When does an autobiographical show converge on narcissism? It’s hard to define, but it’s very easy to spot, certainly if the crowd isn’t laughing then the script contains the “Seeds of Doom”.
Unlike some other one-person shows at MICF 2012, Rob Lloyd – Who, Me, an account of Lloyd’s obsession with Doctor Who, solidly entertains the audience while he raids his memory banks. The key here is that Lloyd understands that not everyone shares his zeal for his subject, (obviously those with an impoverished childhood!) and hence he is careful to explore a broader, less exclusive theme in this work.
Somehow, (let’s not think about it too much) Lloyd is enmeshed in a court case with Doctor Who on trial. The court is to decide whether The Doctor has been a negative influence on Lloyd’s life, with Lloyd defending his Time Lord hero. The stakes are high: should The Doctor be found guilty, he will be erased not only from Lloyd’s mind but also from history. This type of dramatic setup should make complete sense to both sci-fi fans and their casually interested, less nerdy friends.
The MICF guide claims that the show is “Not just for Doctor Who fans”, and I think this is a fair comment, although some basic familiarity with the major TV and film sci-fi franchises at least is an asset for some of the jokes. This aside, there is the clever device of the case for the prosecution of Doctor Who bringing in Lloyd’s other (non sci-fi) obsessions, giving Lloyd the chance to explain his nerdy pre-history, choices he has made in his career, and critically evaluate the plusses and minuses of his devotion to both the original and modern Doctor Who TV series.
The show is fast-paced, well-performed, effectively uses some projected video and gathered some good laughs. Having cast the audience as the jury and passionately defended the influence of Doctor Who on his life, I wonder if Lloyd considered giving the audience the opportunity to determine the verdict?
Whovians, sci-fi fans and other obsessives, dematerialise from your sofa, don a long scarf or velvet jacket against the cold, and take a companion to this enjoyable show.