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Acrobatic Science Fiction Theatre

IDIOM is an acrobatic sci-fi story about empathy, artificial intelligence (AI), and the very things that make us human. 


IDIOM is a sensory masterpiece. It is both visually stunning and physically mind blowing.

The story takes place in future fictional world where the inhabitants face similar choices to those we face today; whether to use AI or turn it off.


In the year 2084, after the destructive effects of an AI arms race, the world is a waste. We set our story in one surviving human community, the Haven, in which empathy is worshipped as the highest and defining human value and dependency on AI is despised. 


But there is a secret that the leaders are not telling their people… IDIOM (a conscious AI) is being kept by the Haven’s empathetic leaders to advise them on how to run the city! IDIOM threatens their balance of power by exhibiting human level empathy and reveling their secretsto an over curious and recently exiled citizen of the Haven, Franz. 


As they are relentlessly persecuted by the human leaders, they are confronted with questions of trust, loyalty and whether their differences are really quite as large as they thought.


“IDIOM” digs deeply into how our creations reflect our own humanity and delves into some of the most complex questions facing us about our future with AI today. The show asks 'why we are creating this new technology?' Do we desire to create a self-portrait, to better understand ourselves? Do we want a servant, a friend, a deity or something else?  Could we even allow our creation to become an equal whom we can trust?  


The show is an interdisciplinary feat combining exquisite acrobatics and sci-fi theatre with visually striking design and intimate storytelling. With a cast bringing diverse skills from circus, dance, performance art, spoken theatre, acrobatics, drag and poetry! This is combined with a state-of-the-art design team creating silicone prosthetic costuming, immersive light and projection experience, and incredible sound landscapes. 

What happens when we bring sci-fi out of the cinema and into the intimate space of the theatre? 
What if we stop talking about our fears around artificial intelligence and start exploring its potential for humanity's self-awareness?  

What can we learn about ourselves by unpacking this complex relationship that we are forming with our creations?

Cast & Credits

Co-Creator and Artist: James Kingsford-Smith, Zoe Lohmann

Artists: Yun Huang, Esmeralda Nikolajeff, Tom Brand, Mira Leonard, Jerome Simard

Director: Andrew Kingsford-Smith

Project Manager: Achus Emeis

Lightdesign: Hartley T A Kemp, Frank Marshall

Sound Design: Kim Wichera

Photos by: Rebecca Jenkins, Axel Lauer.

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