William Shatner Live on Stage, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall – review

Having sold out Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in under two hours, William Shatner received a hero’s welcome when he emerged following a screening of the beloved Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Spry and sly, the 88-year-old may have joked about how embarrassing it was to stand in front of an audience who’ve just watched a younger version of him defying the odds as James T Kirk, but as he worked the stage, barely sitting down for the next hour, he was the very model of an old-school star: charismatic, charming, funny — but also fully in control of the night.

William Shatner as Captain James T Kirk in the original series of Star Trek
William Shatner as Captain James T Kirk in the original series of Star Trek

William Shatner Live on Stage, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall ****

When a fan whose pre-submitted question was read out tried to get his attention by shouting from the balcony “I’m up here”, Shatner shot back, “I don’t care!” — to the delight of the crowd; and whatever was thrown at him, he segued into the anecdotes he wanted to tell without making the evening seem too rehearsed. Those anecdotes ranged from behind-the-scenes Star Trek stories and his fondness for pranking his co-stars, to his complex relationship with Leonard Nimoy and his early days treading the boards doing Shakespeare.

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His phasers, however, weren’t set to stun when it came to his interlocutor, former Scotland international rugby star turned broadcaster John Beattie. After catching him rifling through his notes in the middle of an anecdote, Shatner mocked him every chance he got. It was excruciating yet hilarious, a pointed reminder that there was only room for one star on that stage.

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