Why is it every time I go to the theatre I laugh so much less than everyone else?
As previously noted, even in the hallowed UFO that is the Royal Exchange Theatre, even during the epic that was the recent performance of Chekhov, people laughed their heads off at events and lines which I reckoned were more conducive of a wry smile or a private giggle.
Science Fiction Ruins My Life is a funny play, just not THAT funny... Perhaps it was because it was a comedy, people were just more ready to laugh than me? Perhaps I actually, really and tragically am a terrible old gin fuelled crone? Take this line for instance, delivered with no comic weight at all: “I’ve got stuff on me mind.” Guy in the front row almost fell off his seat.
Anyway, I enjoyed the play. It was sweet, flirts with being twee and the attempt at a life affirming ending is pretty clunky and unsuccessful. However, there is a real affection for the freakishness of the geeks and obsessives who actually inhabit the worlds of comic book shops and mutual-masturbatory sci-fi, fantasy and roll playing clubs. Thank fuck, we are not treated to another bullshit rendition of the “cool geek”.
The madcap happenings are actually both hilarious and familiar, at least to someone who’s current life plays like an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. It is the socially awkward twattishness of the characters is what makes this play both touching and fun. The geek culture references and post-modern touches are inserted without the self satisfied gurning which are their normal accompaniment.
Science Fiction Ruins My Life is at Studio Salford ( in the Kings Arms near Salford Station) until Saturday 18th October.