Martin Jarvis directs Jared Harris and Joanne Whalley in Alan Ayckbourn's darkly prophetic comedy. What's the most important thing for composer Jerome: a great new work, or his family?
It's sometime in the near future. Composer Jerome has been suffering a creative block. His only company is his beloved music, the ultra-modern recording devices that surround him, and a malfunctioning humanoid robot, NAN 300F.
Jerome has been unable to work since his wife, Corinna, left with their daughter Geain 4 years ago. Desperate to see Geain again and hoping she'll release the flood-gates, he engages a young actress, Zoe, to pretend to be his fiancee. He wants to deceive his ex-wife into believing he's a fit person to be allowed to spend time with Geain. But, owing to his obsession with recording every intimate moment, Zoe quits. Can Jerome now re-programme robot Nan to sound and look like "perfect" Zoe? And what is most important to Jerome - writing the perfect piece of music on the subject of "love - or being back with his family? Life or Art? Plus - which is better - a robot or a human being?
This is Ayckbourn's 34th play. It received its 1987 world premiere at the Stephen Joseph Theatre-in-the-Round, Scarborough. In November 1988 it opened at the Vaudeville Theatre in the West End, where it ran for ten months, winning the Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy.
Jerome ..... Jared Harris
Lupus ..... Simon Templeman
Zoe ..... Sophie Winkleman
Geain, aged 9 ..... Rosa Calcraft
Corinna ..... Joanne Whalley
Mervyn ..... Darren Richardson
Geain, aged 13 ..... Moira Quirk
Mrs Hope-Fitch ..... Daisy Hydon
Technician ..... Matthew Wolf
NAN 300F ..... Herself
Specially composed music: Mark Holden and Michael Lopez
Producer: Rosalind Ayres
Director: Martin Jarvis
A Jarvis & Ayres Production for BBC Radio 3.