Warp Factor Preview: Harry Porter Prizewinner

OLIVER TAYLOR is a medical student who spent the formative years of his life in an underground study bunker made out of textbooks and sadness. Consequently, he has no close friends or social skills

ADC Comedy Footlights harry porter oliver taylor

As such, now that he has won the Footlights Harry Porter Prize 2015 with his sci-fi comedy “Warp Factor” he cannot find anyone prepared to endure his presence long enough for an interview. His only recourse for publicity is to use the dimensional manipulator he built from K’nex in his basement to open up a rift into a parallel universe so that he can interview himself…

Oliver: (activating inter-planar matrix) Hello there Oliver. How’s it going?

Not bad. How are things with you, Oliver?

Pretty good. Pretty good. I like what you’ve done with your hair.

Thanks! Your outfit is very well coordinated.

(laughs) Oh you! How does it feel to have won the Harry Porter Prize?

It was fantastic to have something that I’ve written get acknowledged in this way. How does it feel for you to have won the Harry Porter Prize?

Mmm. I didn’t actually win the Harry Porter Prize in this universe.

Oh. I’m so sorry, I didn’t realise-

It’s fine.

Obviously I wouldn’t have-

You weren’t to know.

Did you enter the prize?

I was actually busy fighting the Android uprising.

Huh. How’s that going?

Lily Lindon. Credit: Oliver Taylor

Oh, you know. Not well. So, what’s the show about?

It’s a Science Fiction comedy about a star-ship captain called Heracles Andromeda who wakes up from suspended animation to find that 99% of his crew are dead and that the emotional ships computer “GIDEON” has downloaded their personalities into a single man. Heracles and the man with 500 personalities have to work together to find out what their secret mission was and then complete it, with help from the crew of another spacecraft: the star-ship Ethnic Rainbow, which is a military vessel sworn to wipe out bigotry and discrimination. I wrote it with the goal of being very witty and funny, but there’s also some messages in there that I very much wanted to get across. For example the Ethnic Rainbow crew is meant to be a parody of how far people (particularly in Cambridge) can take the idea of punishing perceived prejudices and a reminder that equality is supposed to be about kindness and that you shouldn’t be in it for the sense of superiority. Likewise, there’s a lot of stuff about religion- the villains of the show are the “Militant Atheist League”, and I wanted to make a point about how what you do is so much more important than what you believe. You can believe in anything you want, but the vital thing is that those beliefs push you to be a good person.

What have rehearsals been like?

It’s amazing to see all of the lines being read by the cast- each and every one of them has brought their roles to life in an awesome way and it’s such a lovely thing to see as a writer. It’s also been pretty hectic since we found out the prize winner with only 2 weeks’ notice before the show, but also incredibly fun. That furious energy of turning over the show in such a short time has been translating into the rehearsals.

Kyle Turakhia, Oliver Taylor and Hayden Jenkins

Sure. I also know a thing or two about furious energy! What with fighting the androids.

Mmm. Are you definitely alright, Oliver?

I’m fine, Oliver.

I’m a little bit worried that it’s going to be difficult to follow which of us is which when people are reading this, since we have the name.

It’s fine. All of my bits are in bold, yours aren’t.

Taylor and Jenkins

But what if the formatters cock up and get them the wrong way around at some point?

I’m sure that wouldn’t happen.

You’re probably right.

Anyway- just to close out the interview- why should people come and see the show?

Because it will be packed full of smart jokes that everyone will be able to appreciate. It has a lot of extremely interesting ideas and concepts like- a monster that can only move when you are looking at it, a space ship powered by the excitement of the audience and a time machine that can only send your clothes back in time. It presents a massive-scale plot involving travelling across the universe and battling spaceships all on a relatively small stage. All in all it’s going to be very clever, very fun, and unlike anything you’ve seen at the ADC before.

Fantastic. Well Oliver, I wish you the best of luck with… Oh god. They’re here.


No! Don’t assimilate me! I don’t want to-


Warp Factor is showing at the ADC theatre at 11pm from Thursday 12th-Saturday the 14th of March. Get your tickets now before the theoretically infinite number of parallel versions of you do. https://www.adctheatre.com/whats-on/comedy/harry-porter-prize.aspx