The Show

Songs for Sarah Connor (A love story, Terminated!) is a “mix tape” cabaret show that explores the emotional journey and internal monologue of the T-800 during his various missions to terminate Sarah Connor. Inspired by the blockbuster Hollywood film franchise, the show uses existing songs from the Gershwin brothers to Patsy Cline to Creed, and is a re-imagining of the iconic characters made famous by over 30 years of Terminator films, TV shows and pop culture. The small cast brings the central relationship between T-800 and Sarah Connor to the fore, and explores what could have been, and tragically, what was. Mixing comedy and pathos the show is a left field love sonnet with a cabaret heart.

Original and funny…witty and truthful…it’s hard to resist Tomkins’ marvellous impersonation of Schwarzenegger as T-800
- via Stage Whispers

Laugh-Out-Loud Funny... An Audience Favourite
- via Sydney Arts Guide

Sometimes a show comes along, and it's such a brilliant idea, you can almost see its future. If there is any justice in the world, some clever producer is going to throw a bunch of money at Alastair Tomkins, creator of Songs for Sarah Connor - A Love Story, Terminated when they see the show at QPAC's Cremorne on the 18th of June.
- via Weekend Notes

Artist Intent - The Man Behind The T-800

I grew up in the 1980’s with the Terminator movie franchise, and experienced the transition of the characters from the big screen into popular culture. At school my friends and I would mimic the movements, voices and catchphrases of the characters. Many years later I was working in Japan (portraying Charlie Chaplin) alongside actors playing all the roles from these movies in live action stunt shows. I was sharing my life with the characters but in a completely different way. I would meet these characters backstage (Chaplin’s tramp and James Cameron’s cyborg on a coffee break is a strange sight), but also share meals, conversations and social events with them away from work. They were with me 24/7 – the characters became deeply imbedded in my life. It is with this as my personal frame of reference that I began writing Songs for Sarah Connor.

Initially the idea of a T-800 singing and revealing his inner monologue (and feelings) was completely oxymoronic, and the show fragments developed as a series of short sketches. They were humorous but essentially a light-hearted disjointed riff on the subject matter.

T-800 is clearly a villain in the first movie but later transitions to a heroic role, complete with the ultimate heroic sacrifice of his own existence in order to protect his “family”. He became a Classical Hero. It was also clearly established that the T-800 became more “human” as the movies developed; this was evident not only in his expanded vocabulary, interaction with other characters but also his understanding of the human condition. His external living tissue was informing his metal core.

After a lot of reflection and drilling into the themes of paternity, relationship ideals, and heroic sacrifice Songs for Sarah Connor became to take on a life of its own, complete with more profound feelings and dare I say it “soul”.

Along the way the classic songs I had earmarked for inclusion began to prioritise themselves and I was able to identify those songs that supported, explained or even deeply extended the narrative I had chosen, which was essentially revolving around the relationship between T-800 and Sarah Connor. Once the show proper starts, the songs have a crucial role in generating multiple dimensions to the lead characters and their backstory, as well as their dreams for the future. The end of the show reveals the characters true selves via song, through firstly a modern Rock masterpiece and then a Gershwin musical theatre classic.

Songs for Sarah Connor is an honest re-imagining of the great Terminator canon of work. It is my love ballad to the characters and my alternative reality presentation of an iconic and dystopian male-female relationship.

Alastair Tomkins