Review: What Would Spock Do? @ Gilded Balloon

Moyan Brenn, Edinburgh Festival / CC
Photograph: Moyan Brenn / CC

Verdict: Highly Recommended Show

Genre: Comedy

Venue: Gilded Balloon

Website: What Would Spock Do?

Company: Seabright Productions


‘An uplifting new comedy about love, Star Trek, and learning to accept who you are – no matter how much of a loser it makes you. Written and directed by Jon Brittain (Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho). Starring Sam Donnelly (The Bunker Trilogy, Quasimodo in Belt-Up’s Hunchback).’


This is a show for every geek out there who has ever felt ashamed, embarrassed or isolated in their love for fandom and in particular, Star Trek. Sam Donnelly takes us through his intense love of the franchise and the bullying he endured because of it; tales of his grandfather’s role in his obsession, his decision to suppress it and right through to the love story between him and the girl who has her very own Spock Day.

Donnelly is incredibly likeable and instantly captures attention with his humour and passionate storytelling. Beginning the show with ‘Star Trekking’ is inspired and I challenge anyone to listen to that song without smiling. The Star Trek soundtrack is used to highlight its own brilliance and relevance to every day situations – having an idea will never be the same again.

Donnelly evokes genuine emotion with his straight retellings of his past with audible gasps and murmurs from the audience,  particularly as he speaks of the destruction of his scrapbook at the hands of bully Shane Deacon and when his 8 year old self missed the opportunity to meet cheap keflex online Leonard Nimoy at his first convention.

He does not shy away from the controversy of Star Trek vs Star Wars, his comparison of Star Wars to The Lion King is enough to enrage any fan but he does it with great humour and provides solid evidence so that no-one can deny he’s a little bit right.

There is relevance for anyone who has a passion that no one around them understands and Donnelly tells how he abandoned his love of Star Trek and became “normal” due to pressure from his peers and a desire to conform. He adapted the the world of football, beer, and girls instead and locked his passion away from the mocking of everyone around him. In doing so he almost loses the love of his life. He provides us with two messages; first of all Star Trek is incredible and secondly never conform, always be yourself, however geeky that may be

There is incredible warmth and humour throughout. Mixed with the music and the cardboard cut out of Mr Spock, What Would Spock Do? is a beacon for all non-conformists, geeks, and outcasts who have ever felt alone in their passion for something. Sam Donnelly really is a wonder of a storyteller and he has inspired me to go and watch the original series all over again.

This review originally appeared on FringeReview and is reproduced in partnership with their permission.


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Christine Lawler 42 Articles
Christine has a passion for literature and has been a closeted writer since childhood. Other passions include theatre, film, and all things geeky. She lives in Glasgow with a cat named Molls and a tortoise named Haruki Kabuki.

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