Rossum's Universal Robots - Part 1

Rossum's Universal Robots - Part 1

By BBC Radio 4

Drama of the Week

Friday, 8 April

Music and Lyrics by Susannah Pearse Book by Robert Hudson Karel Čapek's ultra-prescient, retro-futurist 1921 comedy (the classic which gave us the word 'robot') is reimagined with a massive dose of character-driven and song-centred heart. In Capek's world, machines do all the work and their monopolistic makers care only about enriching themselves. Robots make huge volumes of goods very cheaply, but there are limited resources to make these goods from and humans don't care so long as life keeps getting lazier. The movie star Lady Helen is on a personal crusade. She visits the island factory of Rossum's Universal Robots, robot-makers to the world, with the intention of freeing the robots. Despite her better judgement, she falls in love with Chairman Domin, the capitalist boss of R.U.R, who dismisses her campaign by insisting that robots are devoid of emotion and free will. Undeterred, Lady Helen persuades a sympathetic scientist to grow a small batch of robots with these very qualities. The new robots defy all expectations, not least because of their resolute commitment to saving the world from the humans. Domin . . . . . Paul Chahidi Lady Helen . . . . . Jasmine Hyde Radius . . . . . Paul Hilton Helen 2 . . . . . Clare Foster Alpha . . . . . Anneika Rose Brown Owl . . . . . Neil McCaul Alquist . . . . . Matthew Durkan Sulla . . . . . Alexandra Hannant Fabry . . . . . Michael Begley Busman . . . . . Tayla Kovacevic-Ebong Logicbot . . . . . Chris Jack Arrangements and Musical Direction: Harry Sever Production co-ordinator: Luke MacGregor Sound: Peter Ringrose Director: Sasha Yevtushenko
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