Director Bob Callender gives us an intriguing preview of his show, which plays in the Upper Hall Tuesday, February 28 – Saturday, March 4. No, I didn’t understand the first bit either, but I’m still going along to see it…
It’s rare that the SLT stages any science fiction, and it’s not hard to see why. Chaz must have spent literally days building brand new anti-matter capacitors for our plasma blasters.
But for us the biggest challenge was the scene just after the Snorlaxxian battlefleet has entered orbit above the iceworld of Harg, and Berg’aan Grzil, escaping the vampiric Fang-Hamsters, is plunged into the Matrix of Ood and must destroy all seven dimension crystals before General Squeeeeeee can activate the Zenith Node and unleash the Kaos of Arg. Man, trying to get Chris Vian-Smith to say his one line properly was just . . .
Oh all right then, look. The chap who wrote this, Jerome Bixby, was a figure in what they call the Golden Age of Science Fiction (along with Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Robert A. Heinlen and others). In the ’50s his short stories appeared in magazines like “Worlds of Tomorrow” and he wrote scripts for B-movies like It! The Terror from Beyond Space. In the ’60s and ’70s he turned to TV and wrote many episodes of the original Star Trek and Twilight Zone series.
Apparently he started writing this script in the ’50s, and kept on picking away at it throughout his career, finally finishing it just before his death in 1999. It’s a proper old-school sci-fi (like they used to make before Star Wars came along), where it’s not about special effects and battles in space, but big ideas and unexpected twists. It rips a big new hole in reality and peers through it to get a different perspective on life, death, science, belief and the sweep of human history.
My awesome cast are nailing it. It’s 90 minutes long (without an interval, so a 3 pint-er). Tasteful nudity involved (afterwards). Come see.
– Bob Callender