"Saucy Jack & The Space Vixens"
Staged in the Portland Building @Studio Live at the Nottingham University, this is the story of saucy Jack, a cabaret club owner who's artists seem to have the nasty habit of being bumped off with a sparkly red slingback. Strangely enough, moments after leaving the employment of..... Saucy Jack!
Jack (Thomas Outhwaite) has collected and saved several characters and gave them jobs at his cabaret spot. These include Mitch Maypole (Joe McGeehan), the barman who reveals a fetish for plastic. A fetish also shared by psychoanalyst Dr Willy Van Whackoff (Jake Gelernter) making the pair the perfect pairing. Booby Shevalle (Bobby Hughes) is the cocktail waitress and "female" vocalist at the nightspot, well after the last one was mysteriously murdered. Then there is the club saxophonist, Sammy Sax (Rhodri Denton) who has a fixation for Space Vixens.
The Space Vixens are the equivalent of the CSI and are dispatched to solve the murder mystery. Jubilee Climax (Gemma Burton), Bunny Lingus (Maria Bennett) and Anna Labia (Emily Dervey).
There's also nightspot visitor and intergalactic smuggler, Chesty Prospects/Shirley Tristar (Charlotte Howarth) and the compere/Vulva Savannah (Nikki Fish).
One of the Space Vixens though has a secret which is revealed in Act two and has a bearing on the revealing of who was the slingback murderer.
This was great fun to watch and on the lines of "The Rocky Horror Show" with the colourful, slightly over the top characters and audience participation. There are also nods to sci-fi favourites like Barbarella"" as well as the sauciness of the "Carry On" films with lashings of double entendres.
A catchy disco soundtrack which is as camp as a row of tents swathed in gallons of glitter and borrows lines from some fave camp classics like "I Will Survive" and "I Am What I Am" among others.Along the way it delivers heavy-hitting 80’s rock, good old vaudeville, a couple of power ballad show tunes and even a thumping reggae number to open the second act.
Directed by Jonathan Walker, assisted by Joe McGeehan and produced by Charlotte Mann and Katie Monk. musical direction by Rachel Loggenberg and Tom Williams.
Using the middle section of the performance area and seating the audience along the sides, Musicality made the most of the space, but it also meant that the actors could draw in the audience as dancers, especially in the song "Cheers Up Bunny".
Some brilliantly catchy songs like "All I Need Is Disco", the anthemic "Glitter Boots Saved My Life", "Park My Bike", "Let's Make Magic" and the line dancing inspired "Space Trucking".
Brilliant fun, made all the better by the cast mingling and chatting with the audience before the show started and in the interval, having selfies taken with the audience and ending in a mass dance with the audience to close the show.
Like panto, this talented bunch used their ad libbing skills to keep the show fresh, and not once did any one of them look tired of performing. They looked like they enjoyed performing as much as the audience loved seeing this show.
Once again though, a shame that this space age musical was only on for three days because i have a feeling that this could have gone on for a few days more than it did. well there is always that adage... "leave them wanting more"... and they did. What a party!