Glasgow actor’s ‘most unusual’ role as a new play arrives in town

(Coming from a guy who played a giant horse and non-binary bull, that’s saying something.)

“It’s quite a challenge,” he grinned. “But that’s what I love about acting, the sheer variety of characters that get a chance to bring to life.”

Andrew plays Max, or SuperMax3000 to give him his full nickname, in the hilarious and unsettling play SPIN! , which also includes (probably) the world’s first musical duet between a woman and a washerwoman.

It’s part of Vanishing Point’s Unplugged season, a theater created specifically to tour small-scale venues and after premiering at Glasgow’s Tron Theater this week, will be traveling across the country.

Max is a new and smart washing machine. The woman who owns it hears a voice coming from her and when you talk to him, she talks back and is a surprisingly good conversationalist.

However, it soon becomes apparent that her high-tech, eco-friendly best friend knows a little more about her and it isn’t long before she is swept into a divisive world where the machine threatens to do more than air her dirty clothes…..

“I’m not a big tech person,” says Andrew. “I’m a little scared of it, to be honest. Even thinking about your phone, and how likely it is to listen to everything you say, is a little scary.

“I’ve learned that things like smart washing machines are in development – they can do all sorts of jobs, like analyze your clothes and where you were when you were wearing them and who you were with…”

He broke off, laughing: “I don’t think I’d want that from a washerwoman. He’d probably ask me why I’ve been wearing the same sweater for 20 years.”

Andrew trained at the Royal Scottish Institution in Glasgow and has since worked on a wide range of stage and screen productions, including the multi-award winning War Horse with the Royal National Theatre, Shakespeare in the Open Air and the Netflix series Ridley Jones.

SPIN EVENTS! , produced in association with Mull Theatre, is about our relationship with artificial intelligence (AI) and smart technology, and asks if it would be a suitable substitute for other people…

Author Catriona MacLeod explains: “The convergence of human contact and technology once felt miserable, but the forced isolation of the pandemic has created a landscape in which technology is our main — and perhaps only — gateway to the outside world.

“Although the show talks about isolation through humour, there is a central anxiety at its heart — a loss of our pre-pandemic selves, and a fundamental shift in the way we collectively seek and maintain relationships dependent on our devices.

“I think empathy can be easily ignored when communications are virtual. Relationships have become more fragile in a way — does it matter if you never talk to someone again if they only exist as a profile picture and a chat bubble on your phone?”

while spinning! Delving into darker topics, Andrew says he had “a lot” fun with the subject.

“It’s about what really makes us human,” he says, “and that’s fun to explore.”

Spin is taking place at the Tron Theater until Thursday 23rd March and at various venues around Scotland – including Clarkston Hall from 4th April through 14th April.

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