What Would Spock Do?
Director: Jon Brittain
Writer: Jon Brittain
Cast: Sam Donnelly
Part of: Fringe @ Rabenhof
Seen on: 1.4.2017
Gary (Sam Donnelly) used to be a nerd. He loved Star Trek above everything else. But now that he’s an adult, he grew out of it. Or at least, that’s what he tells himself. Until he meets his new colleague Kira at work: she wears her hair like Spock. She wears a Star Trek pin. And she’s absolutely perfect. But what weighs more heavily: not being a nerd or being in love with Kira? Gary will have to decide.
What Would Spock Do? is an utterly charming one-man show that’s cute and funny and speaks to and probably for the outsider inside all of us, albeit sticking with a rather conservative narrative.
What Would Spock Do? is not a play that will surprise you much. Nor is it a play that challenges – neither established narratives and tropes, nor emotionally. And it very definitely centers the white, male, cishet (romantic) perspective, with Kira bordering on being a Manic Pixie Dream Girl who teaches Gary how to live true to himself. It also tries to compare being a closeted nerd with being a closeted homosexual which just doesn’t fly (fortunately they don’t dwell on that point).
But if you take it for what it is – not particularly deep and not revolutionary at all – you will have a very enjoyable evening that will put you through all the emotions that a romantic comedy should put you through, with added nerd references. Of course, it could have been used for more, but making an entire theater of people laugh and even shed a tear or two is also a lot for a play to accomplish – and WWSD? achieves it with ease.
Donnelly who spends the entire play on stage alone, playing all characters, does a really good job moving from character to character and Brittain uses stage, light and sound cleverly to support scene and character transitions. It never gets confusing which is always a risk with one actor playing multiple characters.
In any case, WWSD? is a nice bit of entertainment and it works wonderfully if you lean back, relax and enjoy, even though it probably won’t leave a terribly lasting impression.
Summarizing: Sweet and fun.