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Review: Error 404 at Newcastle Northern Stage

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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Error 404
Newcastle Northern Stage
Thursday 29th– Friday 30th October 2015

A 10 year old boy is, not surprisingly, very upset when his best mate dies. His Mum comes to the rescue and appears with a robot that wants to be his best friend. But can a robot be a friend? How will his friends at school react? How much empathy will he get? The younger members of the audience are asked for their input in determining the direction of the plot of this modern tale.

North East Theatre Guide favourite Daniel Bye (Review Link) is an engaging storyteller. Clearly the time spent as a philosopher in residence at a Wimbledon primary school has helped refine the necessary skills.  Daniel is comfortable asking for suggestions from the young audience. There is no guarantee about what they’ll say and he is skilful at making each contribution feel valued. The kids in the target 8-11 age range are also far more perceptive than their years suggest.

The colourful set features 5 small tv screens that help illustrate the story and are able to cope with the suggestions as they fly in. In addition to the quick fingers behind the scenes changing these scenes we also have Daniel using numerous loops to provide the musical score. Whilst the screens help the narrative, the sounds help set the atmosphere.

The show does cover some big philosophical questions including “What is reality”. The children lap them up and come up with erudite observations and contributions to the later questions.  The 12 year old who came along with me to see the show said it was a cool show and he really enjoyed it.

Interactive Jackanory it may be. Daniel is a captivating narrator who delivers a show that will appeal to a wider age range than the target key stage 2 audience. 

This review was written by Stephen Oliver for the North East Theatre Guide from Jowheretogo PR ( Follow Jo on twitter @jowheretogo, Stephen @panic_c_button or like Jowheretogo on Facebook

Cast & Creatives:
Written and performed by Daniel Bye
Directed by Alex Swift
Design by Fiammetta Horvat
Lighting by Katharine Williams
Musical director: Tom Adams
Dramaturgy: Sarah Punshon


Error 404 appears at Newcastle’s Northern Stage on Thursday 29th  & Friday 30th  October 2015 at 11am & 2pm
Book now: 0191 230 5151 /
Recommended age: 8+
Running time: 1 hour
Adults £10.50 Children £8.50

Remaining tour dates:
Thursday 29th - Friday 30th October,
11am+2pm, Northern Stage, Newcastle 
Friday 27th November, 10.30am + 1.30pm; Saturday 28th November, 11.30am + 2.30pm, ARC, Stockton.

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