My mum and I recently went to see a comedy based on Science Fiction, performed by MDG (Methodist Drama Group) Players from Chandler’s Ford.
The comedy is called Diamond in the Sky, written and directed by Chandler’s Ford playwright Mike Standing.
While my mum couldn’t quite understand the comedy, I understood it as I’m a sci-fi nerd.
Here is my review of Diamond in the Sky, in a Q & A format. (Note: Questions are from my mum.)
1) Have you seen any Science Fiction show in a local theatre before?
I’ve never seen any Science Fiction in the theatre, so Diamond in the Sky is my first sci-fi at a local theatre. It was a strange experience, as normally these theatre performances revolve around normal people in strange situations, but Diamond in the Sky was a sci-fi comedy.
2) What is Diamond in the Sky all about? What exactly is the ‘diamond’?
The play is about a spaceship of alternative universe humans crash landing into this universe on their spaceship and meeting some Earth humans. The ‘diamond’ is a metaphor for the Earth and the alternative humans’ views of it.
3) Did you enjoy the performance?
There were plenty of funny bits, including a computer with a bizarre personality and some dumb humans. The humour includes some physical comedy and misunderstandings.
In Science Fiction, there is a term called a Wormhole, based on the real life Wormholes. However, in Science Fiction, they are bigger and used to get the characters into another universe or a place where they’ve never been. In the play, the spaceship enters a Wormhole from their universe to this one.
4) Is there a more serious message in the play?
There is a message about preserving the Earth and that the Earth is the only place with life in this universe, so it’s best to make the most of it. However, it is mostly comedic and the serious messages are more in the background.
5) Do you think Diamond in the Sky used many Science Fiction conventions?
There are many sci-fi conventions like spaceships, alternative universes, androids and stasis bubbles.
These are all very common conventions in sci-fi.
Doctor Who and Star Wars use these tropes often, so when I watched Diamond in the Sky I was familiar with these tropes and felt that the director understood these conventions of sci-fi and used them well.
6) Do you find the Science Fiction language in this comedy very different?
The language used is appropriate to the genre and will probably make sense to people who understand sci-fi, like me. To understand some of the language, it’s useful to watch sci-fi like Star Wars.
Science Fiction is divided into two main categories: Hard and Soft. Hard sci-fi sticks to the basic rules of science like Jurassic Park, while soft sci-fi breaks the rules of science like Star Wars.
I think Diamond in the Sky roughly falls in the middle, as it has dimension travelling and advanced technology, but it also uses real scientific language.
7) Anything to improve?
I think it could have been funnier in the beginning. When it was funny, it really was, but the beginning is mostly exposition.
The play only gets really funny when the humans from this Earth interact with the other one. For example, when the spaceship first lands, Captain Mishara Armstrong (played by Sarah Sullivan) thinks they are in the Middle Ages because the humans are role playing as medieval warriors. However, these are really modern day people from a town in Wales.
8) How do you rate this unusual Science Fiction comedy?
I think it is an interesting take on many sci-fi conventions. Instead of aliens there are alternative universes and there isn’t a main villain, just a lot of misunderstandings.
All in all I think Diamond in the Sky was an entertaining play with lots of clever ideas and humour. I really enjoyed it.
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