I am not a geek. I am not a geek. I am not a geek. That was the mantra I had inside my head when I went to see Sam Donnelly in ‘What Would Spock Do?‘ I remember watching the original series when I grew up in the 1980s, although I was clearly too young to fully understand the deeper, anthropological and philosophical aspects to the show (show… ‘it is more than a show’). The real fundamentalists, these ‘Trekkies’ (or apparently more accurately, ‘Trekker’) have always been considered as a (self-proclaimed) different breed, and have freaked me out a bit. So, I was a little apprehensive about the evening, and with only my nostalgia to propel me, at warp speed, into the ACMI Cube.
Gary Thompson boldly explores the big questions in his show. Not only repeatedly asking ‘What Would Spock Do?’ as a running narrative, he takes us on a journey though his life, and most importantly, lessons of love. Over an appointed hour (it didn’t feel like an hour), he manages to dispel myths about Star Trek, educate the ungeekly among us (who knew Leonard Nimoy AKA Mister Spock directed Three Men and Baby), clarify a few important points of difference between Star Trek and Star Wars, and explain how and why Star Trek has woven its way through his own numerous comings of age, from age 10 to age 30.
The show is a slick, well-performed, well-timed production. With a soundtrack, props and personal passion that is able to both carry the non-fan and the fanatic alike. The tales of his childhood years, bullies who are named and shamed, and importantly his most recent love life are well told. Although these anecdotes tell like a Hollywood movie, they keep you hanging on to find out if will Gary and his girl be part of Geek tragedy or will they ‘love long and prosper’?
Want an alternative to a Rom-Com flick? Want a substitute to a Trekker convention? Want to see a guy finally learn the most important lesson in life? Simply want to see a great show? Then come and see ‘What Would Spock Do?’ Indeed, ‘make it so’.
Duncan is a ‘man about town’ and purveyor of Melbourne’s surprising, quirky, and cultural events.
‘What would Spock Do? runs from 24 March – 17 April, 7.15pm Monday to Saturday, 6.15pm Sundays at ACMI Cube. The venue is accessible.
Check out our guide to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for more great shows