If you liked 2015’s near-future feature film hit Ex Machina, we reckon you ought to book up now for Version 2.0, a new play by Kashyap Raja that explores issues of robotics and female consent, which is coming to London this month. The premiere production runs at Leicester Square Theatre from 20 February to 3 March 2018, with a press night on 22 February.
Kash, a playwright, is obsessively in love with his childhood friend Karen. Kash silently expresses his love for Karen by writing plays for her and she returns his admiration by acting in them.
Their enduring friendship falls apart when Karen rejects Kash, infuriating him to such an extent that he refuses to see her again. After the rejection, he isolates himself from everyone and gradually falls into a depression.
A robotic society offers Kash an opportunity to live with a humanoid companion, and in return that society wants him to introduce their robots to the world via the means of theatre. Kash accepts the invitation and creates a robot that looks exactly like Karen. He prepares a new show with the humanoid lookalike of Karen and presents her in front of a live audience.
Challenging the superficiality of modern society and exploring the effect of social media culture on society, Version 2.0 asks whether a robot can ever replace a real human and how much screen interactions can supplant face-to-face relationships.
Version 2.0 stars Tim Atkinson and Tracey Pickup. It’s directed by Kevin Michael Reed and designed by Martin Scott Marchitto, with original music by John Kerfoot and costumes by Jovana Gospavic. It’s presented by Squire Lane Theatrical and follows the company’s sell-out in December with new British prison drama, Shadows, also directed by Reed.
Of his new production, director Kevin Michael Reed says:
“We seem to think we know people just by being ‘friends’ with them on Facebook, but those idealised worlds presented are not truth. When placed in the wrong hands, those worlds are dangerous.”
Reed is an award-winning, internationally published fashion photographer, producer and director from New York City, currently living in London. He is the founder and president of Squire Lane Endeavors and its subsidiaries Squire Lane Films and Squire Lane Theatrical. In addition to Shadows, he produced the critically acclaimed productions of Reese Thompson’s WHORE: A Kid’s Play and Joy Donze: 13 & Not Pregnant at the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Version 2.0 runs at London’s Leicester Square Theatre from 20 February to 3 March 2018, with performances (90 minutes) Tuesdays to Saturdays at 8pm, Saturday matinees at 3.30pm. Tickets are priced £17 (concessions £15).