REVIEW | FANBOY
Updated: Nov 17
AD | Gifted tickets in exchange for an honest review!
Tw / Cw : contains themes around mental health, including suicide ideation
A show about some of the most talked about pop-culture moments in history.
Fanboy from Worklight Theatre is a true life story of Joe Sellman-Leava life who loves all things pop-culture. Fanboy explores certain fans behaviours in some of the most beloved fandoms in the world, While also looking at political figures, Joe looks at fans and certain icons and how protection can be involved plus how this love can be perceived online.
My initial thoughts going into the show was that due to the show being one person on stage at all times how will this hold me and be engaging throughout, and also how will the show take famous pop-culture and turn this into a show.
Fanboy plays at 1 hour 5 minutes with no interval. Like always, my reviews are 100% honest and I will always justify my ratings, thoughts and feelings, always giving constructive feedback and my opinions are my own.
Written and performed by Joe Sellman-Leava, Joe writes really well giving in-depth detail to characters and films that you may not be so familiar with, but have a baseline understanding, like StarWars, like I have. Joe takes you through many years of his life and love of pop-culture by giving you a quick short summary of big topics within the news at the time, giving the audience an understanding of time shifting and moving. Joe also gives an enlightening amount of love to the dialogue, exploring the connections between films and fans themselves and also different fan opinions, giving you opportunities to see fandoms from different ways and what it creates in the long run.
As Fanboy is when Joe is in his thirties and Joe looking at his younger self, the show makes best steps with adding dialogue from the perspective of young Joe that was pre-recorded and played through VHS which made it easier to see transitions and subject changes.The writing is well rounded and shows different sides to the world of pop-culture with references and additions for fans. It's deserving and shows how fandoms can really play a big part of people's lives and how they can also have the good but also have the bad within them. Overall Joe has written a good piece about the good and the bad and what it means and what it's like to be in a famous fandom. The style of this show was good and was unique to the show with places where the technical side got a little involved but for me the subject matter wasn’t engaging and didn’t really resonate with me personally but for others, who are fans of this fandom maybe it would.
With the show performed by Joe, Joe acts with good skill, showing the eagerness to tell you his love for the things that he loves. Joe cleverly switches to different people really well which can be pretty easily determined by the audience. I admire Joe for doing a full hour and 5 minutes with just yourself on stage and having to interact with a pre-recording on old tv and also doing impressions of famous characters from movies which was quite impressive. Joe gave a nice performance and really tried to show all the different sides well for the audience to understand.
Directed By Yaz Al Shaater, Yaz does have a hard job of directing only one performer and making the on stage direction work with the pre-recorded direction, Yaz does a good job of trying to collectively bring them together, and also takes the opportunity to clearly show locations really well. The direction to me felt very minimalistic and wasn’t overly done, Yaz brings just enough direction to help pull the show along for just over an hour.
The video of this show was done well, with having young Joe and a small screen it was a good idea to make it look like a VHS tape, the set was very simplistic, just a shelf with pop-culture items and a door to make it feel like Joe's old room.
Fanboy is a show about pop-culture with star wars, muppets christmas carol and Nintendo referrals throughout, something that if you love you will probably like and enjoy. But for me it’s a show that theatrically and on paper it was a good concept in bringing it to life, but subjectively it wasn’t for me. Joe does a great job of being on stage for just over an hour telling about his life, and writes what he loves through his story, I guess quite honestly, and there is an audience for this show for sure and it will find it I think, but again it wasn’t for me.
So if you're a fan of all things star wars, Nintendo, Muppets Christmas carol, then try Fanboy
Fanboy is currently on a UK tour until the 13th of December. View below for important show info
IMPORTANT SHOW INFO
touring from Thursday 7th October – Wednesday 13th December
Ages 12+, contains themes around mental health, including suicide ideation
tickets for the remaining tour dates