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Paul Mannering Presents : Star Wreck. A radioplay mash-up.

posted Nov 19, 2018, 8:58 PM by Kura Carpenter   [ updated Nov 19, 2018, 10:19 PM ]

Star Wreck An Original Paul Mannering Radio Play, only at GeyserCon 2019
Over recent years, our New Zealand national conventions have seen
a new tradition, wherein award-winning author Paul Mannering writes and directs a radio-play spoof on a SFF fandom which is then performed by members of convention. A casting call is made the convention’s opening ceremony, a couple of secret-squirrel rehearsals are held throughout the programme, and the radioplay is performed live at the closing ceremony. In 2016, at Au Contraire 3, Mannering gave us the side-splitting Death Star Noir, and 2017 there was Word of the Things, an irreverent mash up of current events, Game of Thrones and LotR. Both hilariously funny and wickedly sharp. And we’re delighted to announce that for GeyserCon 2019, Paul has penned us an original spoof called Star Wreck, based on a popular fandom. We invited Paul to give us the skinny on his new work.


GEYSERCON: So Star Wreck. Are you bit of a Trekkie then? What can you tell us about the play? And who is your favourite captain?

Paul Mannering
PAUL: I’m one of those fandom-fluid people who enjoy both Star Trek and Star Wars. I’m not a Trekkie, or a Warrie (?) a Wookie? Or even a Jedi. I just love Sci-Fi in all its forms.


PAUL:  Star Wreck was originally a concept I came up with about 10 years ago. I wrote the first outline draft with my son, Ash, who has a wickedly creative bent. The idea with the various parodies has been to make them instantly recognisable to fans, but also make them completely insane. I like to include nods to aspects of the fandom that are enshrined in popular culture and make fun of ourselves (as fans) as well. Star Wreck is focused on ST:OS. So it is a parody of the original series, with some elements of newer ST Universe included. It’s also a bit of a 4th Wall Breaker – so there are parts where characters address the audience or make reference to being in a production directly to the audience and each other (kinda like Deadpool).

Star Wreck: Radio Play, GeyserCon 2019

GEYSERCON: The radio play has become a bit of a community-building coup, with everyone clamouring to join in ‒ no experience necessary. Was it a conscious decision on your part to create a vehicle which would help to connect members of our community or was it just a happy coincidence? How many cast members will you require this time?


PAUL:  The first production, I was just relieved that anyone showed up at all! It was quite nerve wracking when we held the first auditions – basically if you showed up, you got a copy of the script and a part. Since then, the community has embraced this event and performances have been stellar. In my experience, sci-fi fans, especially in a smaller country like ours, are close knit and like to support and get involved in interactive experiences around their various fandoms.

PAUL:  The [Star Wreck] cast runs to at least 6 for this script. The usual lead characters from ST:OS, plus some aliens and supporting. Also, if someone has an Alsatian dog that they can bring to be part of the cast, I have a speaking part for a large dog.


GEYSERCON: What’s the biggest challenge in putting together an amateur show like this? And the best part of being the director?


PAUL:  Judging what other people will find funny is the hardest part. Something may sound hysterical in my head – but I worry about offending someone. The fan community is diverse and we all come from different cultural backgrounds, so it’s important to avoid crossing the line between parody and discrimination. The actors and audience are always fantastic. People work very hard to put on a great performance and its why we keep making new shows.

2016, at Au Contraire 3, the side-splitting Death Star Noir

GEYSERCON: What about sound effects? You’re also director of BrokenSea productions, so perhaps you have something exciting in store for us?

PAUL:  Sound Effects (SFX) are a key element of every show we do. I put together a file of specific sound effects for each production. Instead of making foley like an old school radio play, we use recorded sounds and music. In future, it would be great to get a foley team on board and have them stomp on gravel, stab watermelons, click coconut shells, and wave sheet metal live.


GEYSERCON: Thanks, Paul. We can’t wait to hear Star Wreck live. Just one last question ‒ we see you’re interviewing our Guest of Honour, New York Times bestseller and four times Bram Stoker winner, Jonathan Maberry in an ‘in conversation’ session on Saturday 1 June. Of course, you’ll be preparing questions which will give us some insight into Jonathan’s incredibly varied career, but we wondered if there was a particular question you hope to ask him for yourself?


PAUL:  Jonathan Maberry is amazing. He has had best-seller success with his zombie fiction. He has written terrific techno-thrillers and is up there with Stephen King and Lee Child in terms of awesome characters and action-driven plots. I am looking forward to embarrassing myself in a complete fanboy meltdown when we have our chat.

PAUL: The one question I hope to be able to ask is if he has ever considered adult adoption, and if so, I would like to offer myself as a candidate for adoption.

GEYSERCON: Only time will tell, Paul, we'll find out together come Queen's Birthday weekend and GeyserCon 2019! So don't forget to go to our Register Page, so you don't miss out :)

Star Wreck: Radio Play, GeyserCon 2019

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