On a rare sunny evening, we took ourselves along to Aro Park to watch some nutters. Nutters there are aplenty in this world, but the particular type that we were watching were Trekkies. Each year, this group of Star Trek fans put on an amateur dramatic production of an episode of Star Trek (the original series) in the open air. This year, they were performing Journey To Babel.
We walked down in the sunny evening and grabbed ourselves a good spot on the bank, slightly to the left of centre. The stage was already set, and there was pre-show entertainment in the form of a group of singers, the Space Babes, who performed a number of space-related songs - Space Oddity and the like – before finishing with an audience-participatory rendition of The Firm’s Star Trekkin'. Just to get us all in the mood.
Performing a play set mostly on a spaceship presents some challenges for an open-air production with limited means. Amongst these are the set changes. These were mostly achieved by sliding pictures and doorways on the backdrop. Also, without the benefit of actual automatic doors, two cast members stood at the side of the stage and took a step apart, then together, to imitate the doors, whilst saying “whoosh”. There’s also badly-choreographed fight scenes, and the bit where the Enterprise gets hit and everyone leans one way, then the other, to show the damage. It was all jolly good fun, and although they presented it completely deadpan, some of it is unintentionally funny these days, given how Star Trek has morphed in the popular imagination.
After the show we walked around the corner to Willis Street and The Bresolin to dine on their finest burgers.