Vault review: Fanboy

Worklight Theatre bring Joe Sellman-Leava’s Fanboy to Vault (it was a work in progress there in 2020), and it proves an interesting piece on fandom, who we are, and the parts of us we carry through our lives.

It does require some knowledge of the Star Wars franchise (especially the prequels), but if you’re not up to speed, you can still keep up. Fanboy also has the VHS Christmas trilogy of Die Hard, The Muppet Christmas Carol, and Home Alone.

What I found most interesting were Joe’s conversations with his younger self, full of the “whys” and “tell mes” you will recognise if you have ever met a six year old.

This is a show that reflects on friendships and different kinds of obsession, alongside a nostalgic use of technology and some killer impersonations.

Promotional photo for Fanboy

It oozes nostalgia from a millennial perspective, with video games, midnight screenings, cosplaying, and school banter all thrown into the mix.

Dylan Howells’s tech design will appeal to many, and Yaz Al-Shaater’s direction, video, and sound design supports and enhances Sellman-Leava’s nerdish and poignant script.

Fanboy feels as if it has a little more to give, perhaps beyond an hour-long running time. It is packed with surprising turns, and at least two characters seem to be more significant than they appear here.

This is a play that keeps you guessing, and which gives voice to the childhood nostalgia I think every generation can identify with (or the classic VHS of Watch With Mother of 1850s shows wouldn’t have been a bestseller).

Famboy closed last night at the Vault Festival – for more information on Worklight Theatre, go to their website.


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