Rob Lloyd’s Who, Me tells the story of how obsessions (particularly of the pop culture variety) both help and hinder people’s ability to communicate and move around socially – and like the content it discusses, it will be accessible to some and inaccessible to others.
With Who, Me Lloyd tells the story of his not-quite-lifelong obsession with Doctor Who, and loosely following the format of a courtroom drama Lloyd figures out whether this fascination with a kitschy cult classic has helped or hindered him in life. Along the way there are some pretty deep references (if you’re like me and have only seen episodes from the new series, there are definitely some jokes that will go over your head), and some pretty honest tales of what it’s like to grow up as a sci-fi nerd in not-so-urban Australia.
Some elements do come off a bit oddly, particularly the way in which Lloyd deals with the courtroom drama aspect. Rather than embody the various members of the courtroom (judge and prosecution, with the audience taking the place of the jury), Lloyd relates back to the audience what each individual said, as if telling us about it after the fact rather than it happening onstage before the audience’s eyes. Lloyd justifies it through telling us near the start that this trial was all a very intense dream, but the framing device seems unnecessary in a theatrical setting (though it is still very easy to follow the through-line of this show). Feeling the need to justify the courtroom setting in this way comes off a little reticent artistically, which seems inconsistent with the ‘go hard or go home’ attitude when it comes to indulging some of the nerdier content, such as the “all of the Doctors walk into a bar” joke.
Lloyd really does go big for the “only Doctor Who fans will appreciate this” jokes, such as appearing at the start of the show and realizing after he’s spoken a few lines that he’s actually at the end of the show and must “go back” (and there are some “timey-wimey” references too!). If you haven’t seen Doctor Who then you will most certainly not get these jokes, but you will see the joy in Lloyd’s face as he pulls them off. Who, Me is as much about Lloyd as it is about the general experience of being a Doctor Who fan, and as a one-man show about succeeding in life despite (and in spite of) a sometimes-debilitating obsession with a sci-fi property, it’s strong. The personal storyline could be stronger and more detailed, but to focus more on it and retain a Fringe-friendly running time would entail cutting some of the “nerd out” gags, and I’m not sure that would be the best move.
Who, Me is a feel-good show that will tickle your inner nerd. Those who are inexperienced with Doctor Who may wish to stay away lest they be mystified by the reference jokes, but if you have had a passing interest in it (or anything in a similar vein) then you will definitely enjoy the reference jokes and the story of one man’s love-hate relationship with his favourite TV show.
Written by Rob Lloyd and Scott Gooding
Performed by Rob Lloyd
At ODD Box (Venue 4)
Running Time: 60 minutes
Saturday 10 June 9:30pm
Sunday 11 June 3:00pm
Wednesday 14 June 7:30pm
Thursday 15 June 6:00pm
Saturday 17 June 10:00pm