SHOW REVIEW: Age of the Geek

Can self-confessed geek Hayden Cohen prove to us that we’re living in the age of the geek in fifty minutes? Read on to find out.

I’m a bit of a newbie when it comes to watching any kind of live theatre so I’m really out at sea with the sights and sounds of the Edinburgh Fringe festival, which I’m currently attending for the first time.

To break myself in gently to my all new adventures within the  arts I thought I would start with something familiar. This led me to a small darkened hall, complete with compact audience, to await the arrival of Hayden Cohen and his one man stage show ‘Age of the Geek’.

Despite seeing a couple of Hayden’s videos online I was not prepared for his triumphant leap through the curtains and onto the stage, brandishing a plastic lightsaber. Before the audience could work out what was going on Hayden began deflecting imaginary blaster bolts and providing all his own sound effects to the experience. I was as bemused as several members of the audience although my bemusement soon turned to respect as the scene echoed my own dodgy attempts of honing my saber skills. After the madcap intro I was treated to an unashamed peek behind the curtain of  geekdom.

Hayden weaves his geek tapestry using a mixture of comedy, spoken word and music. Now usually someone spontaneously breaking into song (unless it’s Buffy or Doctor Horrible) has me covering my ears but not so with Hayden’s. Not only could this geek carry a tune but his songs were funny and cleverly written with some great lyrics. My fave tune was the closing song which really summed up the joy of being a geek and almost felt like a geek nation anthem (which Hayden gives us a rendition of at the show’s opening).  The comedy isn’t laugh out loud funny but if you know your geekdom there are some laugh out loud moments (Star Wars and Star Trek I’m looking at you). If you are a non geek then some of the jokes will go over your head but with Hayden’s likeable and warm persona it’s still an enjoyable hour spent in the company of a talented performer.

Even though the show is billed as a comedy there were some spot on comments about the dark side of social media that will get you thinking.

Overall I think the show is a difficult sell to a non geek audience and I would love to see Hayden hit some of the Uk comic and Sci-Fi conventions as I think he would do better there.  After all any man who can do a Doctor Who solo on a Stylophone deserves to be heard.

Age of the geek is a witty and inventive look at the geek lifestyle with some great music, insightful comedy and poetry that is well worth checking out.

GS Rating: 3/5 (if you’re a non geek) 4/5 (for us geeks)
GS Reviewer: Nuge 

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