Slavery to Star Trek

The premise of Slavery to Star Trek is a strange one. It feels less like a piece of theatre and more like listening to a grandmother talk about her photo album. I suppose that is because that is what it is, simply without the photo album.Andreea Kindryd tells the story of her lineage and her own life to the audience, apparently as a replacement for writing an autobiography. The fascinating tale begins with her great-great-grandmother and grandfather, Winnie and Jim Shankle, and their struggles with slavery and the foundation of the first free black town in Texas after the emancipation proclamation, and it ends with Kindryd’s own career working behind the scenes on Star Trek. The title makes sense then. On the way we meet a variety of colourful characters including Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Bill Shatner and the Klan. Aged 73, it is impressive that Kindryd has the ability to hold the audience in such an entertaining way. The way she shambles around telling her story is fascinating and she keeps a brilliant rapport with the audience throughout. Kindryd is also incredibly likable and humble. I imagine that anyone else describing meetings with such brilliant people would come across as arrogant but Kindryd remains appealing all the way through the show. It helps that she has one of the warmest smiles I have seen from a performer at the fringe. Unfortunately, not everything transfers perfectly. Some of the racial issues that are brought up, although fascinating and informative, lack the background for the audience that is needed to clarify them. This problem is cleared up fairly quickly when Kindryd begins to talk about her own life, but I can not shake the feeling that had the issues been less specific or the background more developed then the show would have had more impact.Nevertheless, Slavery to Star Trek is held up simply and brilliantly by the strength and interest of Andreea Kindryd’s own character. May she live long and prosper.

The Blurb

She hung out with MalcolmX, Martin Luther King and Star Trek's Gene Coon; dropped acid; rioted in Watts. Her dramatic, funny family history. 'She's mesmerising... Comedy, history, drama, and politics unfurling in front of you'**** (AdelaideAdvertiser).