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ELIZA’S Adventures in the Uncanny Valley


  • Playwright

    Eugene O'Brien  Gavin Quinn 

  • Synopsis

    In the early 1960s, MIT developed artificial intelligence software called ELIZA, its title a direct reference to Shaw’s Pygmalion. ELIZA made certain kinds of natural language conversations between humans and computers possible. But of course, intelligent response is a trick. It all has to be scripted. So how can a robot write poetry? This Eliza is sent into an anonymous motel, where she interacts with four characters who are all mysteriously booked into the same room. Some of them seem to be barely alive, others too much so, and others may not be real. The audience is an observer to a test: Eliza is both learning from and assessing these individuals. In a series of scripted scenes, they explore love, death, metaphysics, evil and evolution, probing the points in our society where boundaries may be on the verge of disintegrating: between technology and organic life, or between consciousness, non-consciousness and unconsciousness.

  • Play Type

    Plays General

    Number Of Acts


  • Cast Size Male


  • Cast Size Female



  • Date of First Production

    04 October 2018

  • Production Notes

    Produced as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival. 

  • Producer

    Produced by Pan Pan

  • Original Venue

    Samuel Beckett Theatre

Original Cast  
Marvin Andrew Bennett
Eliza Genevieve Hulme-Beaman
Mrs H Jane McGrath
Sophia Amy Molloy
Eric Dylan Tighe
Production Team  
Director Gavin Quinn
Designer Aedin Cosgrove
Sound Designer Si Schroeder
Movement Director Katherine O'Malley
Dramaturg Nick Johnson
Assistant Director Ciara Fleming
Costume Supervisor Ciara Fleming
Design Assistant Fenna von Hirschheydt
Production Manager Rob Usher (1)
Stage Manager Aaron Kennedy
Assistant Stage Manager Grainne McKnight
Digital Communications Manager Noelia Ruiz
Photography Ros Kavanagh
Producer Aoife White



  • Territory

    All Territories

  • Rights Type

    All Rights

  • Contact

    Pan Pan

  • Address

    Curved Sreet
    Temple Bar, Dublin 2
    Co. Dublin
    Republic of Ireland

  • Phone

    + 353 (0)1 633 4493

  • Email

  • Website


The information for this entry was taken from the original production programme, with additional information taken from the Dublin Theatre Festival programme.