Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens is the living embodiment of the phrase ‘cult hit’. This sci-fi themed musical was written and first performed by a group of students at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1995.
In the past 20 years, it’s been performed all over the world, including a West End run, but mostly by smaller theatre companies. This production in the Club Bar at the Two Brewers comes to us from Two Box Productions – the team responsible for the Boyz Award-winning 2016 panto at the same venue – and the cast features several faces and names familiar on the gay cabaret scene.
The musical has often been compared to Rocky Horror and there are undoubtably similarities, along with flashes of Barbarella and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Like Rocky Horror, this musical is centred on a Machiavellian character and their followers, and in this show that character is Saucy Jack, the proprietor of a seedy space cabaret bar, played with total relish and delicious nastiness by Ben Hudson.
This production has taken over the whole of the back room at the Brewers, which has become ‘Saucy Jacks’ the venue, and the audience are patrons within the club. It would be over generous to say this is immersive theatre but the audience is literally in the middle of the action. The story centres on Jack’s workforce, and their hopes, dreams and reactions to a set of grisly murders.
Into the middle of all this arrive the Space Vixens, a set of intergalactic cops with a set of Charlie’s Angels moves and a deep passion for disco and glitter boots. It’s not terribly difficult to see where the story is going, but that’s not the point; it’s the ride that makes it so enjoyable.
The show is packed with great characters and performances including all three of the Space Vixens, plus Booby, played by Lawrence Bolton, who also directed, and a scene-stealing turn by Elliott Rossi as Dr Whackof. This is not a show you are going to come to see great sets or scenery, because there aren’t any. You come for the great songs, of which standouts include All I Need is Disco, the reggae tinged Cheer Up Bunny and the storming Glitter Boots Saved My Life.
You also should come for the totally energetic and heartfelt performances of this young cast. The songs are delivered with passion and skill, the choreography, by Rachael Blaney is spot on and the whole thing has tons of heart and is huge fun.
If you love Rocky Horror or Barbarella with a dash of disco, then this show is for you. These glitter boots may not change your life but they will certainly make you smile.