, it’s a delightful show – and one whose technical accomplishments are matched by its compassion."
4 stars
The List
"It's a tear-jerking, beautiful and innovative show which explores love and loss, while touching on how technology can change our lives and relationships. "
4 stars
Fringe Guru
Spillikin is an unlikely triumph: a finely-tuned technological equation that pays out in pure emotional power.
4 stars
This emotionally charged drama, written by Jon Welch and produced by the innovative Pipeline Theatre company, raises so many questions about love, loss, betrayal, memory, dementia, caring – and Artificial Intelligence! – that a Q&A session after the play, with the writer and the cast, barely begins to blow away any clouds. A brilliant and thought-provoking experience.
Just Retiring
Despite the AI factor, this is an incredibly human story and one that is brilliantly written, acted and designed ... theatre at its best which by rights should play to bigger audiences in the West End.
5 stars
West Briton
I would highly recommend this emotional, thought - provoking performance.
University of Plymouth Students' Union
Always approaching his subjects with dignity and intelligence Welch manages to pull a lot of punches in this short production which is both heartbreaking and inspiring ... Much as Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror series shows us the exciting benefits and alarming limitations of the development of technology, Welch doesn’t shy away from the difficulties and limitations of using robots in care. As much as the dying Raymond wanted to provide some company for Sally, the robot was also the cause of some her disorientation and confusion. No one is suggesting that robots can replace human companionship but if writing and drama like this can produce some intelligent debate about how their use can be explored for the benefit of all. A great demonstration of the power of theatre in informing our debate.
4 stars
The Reviews Hub
Jon Welch’s script is a beautiful work of lyrical unravelling. Individual words, loosed from their safely sentenced moorings, become poetic markers for secret worlds and shared experiences ... Spillikin is a funny, painful take on this – and bitingly true. Go and see this vital show.
Hall for Cornwall