Rik Carranza: Still a Fan

Rik Carranza is a Star Trek fan. Still. The title of this touching, heartfelt show rather gives that away, which is why it's initially a surprise when he tells us how at one point he boxed up all his Star Trek memorabilia and donated it to a charity shop. And then went on to become a football fan, because he wanted to be "normal". Yet the team he chose happened to wear red-shirts—coincidence?

Carranza's a genuinely funny, amiable and honest performer.

Carranza’s show may, on the surface, be about how he became a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation (through its terrestrial BBC2 broadcasts on Wednesdays at 6pm, the BBC's "geek slot" during the 1990s, and also home to Thunderbirds, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and old Doctor Who re-runs). However, on a more fundamental level – and why you should consider seeing this show even if you don't self-identify as a "geek" or "fan" of anything, let alone Star Trek – it's about him finding a place in the world, and a family and community he can call "home".

Carranza grew up in Edinburgh's Granton area, son of a Filipino father and Scottish mother. He offers some interesting perspectives on the different emotional cultures they came from, and how they reacted to the verbal and physical bullying that was a regular part of his life while at school. He also explains how Star Trek – with its multi-racial casts, occasionally profound ideas and less profound phaser-blasting space-battles – became an imaginative safe space. Except when it wasn't: a revealing moment is when he explains how Depression could turn even Star Trek's iconic "Live long and prosper" against him.

Spoiler: it sort of all worked out in the end. Well, that's pretty obvious given that Carranza is standing on the stage in front of us, in fine spirits and with a Trek-loving girlfriend (sorry boys) in his life. That's good news for us, though: Carranza's a genuinely funny, amiable and honest performer, and his skill in teasing out the wider social implications of his own experiences ensures an entertaining hour in his company.

Reviews by Paul F Cockburn

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Since you’re here…

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You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
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The Blurb

Rik is a fan of Star Trek. No, wait, Rik is THE fan of Star Trek. But what happens when obsession becomes too much? A show for everyone who knows that fandom goes beyond merch, conventions and trivia. ‘Very funny and charismatic' ***** (On The Mic). 'Superb storyteller... wonderfully wry wit' **** (FringeBiscuit.co.uk)

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