Now Listen to Me Very Carefully

★★★★
theatre review | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 07 Aug 2015

I'm dying—loudly and excessively—in a hail of foam Nerf gun bullets. Around me, other people are writhing and moaning, revelling in their gloriously over-the-top exit from this life. We've been sucked into the world of Andy Roberts and his lifelong obsession with sci-fi classic Terminator 2. It's a place where explosion-filled car chases from the film are recreated with remote-controlled cars and audience members get to pretend to be Arnie. It's brilliant fun.

But there's more to this semi-autobiographical show from Bootworks Theatre Collective, performed by Roberts with fellow co-artistic director James Baker (a nothing-spared vision in silver spandex as the T1000). There's poignancy in their geeky banter, as Roberts unpicks the role that Terminator 2 has played as he's grown up. Interspersed with snippets of his parents gamely attempting American accents as they repeat its dialogue, there's the itch of unfulfilled dreams.

But while the show feels cathartic (not least for us, the audience, liberated from having to be sensible), it never dips too deeply into theatrical therapy. We might get a swell of sadness, but we also experience family love and that utter joy of disappearing into something fully and completely. And the fact that Roberts also manages to tell the plot of the entire film in an hour is a feat in itself.

"Get out of the way, John," Roberts repeats over and over again at the start. It's funny and a smidge obsessive – perfect for this love letter to the headrush of cinematic escape.