Mayfair Theatre, 100 King Edward Street, Kensington, Dunedin

28/09/2018 - 30/09/2018

Theatre Royal, 78 Rutherford Street, Nelson

16/10/2018 - 17/10/2018

Blyth Performing Arts Centre (Iona College), 42 Lucknow Road, Havelock North

19/10/2018 - 19/10/2018

Dunedin Arts Festival 2018

Hawkes Bay Arts Festival 2018

Production Details

This unique little show from Hungary combines theatre with digital technology: interactive projection, a smart LED costume, a robot ball and a drone.

Ann-Droid is the story of Pinocchio set in the 21st century. In this story Pinocchio is a little robot called Ann who is at home in the virtual world, using digital devices as easily as any 21st century child. Her goal however, like Pinocchio, is to become a real child; exploring human relations and trying to connect with her scientist/creator.
Adventures abound as she tries to understand what it means to be human.

Ann-Droid explores how we can all find the balance between the virtual and real world by creatively connecting our digital skills with actual experiences. Ann-Droid is a charming show for children and families, and the Festival is thrilled to bring these wonderful dance/street performers from Hungary on their debut visit.

Ann-Droid is a great way to start the school holidays.

“Grace, humour, creativity… every moment is remarkable. The technology is beautifully integrated into the story. I didn’t want it to end” – GO Media

Arts Festival Dunedin 2018 

Mayfair Theatre, Dunedon 
Friday 28 Sept, 6pm
Saturday 29 Sept, 2pm & 6pm
Sunday 30 Sept, 2pm
General Admission
Adult $25
Child $15
Buy Tickets  

Nelson Arts Festival 2018

Tue 16 Oct, 7pm;
Wed 17 Oct, 10.30am [sold out]
FULL $25 | UNDER 19 $12
SENIOR $20 | FAMILY* $65
*Family ticket is for 4 people, max. 2 adults
Plus TicketDirect Service Fee
Book Now!  

Hawkes Bay Arts Festival 2018

The Blyth Performing Arts Centre (Iona College)
Fri Oct 19th October 2018
Adult  $35
Concession  $30
Child – 16 and under  $20

Theatre , Family , Children’s ,

50 mins

Delightful and captivating

Review by Jenny Wake 21st Oct 2018

“That was magic,” says a small boy in the audience as the performers take a bow. “It really WAS magic!” he adds, in case of doubters.  

But there is no doubting Ann-Droid: The Wonderful Adventures of a Robot Girl is a magical show. With just two performers, three remote-controlled props and a large screen, Bandart Productions plunges audiences into a vibrant, madcap world of dreams, nightmares, lost love, redemption and digital gameplay. 

In essence, Ann-Droid is a reimagined Pinocchio story: a lonely inventor builds a robot child who comes to mischievous life and sets off on a journey, along the way discovering what it takes to be human. 

Bandart Productions is a partnership between two Hungarian performers, and this production showcases their respective talents. Katalin Lengyel is a dancer and choreographer. As Ann-Droid, the robot girl, she skates through rooms, runs through woods, leaps from cloud to cloud across the sky and sinks to the ocean floor – in reality without moving more than a metre or so in any direction.

Szabolcs Tóth-Zs, who plays the absent-minded inventor, is a digital media artist. For this show he has created a multifaceted, animated scenic backdrop. His inventor’s laboratory features weird and wonderful gadgets with start buttons that trigger wacky sequences of on-screen, 2D mechanical action. There are doors that open to other rooms and environments, where skeletons loom in the shadows of an undersea cavern, trees transform into a nightmarish forest of towering hands and a young girl’s bedroom is preserved just as it was the day the inventor lost his daughter.

There are risks with theatre productions this heavily reliant on new media such as digital animation. Today’s generation of children, so-called digital natives, spend enough time on digital devices at home or school for screen magic to be more ordinary, less memorable, than it was just a few years ago. Theatre magic remains deeply rooted in story, character and in-the-moment connections between theatre artist and audience.   

In Ann-Droid, the story and characters are lightly sketched, albeit with some complexity and plenty of heart. In this production, the magic of theatre stems from precise timing, movement and positioning as performers interact with imagery. Before our eyes we see a living, breathing, on-stage person open and step through a door that we know to be a 2D digital animation projected onto a solid screen. Bandart’s genius lies in the fusion of live performance and digital animation, so the actors appear to inhabit the 2D world and the animated environments seem real and tangible.

Another masterstroke is the use of remote control to give onstage objects a life of their own. From the first moment the inventor’s gadget trundler moves behind his back, the audience is delighted and captivated. When the show ends, children gather at the front edge of the stage and take turns directing a little robot ball that rolls whichever way they point. Now that really must be magic!


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Outstanding use of animation and technology

Review by Melanie Stewart 17th Oct 2018

There is nothing I like better than seeing a theatre full of children and young adults thoroughly engaged in a live performance. Tonight’s performance is jam packed with children on the edge of their seats waiting to see what is going to happen next and it is still completely absorbing for the adult members of the audience.

Ann-Droid is a story about a robot, built by a lonely inventor to replace his lost daughter, trying to become a human. To do this she needs to complete a series of tasks. The performance is dialogue free and the two actors use strong physicality and quirky movement to portray their characters. But the hero of the performance is the outstanding use of animation and technology to bring to life Ann’s adventures.

Ann runs through forests, frolics in the clouds and dives through the ocean, all using clever 3d animation and superb timing. Her costume is a myriad of LED lighting which, in video game style, lights up when she conquers a task. She is accompanied by a robotic ball of light which quickly becomes the star of the show, and comes across a dying drone, egg laying dodo birds, a forest of hands and a curious fish. 

This is a performance that crosses boundaries. It is accessible to young and old and has no language barriers. The Hungarian company have devised and produced a thoroughly entertaining and uplifting performance that can be enjoyed by everyone. 


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Disarmingly charming

Review by Kate Timms-Dean 29th Sep 2018

The old-time charm of the Mayfair Theatre is the setting for Ann-Droid, a show by Hungarian duo and couple Katalin Lengyel and Szabolcs Toth-Zs. With backgrounds in dance and new media design, their collaborations are destined to be theatrical and technologically enhanced. Ann-Droid is no exception.

Providing a 21st century spin on the classic story of Pinocchio, Ann is created by a crazy inventor who lost his own daughter in a tragic accident. With a backdrop of classic animation, Ann’s adventure begins when she starts to explore the inventor’s home, with cataclysmic consequences. Some of his inventions escape and Ann is sent away in despair to find them.

This charming story is disarmingly retold with assistance from an LED-encrusted dress and headgear, a small ball-shaped robot and a drone. The use of modern technology including the animated backdrop create a setting that will charm and engage any audience from age 2 to 102.

With nods to gaming, Ann levels up at each stage of her adventure, eventually culminating in her unveiling as a real child and providing the inventor a second-chance at fatherhood. The crescendo is blindingly well-executed and unforgettable.

Ann-Droid is a definite must-see – you won’t be disappointed.  


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