beep boop

Most of you are probably reading this review on a portable device right now. When was the last time that you stood up and looked around? Or the last time that you left home without your phone? Written and performed by Richard Saudek in collaboration with Crowded Outlet, beep boop brings questions like these to the fore in an irreverent pastiche of our increasing dependence upon those shiny blue screens – and it’s a lovely bit of clowning theatre too.

Lightning-fast movements and elastic facial expressions prove Saudek to be a master of his craft

Bedecked in grey as our nameless protagonist, Saudek squelches onto stage with the help of some impeccably-timed sound effects, evolving in front our eyes from primeval pond life to the homo sapiens that we know and love – before, of course, the phone bings. In one deft movement, all is transformed: a hunched posture, glazed eyes and ever-scrolling thumb make for a spot-on impression of commuters, teenagers and other like-minded individuals the world over. Lightning-fast movements and elastic facial expressions prove Saudek to be a master of his craft: drawing from the comic beats of silent-era movies and fusing this with the ever-so modern urge to always be ‘online’, I am sure you can imagine the potential for some embarrassingly relatable laughs that ripple through the audience.

Going beyond the undoubtedly brilliant physical talent is where beep boop begins to struggle a little – there are almost too many ideas to be contained in one hour-long show and, despite remaining mostly within the four imagined walls of one kitchen, it is occasionally hard to follow exactly what is going on. This means that some exciting concepts, such as being sucked into one’s laptop screen or the perils of looking for love online, are introduced but not explored to their full potential. A piece of clowning theatre doesn’t need an overarching narrative to be enjoyable, but given the zeitgeist of the subject matter it somehow feels like a trick was missed here.

beep boop is undeniably a critique of our modern obsession with technology, but first and foremost it is a collection of ‘what ifs?’ explored with entertaingly eccentric aplomb. Perhaps I am missing the point, and each of these disjointed forays into the foibles of modern tech are in themselves a commentary on how (and I may be speaking only for myself here) it is impossible to progress in one single direction when being pulled multiple ways by various mobile devices. However, even this in itself feels like a point that didn’t quite come across consistently, for which I admit I am a little disappointed.

Reviews by Kay Tee

theSpace on the Mile

10:31, MCR

★★★
Bedlam Theatre

Standard:Elite

★★★★
Gilded Balloon Teviot

Ray Bradshaw: Deafinitely Baby

★★★★
PBH's Free Fringe @ Bar Bados Complex

Cauliflower

★★★★
Assembly George Square

beep boop

★★★
Summerhall

All of Me

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Following an acclaimed US run, Richard Saudek (Stage Award winner for Acting Excellence, Fringe 2016) performs a twisted and highly physical romp at breakneck pace. Created by physical comedian Richard Saudek (Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally Fringe 2016), TV and film composer Jesse Novak (BoJack Horseman) and director Wes Grantom (Eager to Lose at Ars Nova), beep boop is a multimedia clown show, exploring our obsession with technology and our increasing loneliness in a world full of connections. ‘If silent film-era comedy and Black Mirror had a baby it would be called beep boop’ (theasy.com).

Most Popular See More

Blithe Spirit

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets