Tom Crosbie @ UK Games Expo
I went into Tom’s show having heard the name and a few others singing this nerdy performer’s praises, but that was it. I chose not to look at anything online and to go in with no expectations or spoilers, and I am glad I did. Tom’s show was a witty, self-deprecating, and all-round impressive performance from start to finish.
Toms mastery of the Rubik’s cube is his main focus in the show and it shows that all those wasted hours alone as a kid were definitely not wasted as he makes you feel like he is doing real magic even though he is telling you it’s not magic just his quick fingers moving at Mach 2. His finally beautifully merges his memory, recall, problem-solving and Rubik’s cube skills to glorious effect and has to be seen to be believed.
Throughout he flexes his very impressive memory skills with a mixture of “The Knowledge” and a very nice adaption of the quick count trick with scrabble thrown in – perfect for the UKGE audience. He also uses this chance to talk about some of his heroes; people throughout history that he uses as a frame to talk about the Johari window technique. This may sound like you actually walked into a lecture, and have of sorts, but this is one filled with laughter and unexpectedly learning about Ignaz Semmelweis. Look him up!
Tom holds the crowd really well in his several, self-confessed, quiet moments on the stage and it’s hard to not keep your focus on him whilst you wonder what’s next. His mustard yellow sleeveless cardigan perfectly tells you all the wonderful nerdy tropes he is aiming for and he nails it. His calm demeanour and humbleness on stage completely work and adds to the whole feel of the show.
In summary, Tom’s show is full of fun and moments of wonder. His balanced, calm and approachable style makes him a joy to watch and want to watch again. A definite highlight to me and I certainly hope to see him on stage again.
Star Trek vs Star Wars @ UK Games Expo
Let’s settle this off the bat, neither are the best as it is clearly Stargate. No? Ok, well then let’s talk about this frantic fun show, hosted by Rik Carranza with Star Trek defender, comedian John (Not Darren) Robertson and comedian/Knightmare Live host Paul Flannery (who also writes Role Play Gourmet for this very site). The show was a frantic, fast-paced rampage through the two fandoms and the guests did well standing the ground for their chosen franchise.
Rik Carranza starts off the show with my favourite kind of hole, a loophole, in using a parody law to pull off a wonderfully funny opening crawl. The look through some of the weird and wonderful quirks of the franchises reminds us all how low those lows can be just before the 2 guests are pitted against each other to remind us of all the highs and the reasons we love these franchises. Everything from James T Kirk’s unstoppable 2-handed fighting style to Lando’s glorious pimp style cape. The show runs a little bit messy and feels a little chucked together but this doesn’t really take much from what is a great show. He does well to keep the show going and makes a few good jokes but the stars really are the guests.
Both John Robertson and Paul Flannery (aka our very own Role Play Gourmet) take turns delivery wonderfully funny arguments to defend their franchises, but the beautiful irony for me is that the brilliantly chaotic Robertson is defending the often chilled, and slow-paced Star Trek, with the measured and dry-witted Paul Flannery is standing up for the much more chaotic Star Wars, which works quite well, if not quite perfectly. The two work well on stage and played off of each other very well, and both demonstrated a very impressive knowledge of both franchises (especially in the quickfire round, capital of Naboo anyone?), which at times made you wonder what side they were on, but to good effect.
In Summary, Star Trek vs Star Wars is a wonderfully fun debate that really answers no questions but we all had a great time laughing at 2 franchises we love. A great idea, decently well-executed idea that likely lives and dies on the quality and knowledge of its guests. Thankfully for us, this was delivered at UK Games Expo.
You can find Tom Crosbie on Twitter: @performingnerd
You can find Rik Carranza on Twitter: @Rcarranza
You can find John Robertson on Twitter: @Robbotron
You can find Paul Flannery on Twitter: @Piratemoustache
You can find me on Twitter: @roberthouse1985
You can find all things CfG on Twitter: @Coachinggeeks