Theatre review: What Would Spock Do?
Theatre review: What Would Spock Do?

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: What Would Spock Do?, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Sally Stott. ★★★★ There’s a woman in an office and she’s dressed as Mr Spock; not in an obvious way, but subtly – the severe angular haircut, a tight fitting blue top and a little badge. It’s a striking image, one that …

4
What Would Spock Do

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: What Would Spock Do?, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Sally Stott.

★★★★

There’s a woman in an office and she’s dressed as Mr Spock; not in an obvious way, but subtly – the severe angular haircut, a tight fitting blue top and a little badge. It’s a striking image, one that her fellow office worker, Gary, instantly recognises but has, until now, chosen to forget.

From a stage covered in Star Trek paraphernalia, watched over by a giant cardboard cut-out Leonard Nimoy, he delivers one of the most uplifting one-man shows on the Fringe – a piece that will obviously appeal to fans of the TV series and films (“Trekkies”), but also anyone who loves a well-told romantic comedy or has ever felt ostracised for being different.

While it’s a fictional story, performed by the phenomenally versatile Sam Donnelly (who’s playing three completely different, far more intense characters in Jethro Compton’s Frontier Trilogy at C nova), it’s inspired by Donnelly’s childhood and that of writer/director Jon Brittain (creator of the fabulous Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho, also at the Fringe).

A smartly structured narrative that moves between Gary’s childhood dealing with bullies, to his adult self struggling with the attention that comes from having a girlfriend who wears her fandom on her sleeve or – more accurately – pinned to her shirt, it’s about embracing who you are and daring to be different. Brittain’s writing is a delight; warm, funny and inspiring, and when Gary is finally, spectacularly and publicly, able to embrace his inner geek, it’s a victory for all of us who never quite felt like we fitted in.

Gilded Balloon (Venue 14) until 31 August

Published in The Scotsman on 22 August 2015

Edinburgh Festivals 2015: complete coverage

• Get everything on our Festivals homepage – on desktop, mobile or tablet
• Looking for reviews? Check out the latest Scotsman reviews – or browse all the reviews ranked by star rating
• Don’t miss a thing: sign up to our daily email newsletter
• Watch all the latest videos from the #WOWwagon
• Get distracted by our Festival Blog
• Check out today’s half-price ticket deals
• Follow our social accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – and join the conversation with #WOWfest
• Download the WOW247 app for iOS and Android