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Artificially Yours - a new play by Aaron Thakar starring Leslie Ash

Woman and man sitting on a sofa, she has a glass of red wine in one hand and he is looking at the label on the wine bottle
Leslie Ash (Pippa) and Paul Giddings (Martin) Photo Andrew Fosker

Guest post by Deborah Tarrant

Currently in a 2 week run at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, Artificially Yours is billed as a dark comedy that explores the hilarious and disturbing consequences of our society’s increasing trust in Artificial Intelligence.

With a cast led by Leslie Ash (Quadrophenia, Men Behaving Badly and more) the play follows three couples as they explore the highs and lows of romantic relationships in the 21st century. Pippa (Leslie Ash) and Martin (Paul Giddings) are separated, but she is still the person he turns to – and drinks with – when his new relationship hits the rocks. Lilah (Destiny Mayers) and Ash (Aaron Thakar – who also wrote the play) are coming to terms with her burgeoning career as a writer, and his as a “ actor”. Noah (Jake Mavis) and Ellie (Ella Jarvis) recently moved in together, but do they have anything in common except in the bedroom? At the centre of it all is Agape, the AI relationship device designed to promote domestic bliss.

Woman and man sitting on sofa wearing matching pyjamas
Aaron Thakar (Ash) and Destiny Mayers (Lilah) Photo Andrew Fosker.

In a fast paced production moving quickly from one couple to the next, there are plenty of laughs, particularly when Noah and Ellie take centre stage, as well as moments of pathos from Pippa. But underpinning it all is a more serious theme – how much trust will we place in artificial intelligence to solve the big issues in our lives. Some are firm believers, while others remain sceptical and think their relationships would benefit from talking to each other rather than seeking the views of a robot.

Artificially Yours kept me engaged for the full 100 minutes of its run time. The well-crafted and insightful writing by Aaron Thakar belies his young age, and the cast deliver his comedic and thought-provoking lines with equal skill. Not only is this play an entertaining way to spend an evening but it leaves you with plenty of food for thought about the society we may be creating as we embrace AI in more and more aspects of our daily lives.

Cast: Leslie Ash, Paul Giddings, Ella Jarvis, Jake Mavis, Destiny Mayers, Katherine Moran, Aaron Thakar

Creative team: Director Hannah McLeod, Writer Aaron Thakar, Producer Ella Jarvis

Production Company: Parkhouse Pictures

Where: Riverside Studios 101 Queen Caroline Street Hammersmith London W6 9BN

When: Playing until Sunday 21 April: Tuesday - Saturday at 7.30pm Saturday & Sunday at 3pm Tickets: £30 £20 (concs)

Running time: 80 mins (no interval)

Contains strong language and sexual references


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